Turrets, wrought-iron balconies, topiary maze gardens and even secret passages? All of these have one thing in common, fantasy. We have a stunning selection of fairy tale properties for your family holiday in France, Italy and the UK guaranteed to capture kids’ imaginations.
French Fairy Tales
1. Chateau De Ruffiac, Dordogne
Found in 20 hectares of (probably) pixie-filled lush land, this chateau is the kind of place dreams are made of. The courtyard and gardens of this golden stone chateau are the place to playing hide and seek, while the renaissance fireplaces is the spot to sit warming up and sharing elaborate tales.
Price from: £42 pppn
2. Chateau Seiguier, Loire Valley
Built in the 17th century and renovated in 1997, Chateau Seiguier combines the charm of a historic property with the comfort and amenities of a modern build. What could be more fairy tale than waking up to deer grazing under your window in your very own French Chateau? Maybe the fact that it’s a dead ringer for Cinderella’s childhood home to boot. The opulent four poster beds, large open fireplaces and myriad places to explore in the extensive gardens will only add to the storybook feel of your family holiday.
Price from: £20 pppn
3. Chateau De Baloigne, Rhone-Alpes
This fabulous self-catering chateau is surrounded by medieval ruins, which provide a uniquely atmospheric holiday experience. Imaginations can run wild in this unusual estate, which is protected by the government as a Historic Monument, some parts of the ruins date all the way back to the 12th century. However, the ancient building has been combined with 21st century touches such as a fully fitted kitchen, hot and cold running water and modern bathrooms with luxe showers.
Price from: £28 pppn
4. Chateau Crystal, Loire Valley
Just by glancing at the property you can already see it’s grand aura! It’s any princess’s dream to stay in this beautiful chateau- what’s more fairy tale than staying in your very own palace? This chateau is impeccably finished from the inside out, with its renovated interiors, antique decorations and exquisite carved-stone stairway.
Prices from: £29pppn
5. Chateau Chamborigaud, Languedoc
This turreted Disney-esque castle in the mountains dates back to the 15th century. With spiral staircases, four poster beds and commanding views over the Cevennes mountains – children will feel like kings and queens of their own kingdom. If that wasn’t fantasy enough, dining with the coats of armour under the vaulted stone ceiling of the dining room is sure to get the ball rolling.
Price from: £63 pppn
Storybook Holidays in Italy
6. Fortezza Di Spinola, Umbria
A medieval fortress just made for playing hide and seek, complete with its own tower? Hold us back! This gorgeously evocative property has been beautifully restored to feel luxurious and yet still ancient with underfloor heating, a childsafe pool and original terracotta tiling.
Price from: £59 pppn
7. Castle Mago, Tuscany
This 20-person castle is ideal for a large family holiday. The former residence of Leopold II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, this 16th century castle offers an authentically regal experience. This unique property has antiques, hidden doors, beautiful grounds, marble floors, frescoes, high ceilings and even its own ghost! Driving up the cypress tree-lined driveway, the first glimpse of this castle is an experience to spark fairy tale thoughts in even the most grown-up holiday-maker.
Price from: £91 pppn
UK Fantasy Castles
8. Loch Lomond Manor, Scotland
Close to the banks of Loch Lomond, this house is very original and different from the ones in the surrounding area, giving the impression of entering a parallel world, as if you were going back in time to the start of the 19th century. Inside, the house is full of character and charm – beautiful objects like a vintage rocking horse, rope swing and a wendy house are sure to delight and entertain little ones.
Price from: £35 pppn
9. Pentre Castle, Wales
This secluded Welsh castle stands in a commanding position over the Dee Estuary, it has views as far as Liverpool and on a fine day, even Blackpool Tower, or is that where the damsel in distress has been captured?! The entrance hall is decadently wood clad, with antlers and ancestors carved into each panel. The circular antique table in the centre is stacked with books on the home’s past, which dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Families will love the history of this property and the fun it offers. Try a game of musical chairs beneath the drawing room’s glass-paned ceiling – there are 74 seats in total – or head upstairs to play hide-and-seek in the 11 bedrooms.
Price from: £75 pppn
10. Cotswold Manor, Cotswolds
This stunning 15th century manor house is sure to bring stories to life. Coats of armour stand sentinel around the house and grounds, and a beautiful long, narrow pond stretched along the manicured lawn to an arbour, where you can sit and survey the estate.
Price from: £78 pppn
Has all this talk of storybook inspired holidays sparked your interest? Maybe you’re daydreaming of your very own Rapunzel-towered chateau or goldilocks-esque cottage for your family holiday? Have a look at some of our other quirky chateaux in France and interesting holiday villas to get the ideas flowing, or give our concierge team a ring to help you find exactly what you’re after.