Heading to the UK over summer, and still filled with Royal Wedding fever? Then we know where you should set up camp.
Whether it’s with luxury accommodations or a spa package, plenty of hotels advertise that they will make you feel like royalty. But, the reality is, no fancy facial or thread count can substitute for the grand grounds of Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish castle. So not why just go stay there instead?
Seriously. Anyone—well, as long as your plans don’t interfere with the royal family’s schedule—can summer at the same place as the Queen of England. And at plenty of other real-life palaces too. Whether you’re a royalist, a history buff, or just looking for a taste of aristocratic life, here’s the handful of royal residences that any commoner can stay in, even if just for the night.
Every summer, the Queen and the royal family decamp to Balmoral, her estate in the Scottish Highlands. While the castle is certainly the main attraction, there are over 150 buildings on the ground—four of which are cottages available to rent on a weekly basis. One of them, the regal-rustic Rhebreck Lodge, overlooks a scenic valley and has a lounge with a log burner.
All of the properties come equipped with the services of a local chef, or the option to arrange home-cooked meals.
Sandringham is best known as the place where the royal family spends the holidays every year. Although an invitation to Christmas lunch may be hard to come by, the old head gardener’s house is available to rent year round.
Called the Garden House, it overlooks the ornamental garden that abuts the main building.
Sitting on the grounds of Llwynywermod, Prince Charles’s Welsh Estate, is the North Range, a converted barn decorated with contemporary and local Welsh flair. In line with his environmental commitment, the North Range is almost completely sustainable, with a wood chip boiler and renewable electricity.
Visitors can stay in the Cavalier Wing, of this lakeside Swedish royal palace, which houses the “palace’s original guest rooms, with antique flooring, tiled stoves and deep window bays.”
Castle of Mey
Up until her death in 2002, the Castle of Mey was the beloved home of the Queen Mother. Now, it belongs to the royal trust—which turned one of its ground cottages, the Captain’s House, into a rentable property. It includes a 20-foot conservatory which overlooks an enclosed garden and offers expansive sea views.
This story originally appeared on Vogue UK.