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Historic holidays: 10 UK landmarks you can stay in on a budget

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Anna Pollitt
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Sleep in a castle like the queen you are.

Ancient gems are scattered across the country - and you can stay in them on a budget.

The Landmark Trust rescues breathtaking old buildings and restores to their former glory. Their upkeep is paid for by the income from renting them out as affordable lets to the public - a cultural Airbnb if you will.

There are a wealth of inspiring and important buildings to choose from; royal castles, majestic and medieval towers, pink chateaus and miles and miles of glorious views - though you may have to book well in advance because these historic holiday homes are in high demand.

Around 200 spectacular British buildings are in the care of the trust - here's our pick of the 10 most breathtaking short lets - starting from just £13.68 a night...

  • Belmont House, Dorset

    Welcome to the Instagrammers' dream.

    The late author John Fowles lived in this 18th century maritime villa for 37 years and it was his final wish that the beach-side spot not be gutted and turned into a hotel, but its original state maintained as an inspirational spot for other writers and culture vultures.

  • Belmont House, Dorset

    Pink on the outside, bright and roomy with an elegant, homely decor on the inside.

    You can take inspiration from Fowles' former writing room, which is now a peaceful lounge, or roam the wild garden with - get this - a Victorian observatory tower that has a revolving roof. 

    Sleeps: 8
    Beds: two twins, two doubles
    4 nights from: £660 - equivalent to £20.63 per person, per night

    Book

  • Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

    This romantic, ruinous exterior at an ancient moated site belies an ultra-sleek, modern interior...

  • Astley Castle

    Glorious views, spacious rooms, a log-burning stove and dogs are welcome. Bliss.

    Sleeps: 8
    Beds: two twins, two doubles
    4 nights from: £970 - equivalent to £30.31 per person, per night

    Book

  • The Bath House, near Stratford-upon-Avon

    Calling all hopeless romantics...

    This octagonal 18th century folly is a glorious one-room couples' retreat set in woodland on the outskirts of Wellesbourne village. It was built in around 1748 with a plunge pool in the basement for Sir Charles Mordaunt of Walton Hall.

  • The Bath House, near Stratford-upon-Avon

    It may have only one main living area, but what a room, thanks to a dazzling shell-encrusted dome ceiling.

    Head down to the basement for a cool plunge before warming up in front of the roaring open fire.

    Sleeps: 2
    Beds: One double
    4 nights from: £319 - equivalent to £39.88 per person, per night

    Book

  • Appleton Water Tower, Sandringham, Norfolk

    Forget Google 360 - this is Norfolk 360. 

    This Victorian water tower sits on the edge of the famous Sandringham estate and once served as a viewing room for the royal family. 

  • Appleton Water Tower, Sandringham, Norfolk

    A bijou beauty with a country cottage feel, the spiral staircase leads to a terrace top with miles and miles of glorious landscape to savour.

    Sleeps: 2 + 2
    Beds: One double, one twin
    4 nights from: £500 - equivalent to £31.25 per person, per night

    Book

  • Fox Hall, Charlton, West Sussex

    This former hunting lodge, built in 1730 for the Duke of Richmond, has an imposing and sombre exterior that hides an extravagantly grand interior...

     

  • Fox Hall, Charlton, West Sussex

    Bookend a day spent exploring the Sussex countryside in this charming and regal retreat, lovingly and lavishly restored to its opulent best.

    Sleeps: 2 + 2
    Beds: One double, one twin
    4 nights from: £385 - equivalent to £24.06 per person, per night

    Book

  • Kingswear Castle, Near Dartmouth, Devon

    Towering majestically over the River Dart, Kingswear was built in 1481 but fell into ruin in the mid-18th century.

    In 1885 it was rescued by a wealthy bachelor who turned the castle into a high-end bachelor pad with the best views in Devon.

  • Kingswear Castle, Near Dartmouth, Devon

    It may be a former fortress, but today the interiors are reassuringly cosy. Along with spectacular sea views, guests can raise and lower a Union Jack flag on the roof - if they fancy.

    Sleeps: 4
    Beds: One double, one twin
    4 nights from: £608 - equivalent to £38 per person, per night

    Book

  • The Chateau Gate, Burton, Lincolnshire

    Enjoy a tiny slice of France in a secluded corner of the Lincolnshire countryside.

    Built in the 18th century as a rich lawyer's weekend retreat, today the chateau is an affordable hideaway, ideal for couples.

  • The Chateau Gate, Burton, Lincolnshire

    A brightly-lit sanctuary with high ceilings, open fires, lavish interior touches and a balcony to enjoy breathtaking views across Burton Park.

    Sleeps: 2
    Beds: One double
    4 nights from: £325 - equivalent to £40.63 per person, per night

    Book

  • Castle of Park, Glenluce, Dumfries and Galloway

    Making a powerful statement in the Scottish countryside, this 16th century tower house perhaps doesn't scream "holiday retreat" from the outside...

  • Castle of Park, Glenluce, Dumfries and Galloway

    Inside it's a welcoming haven of bright and cosy cottage style - wooden roof beams, open fires, textured walls and a grand dining room where big groups can gather for meals in Jacobean-inspired surroundings.

    Sleeps: 7
    Beds: One single, two twins, one double
    4 nights from: £383 - equivalent to £13.68 per person, per night

    Book

  • Cavendish Hall, Cavendish, Suffolk

    Pack your favourite Jane Austen to make the most of this early Regency country house.

    Set on a 30-acre estate, the land offers a mix of wild woodland and manicured gardens...

  • Cavendish Hall, Cavendish, Suffolk

    As well as a sprawling, grand hall with high-ceilings and well-preserved original features.

    Enjoy this superb taste of the Regency era in a large group and while away the hours exploring the grounds and pretty nearby village of Cavendish. 

    Sleeps: 12
    Beds: three twins, three doubles
    4 nights from: £1084 - equivalent to £22.58 per person, per night

    Book

  • The China Tower Bicton, Devon

    Commissioned by Lady Louisa Trefusis in 1839 as a surprise birthday present for her husband, this octagonal Gothic tower folly got its name from Lady Louisa's vast collection of china. She dedicated an entire room to housing her vast collection of trinkets.

  • The China Tower Bicton, Devon

    Lovingly restored to reflect Lady Louisa's eccentric tastes, the four-storey tower's winding stairs peak at the roof terrace, with dreamy views of the countryside, heathland, local villages and the Exe estuary.

    Sleeps: 4
    Beds: one twin, one double
    4 nights from: £297 - equivalent to £18.56 per person, per night

    Book

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Author

Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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