Castle Categories: B&B Castle Hotels, Castle Spa Hotels, Family Friendly Castle Stays, and Dog/Pet Friendly Castle StaysCastle Tags: Best Castle & Manor House Hotels near London, Best Castle Stays in England in 2023, and Best Castle Stays in South East England in 2023
Most Famous Former Guests: Prince Imperial Napoléon, Lilly Langtry, Christopher Lee.
Perhaps Windsor’s most famous hotel, the luxury Oakley Court is a fabulous Neo-Gothic castle hotel on the banks of the River Thames.
It has a quite palpable, brooding Gothic atmosphere, something that lead to it being the set of many movies and TV series; The Rocky Horror Picture Show, various Hammer House of Horrors films and The Hound of the Baskervilles to name but a few.
The setting by the Thames, in lovely Windsor, near London, can not be beaten and it has 33 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland to explore, as well as a nine hole golf course, tennis courts, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, and a very fine restaurant.
They have a choice of rooms graded, and priced, as standard, luxury or executive, and a number of larger suites with separate seating areas. They are all spacious and beautifully appointed with most of them being in the relatively modern annex adjacent to the castle.
If you want something more traditional then go for the Mansion House Rooms; these are in the original castle building and are more old fashioned in style.
You can expect plenty of space in all the accommodation, super comfortable beds, seating and study desks, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, mini bar and luxury White Company toiletries.
Children will be taken care of here with indoor and outdoor games for them, and pets too will also be well looked after.
Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos – on the booking page here.
FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO:
The 2AA Rosette Dining Room Restaurant is one of Windsor’s finest, with their classic English menus dictated by the seasons and with much of the ingredients coming fresh from their onsite kitchen gardens.
More food and drink is available in the welcoming atmosphere of the Oakleaf Bar with its cosy armchairs and roaring log fires, and you can also enjoy drinks in the Drawing Room plus some extravagant afternoon teas.
There is a lovely summer ‘Terrace Restaurant’ for al-fresco dining and drinks overlooking the river, and overall the grounds are wonderful to explore with landscaped lawns and gardens, woodland walks, nature trails and cycle paths (bikes are available at the hotel) and the gently flowing waters of the River Thames never far away.
You can try your hand at traditional lawn games, play some tennis, or golf on their 9-hole course, take a dip in the indoor swimming pool, relax in the sauna or steam rooms, or keep in trim in the modern fitness centre/ gym.
Oakley Court is just outside the town of Windsor, and of course Windsor Castle, and less than two miles from the famous gastronomic village of Bray, on the banks of the Thames in Berkshire. Eton, Ascot, Thorpe Park and Legoland are all very near, as is Heathrow Airport, only around 15 miles to the south east.
There are plenty of trains and buses running direct to and from central London (Paddington) to Windsor Station with a journey time of less than an hour. By car should take you roughly the same amount of time, making allowances for traffic at certain times of the day.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
Oakley Court was built in 1859 for Sir Richard Hall Say soon to become High Sheriff of Berkshire and Justice of the Peace. He sold it on in 1874 to Lord Otho FitzGerald, then it passed hands again between John Lewis Phipps, Sir William Beilby Avery and Ernest Olivier in the proceeding decades.
Lord Otho Fitzgerald was the son of the Duke of Leinster and a Member of Parliament, and both he and his wife, Ursula, had strong connections with the upper echelons of society in England and beyond. During his tenure Oakley saw many lavish parties and illustrious guests such as Lilly Langtry and Prince Imperial Louis Napoleon.
In 1949 Oakley Court became the main location set for the British film company Hammer Films. They shot five films there before moving down the road to what was then known as Down Place, later to become Bray Studios.
Most of the filming was then done at Bray but in the 1950s and 60s, they continued to use Oakley Court as an exterior location, in The Brides of Dracula in 1962 and in both The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile in 1966 for example.
A huge amount of other films used Oakley as a location including Witchcraft, And Now the Screaming Starts!, The Old Dark House, the cult horror movie Vampyres and the classic Peter Cook and Dudley Moore comedy, The Hound of the Baskervilles. It will though perhaps always be best known as the home of Frank-N-Furter in 1975’s cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Perfect. A wonderful gothic mansion, I went because of its connection with hammer films, and it was everything and more a real surreal experience to know u have stood in the very same rooms as legends like Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, its beautiful and the staff were great. I would go again AAA++++”
“Exceptional property – I felt like Royalty. The ambience of the property was magnificent, stunning location with exceptional gardens and spacious lawn areas all backed up with old fashioned quality of customer service. Spacious rooms with large beds and big windows. Sporting facilities were first class. Easy to find with plenty of free parking space made life really easy as well. I will be telling all my friends about this property.…”
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- Windsor Rd, Water Oakley