Impeccably manicured gardens, butlers tending to your every whim, and delicate China used for the poshest of afternoon tea sessions – the life of an aristocrat living in a castle was a dream once reserved only for fairytales.

But with period dramas like Downton Abbey, The Crown, and Peaky Blinders (at least its third season) giving us a glimpse into the opulence of the elite, there is now a demand amongst travellers looking to stay in a place that offers a different sort of grandeur, one that 5-star hotels cannot. While you have the French châteaus and German strongholds, nothing is as luxurious yet homey than staying in a British castle.

Not all of us are blessed with blue blood running through our veins, but some of those lucky enough to have inherited lavish estates in the British Isles have opened their homes to the public. Passing through for a day? No problem. Hosting a destination wedding within the ruins of a castle? That can be arranged too.

From the ruins of a castle built by the Knights Templar to the actual manor where Downton Abbey was filmed, history and culture abound at these 5 British castles and estates where you can head to for your next summer vacation.