Discover the new luxury of Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle was built back in 1511 during the reign of Henry VIII and was considered one of the grandest buildings of its time in England. It is where Henry courted Anne Boleyn and has been the home of kings, queens and dukes over the centuries before becoming a luxury hotel in 1966. More recently the castle underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment and has now reopened its doors to guests, so naturally 7* Life visited to see the magnificent changes for ourselves.

2021 saw a new chapter in the Castle’s rich history as Thornbury Castle became a member of the globally respected Relais & Châteaux collection. Channeling 1530s grandeur with 2020s splendour, guests can experience both Tudor opulence in total luxury during a stay at Thornbury Castle.

The rooms are all named after royals from history. Fifteen of the bedchambers and suites feature sumptuous four-poster beds, rich period detailing, with décor throughout the rooms and suites artfully recreating the Tudor style in which royalty and aristocracy would have socialised, feasted and relaxed in.

Following the recent refurbishment, the Castle’s 26 bedchambers and suites have been carefully restored as interiors are sensitively reimagined with historical fineries and contemporary luxuries.

Fit for royalty

Located near Bristol and overlooking the Gloucestershire countryside, Thornbury Castle is the only Tudor castle in the UK which operates as a hotel and restaurant.

Each one of Thornbury Castle’s six deluxe suites offers their own unique style and design, with no two ever the same. For example, the Jane Seymour Suite, accessible via a spiral stone staircase, oozes castle luxury, complete with a four-posted bed, located in the oldest tower of the building, offering stunning views that stretch all the way to Wales.

King Henry VIII Suite

A visit to the Castle also offers history-loving guests a chance to stay in its King Henry VIII bedchamber – the very room where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed in for 10 nights as part of their Royal Progress tour in 1535. This is located in the Castle Tower, which still has the original stone spiral steps to access the bedchamber.

Alternatively, guests can choose the high life and discover the Castle’s Catherine of Aragon Tower Suite. Featuring 24-carat gilding, sumptuous Tudor furnishings, and the largest four-poster bed in any UK hotel, it is accessible via a 77-step spiral staircase (don’t worry, luggage will be carried up for you by the reception team).

Catherine of Aragon Suite

High-end dining experience

Thornbury Castle’s Executive Chef Carl Cleghorn brings a wealth of culinary experience to the Castle, having worked in a number of the UK’s top hotels and with some of the UK’s leading Michelin star chefs. He prides himself on using the very best seasonal and local ingredients from the Castle’s kitchen and herb garden and showcasing the best of British to create a memorable dining experience for guests.

Food served includes breakfast, lunch, an all-day dining menu, afternoon tea and a la carte dinner and Carl Cleghorn and his team will also provide bespoke menus for events such as weddings and corporate events.

The six course tasting menu is new to the Castle and is absolutely sensational. Each dish has been expertly paired with wines, including the Castle’s very own wine, which is no longer in stock; the vineyard used to be on-site.

It’s no exaggeration when we say each dish is divine, but if we were forced to choose favourites, it would have to be either the exquisite Orkney Scallop with celeriac and apple, or the incredible Halibut with leek, truffle, gewürztraminer and spring onion.

Pickled Beetroot, Smoked Ewes Curd, Tarragon, Apple


Visiting guests are able to enjoy a variety of activities to conjure up the atmosphere of Tudor England. These include bespoke historical tours, a walking garden tour exploring the Castle’s Tudor gardens and kitchen garden, axe throwing, sword skills, archery, falconry, croquet on the lawn and even the opportunity to ‘Become a Tudor Queen’ for the day!

The Castle also offers guests an indulgent menu of beauty treatments in its brand new treatment room located in the South Wing, overlooking the Privy Garden. These include massages and facials along with other treatments. We would definitely recommend the back, neck and shoulder massage pre-dinner to ease any tension away from the day and put you in the right frame of mind for an evening of fantastic food and wine.

To ensure guests are wholly immersed in the Tudor experience, restoration and re-landscaping has also taken place in the Castle’s grounds.

Located within 15 acres, Thornbury Castle retains many original features, including arrow slit windows and original planting from the Tudor period, which can be admired by taking a walk around the Castle.

We could not recommend a stay at Thornbury Castle highly enough. If you want a unique dining experience that will stay with you, you’ll find it here. If you want to enjoy one of the best sleeps you’ll have this year, you’ll have that here. If you want to undergo a massage that will leave you feeling incredibly zen, then come here. Whatever you’re in need of, Thornbury Castle will be waiting for you.

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