I had never stayed in an English Castle before, so I was really excited to be invited to road test the facilities at Studley Castle on a luxury weekend break. A weekend stay in a castle? Yes please! I really can’t think of a better way to enjoy the idyllic English countryside, so I jumped at the opportunity.
Table of Contents
- 1 Studley Castle’s History
- 2 How to get to Studley Castle
- 3 The Rooms at Studley Castle
- 4 Eating at Studley Castle
- 5 Relaxing at The Stables Spa
- 6 Things to Do at Studley Castle
- 7 Things to do around Studley Castle
- 8 My thoughts on Studley Castle
- 9 Visiting England? Check out my other England articles
- 10 Like this post? Pin and save for later
Studley Castle’s History
Nestled in the rolling hills of Warwickshire, in the heart of quintessential England, we find Studley Castle, a beautiful hotel with over 180 years of history. This imposing building was built in 1834 by Francis Lyttleton Holyoake, High Sheriff of Warwickshire, in the Gothic Revival style that was fashionable at the time.
It was the Lyttleton Holyoake family home for 70 years, but it was too expensive to maintain and the High Sheriff became bankrupt. Throughout the 20th century, Studley Castle went through a number of transformations. From an agricultural college for women, to a training camp for the Women’s Land Army, to a conference centre.
In 2006 this stunning building became a hotel. It has recently undergone a £50m renovation program and it is now Warner Leisure Hotels’ 14th property and the brand’s new flagship hotel.
How to get to Studley Castle
It’s very easy to get to Studley Castle, whether you are driving or taking public transport. I drove from London and it took around two hours, along the M40 and the M42.
The Castle is located in Warwickshire, known as the Heart of England, due to its central geographic position. It is about 6 miles from the town of Redditch, easily accessible by train. From London it takes around 2.5 hours to get to Redditch, from where you can get a short taxi ride to Studley Castle.
The Rooms at Studley Castle
The hotel is divided into two sections, the original castle building, and a new two-storey extension built as part of the recent renovation program. Now, I know that this doesn’t sound like you are staying in a castle, but trust me, you are.
The decoration throughout the buildings is themed around Alice in Wonderland, with so many cute and regal details – from rabbits to clocks, to mini armchairs and crowns, going through an array of characters from the animal kingdom.
Studley Castle has 209 rooms spread throughout the buildings, with period-style rooms in the Castle, and contemporary decorated rooms in the Studley Wing and The Stables.
My room was located in the Studley Wing, the newer part of the building, an oasis of calm in between the castle and The Stables Spa. Decorated in a modern and elegant design with calming grey and teal tones, my room was a twin room with a sliding door leading onto a terrace with splendid views of the countryside.
With really comfortable beds, high thread count linen and plump pillows, what really stood out for me were the little details, like fresh milk for that comforting cup of tea, or the luxurious Templespa toiletries.
Eating at Studley Castle
The team at Studley Castle has done a lot of research looking for the best way to offer different choices to the hotel guests. They spent some time in Las Vegas drawing inspiration for different restaurant styles and formats.
There are two main dining venues – The Evesham Restaurant, and the Arden Café Bar & Restaurant, both located in the Studley Wing.
The Evesham Restaurant offers dinner with entertainment, with sittings for 400 people. It is considered to be the best cabaret restaurant of its kind in the UK. Both breakfast and dinner are served here. For dinner, the starter is a-la-carte, and for the main course there is a buffet with live theatre cooking and a salad and dessert bar.
The adjoining Evesham Bar is a sports bar during the day and it turns into a gin specialist bar in the evening, offering gin-tasting sessions.
The Arden Café Bar & Restaurant is a coffee shop by day and an a la carte restaurant by night. This was my favourite restaurant, where I had a really tasty coconut and vegetable soup as a starter, and the rib-eye steak for mains.
If you are looking for a private spot for dinner, there is an area that can be rented for up to 10 people that has its own space and it’s like a little Alice in Wonderland room of its own.
If you are a lover of afternoon tea, Studley Castle has its own tearoom in the Oak Room. The dark wood panelling, leather sofas and chandeliers are the perfect setting for a traditional afternoon tea.
Relaxing at The Stables Spa
The Stables Spa is a little haven of peace that offers the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind. It is located within the old castle stables, and it has a swimming pool designed to help you reset, with plenty of Jacuzzi areas.
You can also choose to have relaxing or rejuvenating treatments that go from facials to full body massages or even just a simple manicure. It’s a great way to treat yourself.
Things to Do at Studley Castle
Studley Castle is a lot more than a hotel offering accommodation. Their mission is to offer guests a complete package of experiences, where the guest can choose to do as much or as little as they want.
The castle has its own cinema showing the latest movies three times a day, or more often if the weather is not great.
For outdoors fans, you can explore the surrounding area on two wheels. Studley Castle has Pashley bikes at the guests’ disposal if they want to use them. Pashley bikes are hand-built in Stratford-Upon-Avon, not far from the castle itself.
If you enjoy target sports, you can practice archery, laser-clay shooting or riffle shooting. All these activities are included in your stay, but you will need to book your slot in advance.
If you enjoy a walk on the countryside, you can roam freely around the grounds of the property. If you are looking to walk further afield, there is a footpath that takes you to Studley village. The village doesn’t have much to offer, but it’s a lovely walk through the fields.
Alternatively, the Arden Way goes through the property, and it’s the gateway to more walks through the Warwickshire countryside.
Things to do around Studley Castle
Studley Castle works with local suppliers such as a gin distillery, where you can do a tour and some gin tasting too.
You can also take day trips to popular destinations in the vicinity of the property. Warwick Castle, an imposing medieval castle that has become the symbol of Warwickshire, is only half an hour away.
Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare, is also half an hour away. Here you can visit Shakespeare’s former homes and go on a boating tour on the river Avon.
Not far from Studley Castle, you will also find the Cotswolds, where you can explore the quaint little villages of the area. You will feel like you’ve travelled back to days gone by.
My thoughts on Studley Castle
All in all, I had a lovely time at Studley Castle. There were a couple of things that I felt needed to be ironed out, but I put that down to teething troubles which will get resolved in time. Warner Leisure Hotels have done a great job of bringing this historic building back to life and maintaining its historic character. You can certainly feel that if the walls could talk they would tell you a million stories!
Have you ever stayed in a castle?
Let me know in the comments!
Visiting England? Check out my other England articles
- 11 Things to Do on a Day Out in Greenwich, London
- London in Bloom – Where to See Magnolia and Cherry Blossom in London (and When)
- How to Make the Most of a Weekend in York, England
- Exploring Bath Through its Independent Shops and Restaurants
- Why NewcastleGateshead Should Be Your Next UK Destination this Spring
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Disclosure: A big thank you to Studley Castle, who hosted me during my stay. As always, all views are my own.
Teresa is an award-winning travel blogger based in London. She’s on a mission to explore the world through responsible cultural and adventure travel, and through deeper, more meaningful local experiences. She’s a lover of adventure, the outdoors and everything food related, and she’s always looking for ways to make a positive impact through sustainable travel.