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“Mixture of 'stunning' and 'mercenary'.”
Review of Peckforton Castle

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Peckforton Castle
Certificate of Excellence
Shrewsbury
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Mixture of 'stunning' and 'mercenary'.”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Just returned from a short stay, - Sunday pm until Tuesday am, following an 'offer' from the Daily Telegraph's 'handpicked' series. There are a few items which could quickly and easily be improved with very little effort. On one's first visit, it's not obvious that arrivees can drive straight into the castle yard through the main gate to book in and unload baggage. A valet service parks your car. There IS a sign to that effect which almost everyone misses as they politely drive down to the car park. We saw many people heaving heavy bags up a stiff, quite long slope to the castle unnecessarily, and roundly cursing at the 'you may drive up' sign by the castle gate!
Our accommodation was excellent, immaculate, spotless and 'fresh', -bathroom being particularly 'swish'. The Mem thought the room lighting, even with everything on, was way too dull, and reading was a struggle. -It's probably more the EU's ridiculous energy saving bulbs causing this, but proper bulbs at the bedsides would really help.
Staff throughout were friendly and helpful. Reception, knowledgeable and just a little starchy and businesslike, but that's not a complaint.
The various activities available including archery at £25/hour, 'birds of prey experience' at OVER £100/hour, and the Land Rover mud-plug at £650(!) per day were all hideously over priced, which explained why all those activities were apparently unused. There's a skegway lark-about at £30/hr. which did have some takers, though.
The DT 'deal' which we were on, was for dinner for two, both nights, and with breakfast on both mornings for £250. While breakfast was served in the '1851' restaurant, the evening meals were in the Brasserie. Wine was, as is fairly usual, marked up viciously to over £5 a glass, (a whole boddel is just £4, RETAIL, in ASDA!), but the meals even from the restricted Brasserie menu, were A1. As we were only staying 2 nights variety wasn't particularly important, and we had different selections on the second evening. We were surprised to find 'desserts' had been charged on the second night at over £11, and were assured by reception on check-out that the meals were 2 courses only, -although I've yet to find quite where that was stipulated. Other people we met later had discrepancies on their bills and were heading back to remonstrate.
The chef is clearly an artist as well as a damned good chef, and presentation was peerless. The 'desserts' I didn't expect to be surcharged for was very tasty but ridiculously small, about an inch and a half square!
Despite this, we had a good coupla days, thanks to glorious spring sunshine and the proximity of Runcorn's stunning shopping centre, where the Mem dispensed wealth to numerous shops and emerged smiling!
As a wedding venue I would imagine the castle would take some beating, but I have no idea about any other bedrooms of course, but if they're comparable with our one, they should be excellent, too.
Before booking for a wedding, I would suggest a fact-finding visit and some serious haggling.
The car-park area resembled a Mercedes owners' club rally with a dozen Audis thrown in, -they seem give the impression that owners are wild free-spenders, with more money than sense. Everything is done to slim their wallets down as quickly as possible.
One other example of perceived over-pricing. -Recently in Llandrindod Wells we had a very exotic afternoon cream tea for two, with excellent 'finger sandwiches' loads of cakes, etc with Earl Gray of course, costing £15 for two persons. Believe me it was more than amply generous. The almost identical tea at the castle costs £15 EACH. Seems greedy to me, so check prices first.

Room Tip: Check out the 3 rooms served by the lift right next to the Brasserie entrance door, and make sure yo...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Rollobenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you for your extensive review. Good to read that on the whole you enjoyed your time with us. I do not agree that products or services are overpriced, we regularly carry out audits of competitor properties to ensure we remain competitively priced. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back again soon.
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English first
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We also booked, like others reviewing here through Secret Escapes and we had planned touring around Cheshire down into Shropshire and back home over a week, but a family emergency took us off to the south coast at the very last minute. As we had paid Secret Escapes 'up-front' there was no refund nor re-negotiating, but the hotel allowed us to re-book so long as it was a Sunday evening - thanks to the hotel for the re-negotiation.
The welcome was friendly and efficient, we actually arrived early and I thought too early to book in but the hotel allowed us into the room to drop bags off etc. Others had the same idea because as we booked in a queue developed behind us, probably people who had booked the Spa treatments too. Despite being first in the queue the room we were allocated was one of two rooms situated behind the reception and lounge area (Ground Floor 1 & Ground Floor 2 [GF1 / GF2]), there must have been others. I'd advise avoiding these two rooms as there is no view but worse, when the restaurant is open the internet bookers are seated in the back part of the 1851 restaurant and the kitchen door is also here right above the room we were in, consequently all through the evening the waiting on staff (although polite, efficient, attentive and lithe) sounded like a herd of Wilderbeast. The noise started again as they came in for the breakfast service at 06.00hrs. We had also been automatically booked in for dinner at 18.00hrs, which was earlier than we would have liked the reception told us they were too busy in the restaurant to accomodate any later, eventually agreeing to 18.30hrs, we were first in and sat alone for best part of an hour before other guest arrived, I'm not convinced they couldn't have accommodated us later?
Apart from the noise of the foot-traffic above, the room was great, luxurious and very comfortable (there is no view really from GF1 & GF2 as they look out onto the front lawn but at head height.
I would disagree with other reviewers here that there is nothing to do, its in open countryside and there is plenty to do if you spend time in the countryside. The hotel offers archery, the birds of prey which do free-flight displays periodically, the Land Rover Experience (off road driving skills) and the Peckforton Hills form part of the 'Sandstone Trail' which offers good walking, running, mountain biking, bouldering and some limited climbing in parts (but its red sandstone) and as an area of 'Special Scientific Interest' offers loads of opportunities for photography - I've entered a couple of shots of the area in the Country File Calendar competition before now. Chester & Wrexham are within easy travel distance by car, and Delamere Forest to the north (7 miles or so) offers loads more including serious mountain biking and concerts through the year, there is also descent fishing around the area.
The castle has had in order of £1.7m spent on it bringing it to current day standards from being neglected before 2000, despite an arson attack in 2011 the phoenix is back!
I thoroughly enjoyed my over-nighter although the menu was restricted to the Table d'hote (we were offered the 'a la carte' menu at an unbelievable supplement, the portions were small being 'Nouvelle cuisine' (even a knat would have been looking for the nearest Kebab House [its in Tarporley village if this helps], but the food was well cooked and delicious.
Apart from the noise of the foot traffic in the restaurant and the size of the portions an enjoyable stay and I'll go back, but in a different room.
Coincidently, we tried to book some Spa treatments after we booked the deal with 'Secret Escapes' and this collective cost would have been much more costly than booking a deal direct with the hotel themselves!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Les G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to post a review. I was glad to read how much you enjoyed your visit but sorry to read that you were disturbed by noise from above your room. We have taken steps to add additional soundproofing to these ground floor bedrooms. Hope to see you back soon.
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We stayed at this hotel for one night on the 5th of march, room 108.
As you enter the giant stone arch at the bottom of the drive you just feel like your entering a different world, after driving for a few minutes up through wooded land you come across an opening where you see the castle/hotel. i have to say for us it sure did have the 'WOW' factor.
This was a treat for me from my partner as a romantic break, being nearly 8 months pregnant i was so looking forward to it.
We we're not disappointed, it was very impressive on first sight and carried on as you walked into the front grounds and the hotel. they do offer free valet parking, which for us was a real winner, although unfortunately we didn't get to use it when we first arrived as there was a huge coach blocking the entrance to the reception, the car park wasn't that far away, so we parked and took a slow stroll up. The birds or prey and owls are out on display most of the day so we got to see these beautiful birds on the walk to reception.
The welcome you get here was one of big smiles, and friendly staff, definitely a warm welcome. in fact all the staff we met and passed by in this hotel we're very friendly and always acknowledged you with a hello. Our room was stunning! a huge comfortable bed, with huge stone fire place, very impressed. we ate in the brasserie for dinner, great service, great starter, and nice sized portions, i chose the fish tho which wasn't very nice, very bland, very disappointing, i did mention it to them, so hopefully they have changed the fish. but apart from that the food was lovely.
Breakfast was i have to say, fabulous, a nice setting above reception with well laid out tables and a large selection on food, hot and cold. the girls up there we're also very friendly and chatty. We checked out with out problems and managed to take advantage of the valet parking, brilliant. i just loved this hotel and would love to stay here again.
Thank you Peckforton Castle,

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank chloe q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you for the rave review! So good to read what a lovely stay you had with us and that the team stood out for their warmth and friendliness. We very much hope you find an excuse to visit again soon.
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Warrington, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Just Celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary with Afternoon Tea at Peckforton Castle.
It was our first visit and it certainly delivered the wow factor from start to finish.
Stunning Castle, fantastic grounds and a really fantastic welcoming.
Would really recommend a visit for a romantic or special occasion, we will certainly return for another visit soon. Our afternoon tea was a real treat with some really fantastic sandwiches and caskes. Hopefully our next visit will include staying overnight as the hotel looks fantastic.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Keith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thanks for the fab review, hope to see you again soon.
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cheshire
2 reviews
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Went to Peckforton Castle last night for an awards ceremony with' Avon'.Hotel was beautiful and very clean.Staff were very polite and attentive.Food was to a high standard.Only problem we had was a wobbly table which the staff sorted for us.Had a delightful evening and would reccommend to family & friends.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank janus2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Glad you enjoyed the Avon awards dinner and that found the castle and staff to be of a high standard. Hope to welcome you back soon on a leisure basis.
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Epsom, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This was our first stay at this property, and it came highly recommended by the Secret Escapes newsletter. The castle itself is very impressive, in a stunning remote location, built in the mid-1800's. It reopened a couple years ago, after a seemingly quite expensive remodeling.
The staff was very welcoming and helpful, our room tidy and clean, with great views. Free WiFi throughout the property, which helped since mobile phone signal was almost non-existent.

The "spa" turns out to be nothing more than 3 little treatment rooms. No pool/sauna/steam room etc.

As other guests had noted, nothing much to do, other than the Land Rover experience tours and occasional shows with birds of prey (they are kept at the castle). We ended up hiking to nearby Beeston castle (which, unfortunately, was closed at this time of the year).

Overall, good value for the price we paid, and an unforgettable experience, albeit not not at the level you ought to expect from something called a "castle".

Room Tip: If you're not part of a wedding, try to get a room as far away as possible from the main hall.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you for your post. Glad to read you enjoyed your visit. We are currently planning for an extension to the spa area, which will include jacuzzi and sauna, with this being complete by the simmer months. This will no doubt add to our fantastic facilities.
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Chester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Romantic hotel set in Cheshire countryside. Fine dining albeit a little expensive. Friendly/helpful staff. Our room was pleasant but noise from floor above was annoying. Unless you have booked one of the on site activities there is nothing else to do. It is crying out for leisure facilities

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael A, General Manager at Peckforton Castle, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Thanks for the review. Good to read you enjoyed your stay and I agree, we would very much like to develop full leisure facilities and are working toward this goal.
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Additional Information about Peckforton Castle

Property: Peckforton Castle
Address: Stone House Lane, Tarporley CW6 9TN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cheshire > Tarporley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Tarporley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Peckforton Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Peckforton Castle - An enchanting Hotel in the heart of Cheshire. Rising majestically above the Cheshire landscape, the castle is both enigmatic and enchanting. Originally the home of Lord Tollemache and built in the early 19th Century, this Grade I listed building is the only intact medieval style Castle in the country. Over the years the castle has been the location for numerous movies including Robin Hood and Dr Who. Now owned by the Naylor family, the stunning exterior has been complemented by a loving and considered restoration programme resulting in a magnificent hotel and venue offering contemporary luxury and impeccable service. Services include 48 stunning individual guest rooms, conference, events, and wedding facilities for up to 180. Tranquility beauty, on site Falconry and team activities all adding up to a rather magical experience. Dining at the Castle truly is a special occasion, welcoming the public as well as hotel guests. The 1851 Restaurant offers a dining experience fit for royalty. Holder of 3 AA Rosettes and a Taste Cheshire Award. Alternatively the more informal and cosmopolitan 2010 Brasserie, located in the former scullery of the castle, features many of the amazing features of the original scullery including two cast iron cooking ranges dating back to the 1840's. Peckforton Castle's enchanting medieval style beauty and stunning location make it a truly impressive and desirable venue for weddings, christenings, birthday parties, or just about anything that's worth celebrating. Everything plays a part; the fabulous setting, stunning location, the attentive service and smiling faces, the bespoke menus and decorations. A magnificent venue for conferencing and meetings. Within the medieval walls, old and new combine seamlessly to offer state of the art multi media and conference facilities. Captivating on arrival, Peckforton Castle's unspoilt, natural beauty will stimulate and motivate, delight the eye, inspire the mind, tantalise the taste buds and leave you enchanted. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peckforton Castle Hotel Tarporley
Peckforton Castle Tarporley, Cheshire, UK

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