All the Royal properties you can rent to live like a monarch

Heirbnb! All the Royal properties you can rent to live like a monarch for the week, from cottages at Balmoral to a house at Sandringham

  • The Royal Family owns properties spanning the whole of the United Kingdom
  • Many can be can be rented by the public for holiday homes 
  • READ MORE: Charles paid sister-in-law £400,000 to refurbish holiday cottages 

From Balmoral Castle in the Highlands to Llwynywermod, a small farmhouse in Wales, King Charles has an unrivalled portfolio of properties, regal and rustic.  

And the good news is that you can stay in many of them this summer because the royal estates are embracing holiday lettings in a serious way. 

Often remote, mostly in impeccable taste, the cottages for hire might best be suited to those seeking log-burners, bracing walks and locally sourced rugs.

There are even royal cottages to let in rural Transylvania, boasting antique Romanian furniture, a salty hot tub, mineral pools and freshly restored flower meadows nearby.  

Just don’t expect antique Transylvanian televisions – as the rooms contain nothing more modern than bookshelves…

Charles’s farmhouse, Carmarthenshire

 Welsh idyll: King Charles and the Queen Consort bought the £1.2 million Llwynywermod estate in Carmarthenshire in 2007

The King and Queen Consort spend a couple of weeks a year in the secluded three-bedroom farmhouse on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Two adjoining cottages are available to rent

The Llwynywermod home of King Charles and Camilla in rural Carmarthenshire

The North Range and the West Range cottages adjoining the King’s farmhouse cost from £1,400 to £2,400 per week depending on the time of year

The North Range cottage, pictured here, sleeps six people.  The West Range sleeps four

Ideal for walkers, the two royal rental properties are surrounded by 90-acres of land near the Brecon Beacons National Park

Charles and Camilla spend a couple of weeks a year at their  secluded three-bedroom farmhouse on the Llwynywermod estate in Carmarthenshire.

As Prince of Wales, Charles said it was important to have a home there and spent 40 years finding the right one. 

He bought the £1.2 million estate in 2007 with Camilla, now Queen Consort, including two cottages available to rent.

North Range and West Range, cost between £1,400 to £2,400 a week depending on the time of year.

‘Sitting within a courtyard range adjoining the Welsh royal residence of Llwynywermod, North Range is a charming barn conversion available for occasional holiday lets,’ explains the Llwynywermod website. 

‘North Range forms part of a courtyard attached to Llwynywermod Farmhouse and is beautifully furnished to suit the style of the property, with a mixture of period and contemporary furniture including many Welsh pieces and local fabrics.’ 

Ideal for walkers, the cottages are surrounded by 90-acres of land and a short distance from the Breacon Beacons National Park.

Balmoral Estate, Aberdeenshire

Scottish retreat: Queen Elizabeth loved staying at Balmoral Castle and spent several weeks a year away from royal duties surrounded by her family on the 50,000-acre estate

The public can stay on the Balmoral estate in one of several properties for hire such as Connachat Cottage, pictured here, although only at certain times of the year

The cosy sitting room of Rhebreck Lodge on the Balmoral Estate in the Cairngorms

A bedroom at  Colt Cottages, Balmoral. Some properties are unavailable from August to early October while the Royal Family is visiting 

The exterior at Colt Cottages, one of the most affordable holiday lets. Prices range from £650 a week for a small cottage off-peak to nearly £2000 for a large cottage at Christmas 

The Royal Family have been in love with Balmoral since the days of Victoria and Albert. 

Tucked away in the Cairngorms National Park in Crathie, Aberdeenshire, the 50,000-acre estate was bought by Prince Albert in 1852. 

More recently, It was one of the happiest places for the Queen and Prince Philip, who spent many weeks in the late summer and autumn there. 

Today, members of the public can also stay on the historic estate in Colt Cottages, Connachat Cottage, Karim Cottage, Knocks Cottage, Rhebreck Lodge. Garbh Allt Shiel, Sterinbeg and Tigh Na Garaidh.

The most affordable are the Colt Cottages, near the castle. 

The pricier Rhebreck Lodge is ‘set in a quiet location at Easter Balmoral and enjoys wonderful views across the valley towards Crathie Church.’

All self-catering, the cottages range in price from £645 in the smallest cottage during off peak season to £1975 in one of the larger cottages during the Christmas period. 

In the 2016 documentary, Our Queen at Ninety, Princess Eugenie said: ‘It’s the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.’

 And It was at Balmoral that she died, aged 96, on September 9, 2022.

Castle of Mey, Caithness 

Windswept hideaway: the Castle of Mey near John O’Groats in Caithness, northern Scotland, was owned by Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

The Captain’s House on the Castle of Mey estate offers self-catering stays

The Captain’s House sleeps six  in two double rooms and one twin. The spacious living room is decorated with tasteful furnishings and prints of native seabirds

Prices to stay in the Captain’s House vary from £943 a week in February to £1345 in August

The conservatory affords panoramic views over the Pentland Firth towards  Orkney

Between the Castle and the shoreline, the Granary Lodge was opened in May 2019 as a luxury bed and breakfast complex

Still further north in Scotland sits the Castle of Mey near John O’Groats in Caithness.

The late Queen Mother fell for its isolated charm after hearing it was abandoned. She bought it in 1952, restored it and used the castle as her summer retreat. She made annual visits in summer and autumn until her death in 1996.

The estate has two properties available to the public: The Captain’s House and the luxurious Granary Lodge. 

The Captain’s House is a detached holiday cottage that offers self-catering accommodation.

Previously known as Seaview House, it sleeps six people in two double rooms and one twin.

The home’s conservatory overlooks the garden and offers panoramic views looking north over the Pentland Firth.

The price varies depending on the time of year. 

In February seven nights away would cost £943; in August the price rises to £1345.

Visitors can also stay at the Granary Lodge Bed and Breakfast on the estate, located between the Castle and sea.

This was opened in May 2019 by King Charles. It has 10 bedrooms, including two suites, and uses local ingredients in  its meals. 

The latitude means visitors can sometimes see the Northern Lights and the sunsets are spectacular.

With views out across the Pentland Firth towards Orkney, Mey is the most northerly-inhabited castle on the British mainland.

Her grandson Charles has inherited her love of the windswept castle and makes his own August visits there.   

The Granary Lodge has 10 bedrooms, including two suits, and a luxuriously furnished drawing room. It uses local ingredients in its meals

The Granary was opened by Charles in 2019. He is known as  the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland

Osborne House, Isle of Wight 

Italian palazzo: Osborne House was Queen Victoria’s favourite royal residence. She brought up her nine children on the estate

Grieving Victoria remained at Osborne following the early death of her husband Albert in 1861. She loved to be surrounded by her family  

Osborne House and the estate have been managed by English Heritage since 1986

Queen Victoria’s bedroom at Osborne House. Her son Edward VII sealed off her private rooms. But Queen Elizabeth II allowed the rooms to be opened to the public in 1954

The Council Room at Osborne House. Members of the public can now stay in holiday lets on the estate near Cowes on the Isle of Wight

Pavilion Cottage, overlooking the old cricket pitch, can be hired by visitors to the Osborne estate. It has two bedrooms and sleeps four

Osborne House at Cowes on the Isle of Wight was Queen Victoria’s favourite royal palace. 

She had commissioned an extensive redesign of the estate, which was carried out by leading architect Thomas Cubitt with help from her husband, Prince Albert.

And it was at Osborne, now fashioned into an Italianate Palazzo that she chose to live where possible, bringing up her large family there.  

The sprawling grounds included a private beach, gardens and a full-sized Alpine playhouse for the nine children called Swiss Cottage. 

Today Osborne features holiday lets, including No 1 Sovereign’s Gate and No 2 Sovereign Gate at the formal entrance to the estate.

Each two-bedroom property sleeps four people with a private garden.  

Residents at Sovereign’s Gate have access to the beach at all times, even when it is closed to the general public.

Pavilion Cottage overlooking the old estate cricket ground is also for hire. The two-bedroom cottage, sleeping four, is a short walk from the stately home and its formal garden.

Queen Victoria’s son Edward VII had her private rooms sealed off when she died in 1901.

But in 1954, Victoria’s great great granddaughter Queen Elizabeth opened them to the public, later handing over management of the estate to English Heritage.

Sandringham, Norfolk 

Country retreat: Sandringham House in Norfolk has important memories for the Windsors. For generations, the family has spent Christmas there. Sandringham is also where the King’s grandfather, George VI, passed away

The Garden House on the Sandringham estate has been advertised for rent on Airbnb

Once home to the head gardener, it could be rented for £354 a night earlier this year

The Garden House was described on Airbnb as a ‘charming hideaway, owned by HM The Queen, nestled within the heart of her much-loved Sandringham Estate country retreat’ 

The property is ‘furnished eclectically from the Royal Collection, all the furniture and pictures were once housed in a royal residence’

The Garden House was once the home of Her Majesty’s head gardener at Sandringham.  

But in the early autumn, before the Queen’s death, the house, which sleeps eight,  was made available to the public and advertised on Airbnb.

Decorated with furniture and artwork owned by the Royal Family, it was described as a ‘charming hideaway, owned by HM The Queen, nestled within the heart of her much-loved Sandringham Estate country retreat and the closest estate property to Sandringham House itself.  

‘Furnished eclectically from the Royal Collection, all the furniture and pictures were once housed in a royal residence.

 ‘As well as the formal walled garden with its wonderfully stocked beds and borders in which the property sits, there is a more informal garden where you can relax in and children and dogs are safe to run and play.’

At the time, the Garden House could be rented for £354 in February for a minimum of three nights. It is not currently available 

Charles’s hideaway, Transylvania 

King Charles’s traditional homes in Valea Zalanului, Transylvania, Romania

The 400-year-old cottages have been fitted with antique Transylvanian furniture, and textiles

The rooms are in impeccably traditional style – and there is no television

You don’t have to stay within the UK to rent a royal property, however.

King Charles also owns  property in Transylvania, Romania.

There is a family connection, also. Charles’s maternal great-great-great-grandmother Klaudia Rhedey was born and brought up in the region. Hungarian-speaking Klaudia married into German royalty and was styled the Princess of Teck.

(Queen Mary of Teck, her granddaughter, was wife to George V and Charles’s great grandmother.) 

Charles bought the  estate in Valea Zalanului, Szeklerland, in the 1990s and now  rents it out as a nature retreat to those wanting to explore the Zalán Valley and the surrounding mountains.

The guest house is situated near to the village of Viscri, surrounded by the The 400-year-old cottages have been decorated with traditional antique Transylvanian furniture, and textiles.

There are no televisions or radios in any of the rooms, just books.  

Guests are expected to dine together .

There are daily activities departing from the guest house, including horse riding, walks through a wildflower meadow named after Prince George and trips to the nearby mineral pools.  

The King has paid numerous visits, setting up the Prince of Wales Foundation, Romania to support the development of farming, traditional skills and the preservation of historic buildings through training.

Prices range from around £100 to £300 a night depending on the size of room and whether or not guests have chosen full or half-board.

Holiday cottages, the West Country

The King has a number of smaller cottages around the United Kingdom, including the Guard House on St Mary’s in the Scilly Isles 

Inside the four bedroom Tamarisk guest house on the Isles of Scilly 

The Windsors have a portfolio of smaller cottages for hire, many dotted around the UK coast, including in Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly.

Several of these belong to the Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate caring for around 54,521 hectares of land in 23 counties, but mostly in the South West of England. Today this is owned by Prince William. 

In Cornwall, 28 properties are available for holiday rent, ranging from smaller one bed places, suitable for a couple, to larger properties, such as the sixteenth century Restormel Manor in Lostwithiel which is situated in unspoilt countryside at the head of the beautiful Fowey valley.

In 2010, before her marriage to Prince William, Kate Middleton and her family paid £3,000 to prospective father-in-law, then Prince Charles, for staying at Restormel over Christmas. 

The Middletons spent several days at the 500-year-old manor, which has a heated swimming pool, tennis courts and nine bedrooms.

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