The intimate one
Britain’s largest castle is in Windsor, and if you manage to get a room there, do send us a postcard. For those who prefer a shorter walk to the breakfast table and fewer corgis in the way, Hellifield Peel Castle is a fortified home on a more human scale.
The classic one
The Chateau de Chissay is truly of this genre, with its walls built of the palest stone and turrets topped with witch’s hat slate roofs. Inside are rib-vault ceilings, spiral staircases and a wide range of guestrooms including a “troglodyte” option with rough-hewn stone walls, and a double-level turret room up in the donjon (keep) where you can see up into the rafters. Evening meals in the period-perfect dining room are a highlight here.
The luxury one
In the line of hills that divide the sepia-tinted Tuscan landscape south of Arezzo from the even more rapturous countryside around Siena, Castel Monastero has watched nearly a thousand years go past. The name refers to the fact that this hamlet (also called Monastero d’Ombrone) has served as both castle and monastery, besieged by Florentines fighting against Siena in 1208.