From £210
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OVERVIEW

Former home to bishops and royalty, Amberley Castle is the real deal and a tourist's delight, complete with a moat, battlements and a portcullis entrance. Your bedroom may contain ancient exposed stone and beams. Mealtimes are as grand as their surroundings suggest, and the food is first-rate.


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Rooms available from £210 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Amberley Castle is close to the village of the same name, which also has a railway station - handy for connecting to London and Gatwick and visiting nearby Arundel, Chichester and the coast. See the vintage workplace reconstructions at Amberley Museum and tackle the South Downs with Chalkpit Trails bike hire. Arundel, Bignor Roman Villa and Fontwell Racecourse are close. Chichester, the National Trust's Petworth House and Goodwood motor circuit are within 15 miles.

By car: two hours' drive from London and 45 minutes from Brighton. Free parking.

By train: Arundel train station is six miles from the hotel, and 90 minutes from central London. Book trains to Arundel.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

You don't get much more atmospheric than a real 12th-century castle with a portcullis, moat and garden topiary. Inside, there are suits of armour on the stairs, ancient weapons on the walls and large fireplaces (even in the Ladies). Some bedrooms overlook the ruins of a great hall.

THE FACILITIES

As you'd expect from a Relais & Chateaux collection hotel, service was excellent and we had enthusiastic help selecting from the wine list and dinner menu. You can get active in the castle grounds on the 18-hole putting course, croquet lawn or tennis court, or book a chauffeur to whisk you on day trips.

  • Terrace
  • Restaurant
  • 18-hole putting course
  • Croquet lawn
  • Tennis court
  • Family rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Several of the bedrooms keep you well back in time with exposed stone walls, studded doors, beams and partly antique furnishings. Books about Sussex and homemade biscuits provide a homely welcome. By contrast, the en-suite bathrooms are, thankfully, modern, stylish havens with flattering lighting, L'Occitane toiletries and art on the walls.

Room types: Classic, Superior, Junior Deluxe, Gatehouse Suite and Premier Deluxe

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with L'Occitane toiletries, Vispring beds, homemade biscuits, mineral water, slippers and bathrobes.

FOOD AND DRINK

The hotel has one of the top restaurants in Sussex, a formal place, suited to quietly observed special occasions. Guests are led through for their first course after canapés in the lounge. Dishes have interesting depth and twists and are sometimes deconstructed, with, for instance, a mini broth or crispy skin on the side.

Amberley Castle Restaurant: formal, creative, modern twist. Open for lunch and dinner. À la carte menu from £68 for three courses. Seven-course tasting menu, afternoon tea and private dining also available.

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