Augill Castle – Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria
Quirky and delightful, Augill Castle is a Victorian gentleman’s folly in the magnificent Eden Valley. It has all the trappings of a neo-Gothic castle – tower, castellations and mullions – but in miniature. Its owners, two generations of the Bennett family, rescued it from dereliction and have created a very special, award-winning place to stay. It retains the atmosphere of a family home amid its vast rooms, with large fireplaces and a mix of antique and contemporary furniture. There are 13 charming bedrooms, suites and houses spread across the estate. Those in the castle are more traditional – turrets for wardrobes, claw-foot baths, stained glass windows – while the estate houses feel more modern. The castle’s restaurant, The Music Room at Augill, is headed up by chef Meg Davenport who brings the bold flavours inspired by her international career to the Eden valley and marries them with the finest local ingredients. Meanwhile, newly refurbished The Great British Bar champions small distillers, brewers and artisan producers from across the UK. It is also a splendidly unique place for a wedding: you can have the castle to yourself with no set formula.
Doubles from £200
+44 (0)1768 341937; stayinacastle.com