5 STAR! I cant say enough how much I LOVED my stay here, its my most favourite accommodation so far that ive stayed in and I would 100% stay here again in a heart beat – a MUST experience at some stage if you are a castle lover
CASTLE HISTORY The land where Amberley Castle stands was gifted to Bishop Wilfrid in 683 AD by Caedwalla, King of Wessex and the castle’s current buildings owe their origins to a timber-framed hunting lodge built in 1103 by Bishop Luffa. The following 400 years saw this lodge transformed into a fortified manor house complete with crenelations, battlements and a portcullis under the supervision of a number of resident bishops. In the wake of the English reformation, the castle was leased to a series of tenants and during the Civil War it became a royalist strong hold. Oliver Cromwell sent General Waller to destroy the defences in 1643 and 20 to 30 feet was lost from the Curtain Walls and the Great Hall was destroyed, creating a ruin. After the Civil War, Amberley Castle was seized from the Church by Parliament and sold by the Office of Sequestration of Estates to Mr John Butler, a cloth merchant from London who built the Manor House out of the ruins which had been the Great Hall.
I had to fly my drone to get an overhead view of this beautiful place – its such a quiet little village in the countryside so it wasnt hard to find a spot to fly right behind the castle and got some great shots!
THE CASTLE FORECOURT & GARDENS
Driving up to the castle was an adventure itself!
There was a long driveway with twists and turns and then a long path that I drove up right to the front of the castle, I had to stop and take it all in when sitting in my car – I had the biggest smile on my face as this has been on my bucket list for many many years
THE RESTORATION With the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, King Charles II visited Amberley twice and in 1660 gave the castle back to the Bishopric. No mention of reimbursement to Mr Butler was made, however they eventually did negotiate a long lease and the Butler family continued to live at the castle for a further two generations. In 1872, the castle was sold by the church commissioners to Lord Zouche, owner of Parham House. It was used as a hunting lodge and continued in this employment when it was sold on to the 15th Duke of Norfolk in 1893 who subsequently initiated the repair of the stone work over the portcullis.
Looking out to the main entrance
I parked at the private car park in the property and couldnt believe I was dragging my bag to stay in this spectacular castle! I was leaving my bag just sitting there and I would run off and explore a part of the castle gardens taking plenty of photos
In 1926, Amberley Castle was bought by the Emmet family. In 1982, the castle was sold by the family and with this sale, the Castle Farm and the castle grounds were divided. Hollis Baker then owned the castle from 1982 -1987 and reinstated the 2.5 ton ancient portcullis. In 1989 the castle was converted into a hotel which has enjoyed an international reputation for luxury ever since.
The internasl wall gardens are just beautiful! There are little ponds and sitting areas with fountains, I felt like I was in a fairytale – there are 12 acres of gardens surrounding the castle
There are 19 individual and unique rooms rooms in their own design furnished with antiques and fine fabrics
Coffee machine and fresh cookies provided – all kinds of different teas as well
I had a large and comfy room with plenty of places to sit and read and relax
My bathroom was very luxurious with plenty of space and with modern furnishings
The bath was amazingggg!
Never seen this kind of hair dryer before but it was full on!
Lóccitane toiletries – mmmm
My beautiful view from my room of the gorgeous red leaves of the vines
Breakfast was included in the price of the room and I had a blastand spent so much time at breakfast trying as much as I could, I just loved the room iyself and relishing having a meal in a castle – coffee was amazing here and the food was fantastic, mine was a vegan breakfast and they beautiful jams and fresh juices
EXPLORING THE CASTLE INTERIOR
There are so many nooks and crannies to explore in this beautiful castle! I seriously got lost in the history and had to constantly let the reception staff know that I was not wierd and that im just a castle fanatic
The dining room
There were plenty of armour and weapons scattered around the castle
Wandering up to the top floor which creaked at every step, I love how this place still has its old school charm and history
Looking up from the reception area to the top floor
There were quite a few living rooms and lounge areas in the shared area and it was nice to just sit and read a book in this area and feel like youre at home
The main lounge room with plenty of seating area
Ladies parlour on the 2nd floor, a cute little find behind a door that looked like it was a cupboard so this was a nice place to sit in peace and look out into the gardens of the castle
I didnt want to leave … my bag was heavier to drag out more so that I just didnt want to leave
I highliy recommend spending the money to stay here, its really an amazing experience where you feel pampered and what it feels like to live in a castle – you are left on your own to wander around and the staff make you feel like you are home