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GALLERY: The best places to 'staycation' like the Queen

April 20, 2016
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balmoral © Photo: Getty Images

As she enters her tenth decade, the Queen is more content with holidaying on her home ground. She usually spends two months of the summer at Balmoral in Scotland, Easters at Windsor Castle and Christmas holidays with the family at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.In honour of her 90th birthday, which falls on Thursday, click through our gallery of top regal residences you can stay in around the UK, where guests can play at being Queen for the day.Staycation sorted.

balvard castle

Balvaird Apartment at Scone Palace, ScotlandIt may not be Balmoral, but this imposing Scottish castle on the edge of Perth city has its own royal connections, having once been the crowning site of the Scottish Kings.Up to six guests can stay in a five-star luxury apartment set in the historic palace, with views overlooking the famous River Tay and 100 acres of beautiful grounds.From £500 per night for six guests,

dairsie castle

Dairsie Castle in Fife, ScotlandPerfect for a large group, Dairsie Castle is located close to St. Andrews, the town where Prince William and Kate famously went to university.First sited in the 12th Century, Dairsie has been the location of secret Scottish parliaments, military sieges, and a safe haven for escapee monarchs including James VI and I in 1583.In 1992 it was bought and rebuilt by the current owner who worked hard to restore the castle to its original medieval character, with all the comforts of a modern family home.Guests can stay in "The Dungeon" – a twin bedroom on the ground floor with a vaulted ceiling – or "The Upper Tower Room" and "The Lower Tower Room" among others.From £500 per night for 13 guests,


18th Century Castle in Midlothian, ScotlandAt one time the hunting seat of Mary Queen of Scots, Melville Castle is made up of 32 stylish en-suite bedrooms, with accommodation ranging from classic double rooms, grand four posters to intriguing gallery rooms.The castle is set within a 50 acre estate of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the river North Esk, and is located just 20 minutes drive from Edinburgh's city centre.From £120 per night for 16 guests,

duchray castle

Duchray Castle in Aberfoyle, ScotlandCould there be any place more fitting to raise a toast to the Queen on her 90th birthday than in this 16th century Scottish castle in Scotland? The secluded 500-year-old tower house is fittingly nestled in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Forest.The castle is set in 90 acres of land, while its newly renovated luxury accommodation can sleep ten.From £515 per night for ten guests,

craster tower

Craster Tower in Northumberland, EnglandJust like Windsor Castle, this Grade 2 historic building has been in the hands of the same family for many centuries and still retains many of the original features of the property.The available apartment occupies the entire top floor of the tower, which dates from the 15th century. Period detailing in the rooms include decorative coving, ornate stone and marble fireplaces and a fine Venetian chandelier suspended from the ceiling in the drawing room.Guests can make use of the tennis court and BBQ set up in the garden, or venture out on exhilarating coastal walks.From £250 per night for 8 guests,

regency country house

Regency Country House in Thetford, EnglandJust an hour away from the Queen's Sandringham Estate, this Norfolk country house is steeped in history, yet has all the comforts a modern queen could hope for – a heated outdoor swimming pool, a sauna hot tub… and even a deer park!The country estate is home to a historic mansion and three self-contained cottages, which contain grand reception rooms and 16 bedrooms.From £1,500 per night for 16 guests,