It’s been almost two whole month since we checked into Ruthin Castle, located in the quaint little town of Ruthin, tucked away in the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings of North Wales. All week we had been a little sceptical about our trip with the heavy snow that had hit at the weekend, and wreaked havoc on many regions of the UK; North Wales particularly. Fortunately, the roads were all gritted, and mostly cleared, and there was no further snow forecasted. So the trip went ahead as planned.
That morning, we left our daughter in the hands of her Mamgu (welsh for Grandma), and we set off on our adventure up north. The Brecon Beacons looked spectacular, topped with pristine, glistening white snow. Driving to North Wales through a magical winter wonderland made the journey feel really quite special, and accompanied with lots of ‘oooo’s and ‘ahhhh’s.
Upon arrival we were impressed with the gorgeous entrance display- two galant stone lions, and a velvet red carpet leading into the lobby, and main reception area. We were quickly greeted with a warm welcoming smile, and a sit down, person centred check-in, with a lovely, very well presented lady, who actually revealed that she was new to the team, though you wouldn’t have been able to tell! She was ace. Once the details of our stay were confirmed, and we were given a quick, but efficient run down of the castle facilities and local amenities, we were directed into the lift; a gorgeous, diamond grip, cage style vintage lift. (Think Titanic)
Trist had booked us a standard double, but once we entered our room, it was clear that nothing about it was standard. We aren’t strangers to staying in hotels, but I can safely say that this was the biggest room we have ever had the pleasure of staying in. The spacious room boasted a humongous queen size bed, a dressing table complete with a huge light illuminated mirror, an en-suit, and all the furnishings.
The interior remained fitting to the hotels Georgian theme, and the whole castle felt very grand and rather royal. Staring out the bay windows and looking down at the grounds, I could visualise the scenes from Beauty and The Beast of the Beast & Belle frolicking in the remnants of snow. It was an enchanting place, and I can only imagine how magical their special events and banquets must be. (Ever hopeful we may return to enjoy one of these one day- I’ve seen they do a Game of Thrones, and a Harry Potter evening!? 😍.) After settling in, we decided to check out the hotel facilities, downstairs, in the Moat Spa. The gym facilities were better than we’d anticipated. Hotel gyms are pretty hit or miss, but this one, though small, had all the essentials. There were a variety of resistance training machines, including a double cable cage, and leg extension and curl. There was also a free weights section, with dumbbells varying from light to heavy. As well as this, there were kettle bells, medicine balls and weighted sand bags, so I was able to get a decent leg & shoulder session in, whilst my other half, did a cardio session on the rowing machine, which was closely accompanied by a couple of treadmills and cross trainers. This cute little gym had all you need for a good training session of any kind. Unfortunately, I was having far too much fun to remember to actually photograph the facilities, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, or visit their website here, to sneak a closer look!
Post workout, what better way to relax than a session in the sauna. The traditional Sauna was spacious, and inviting, centred around a large barrel of heating stones and oozing a warm, fresh pine scent. Saunas are a great way to flush toxins from the body, as well as relaxing your muscles, making them a sure fire way to leave you feeling rejuvenated. The Moat spa boasted a sense of tranquility throughout, and was everything a spa should be. You completely forgot that you were in a medieval castle.
Back in our room and feeling very much at home, and relaxed, we decided to enjoy a bit of quality time just relaxing and knowing we did have to be responsible mum & dad tonight. So pop, went the champagne cork, and on went the taps in the very generously sized bath tub in our en suit. Being a parent is the best job in the world, but it’s important to make time to just be a couple sometimes. So much of our lives revolve around being mummy and daddy now, and I can totally understand why so many relationships struggle in the first few years of parenthood, but I think one of the most beneficial things you can do for your family and your relationship, is to make time for each other and enjoy the company of the person you fell in love with in the first place. If you’re a parent, I’m sure that probably makes sense to you? Anywho, we were able to soak in the bath tub, in a sea of delicious smelling bubble bath, complimentary of the hotel, sipping on champers, having a decent conversation, and enjoying a bit of Netflix, without any interruptions.
That evening, we got ourselves dressed up, and headed out into the small town of Ruthin. We had no plan, but we were in a new place, and wanted to explore the surroundings. The castle path was beautifully lit up with old fashioned lamp posts, and their was a definite festive chill in the air. The stone arch at the entrance of the castle grounds, was entwined with thick ivy, and glistening icicle fairy lights. The air was cold, but our hearts were aglow with the spirit of Christmas, and the magic of the setting. The little town of Ruthin, and it’s cobbled pavements, was elegantly lit with Christmas lights, and amber glowing windows of the various public houses, and restaurants that were open. The shops, now closed, seemed largely to be of a boutique, eclectic variety. When we head up north in the future, I’d love to explore them in the day, as they looked so cute and cosy from the windows. Anyway, we eventually settled upon a Wetherspoons pub, and headed in for a few drinks. We umm’ed and err’ed at the menu for some time, before deciding, we’d rather enjoy our magnificent fort for the evening, and headed back to the castle for dinner.
As it was a Thursday evening, it seemed that any other guests we crossed paths with, were staying on a business basis, and were very much keeping to themselves, so it was as if we really did have the castle to ourselves. We had the option of eating in Bertie’s Restaurant or The Library Bar, but as Bertie’s was offering an A La Carte menu, and we were both feeling particularly ravenous, we instead opted for The Library Bar. I had fully intended to go the whole hog, and enjoy a full three courses, but after my delicious calamari starter (pictured) I barely made a dent in my homemade beef burger main. Fortunately, I married a human dustbin, so their was no food left to waste.
We remained and enjoyed our food along with several drinks from the cosy bar in the Library, taking in the grand decor, and excitedly discussing plans and generally happily soaking up each others company, away from our daily stresses of work and balancing a million things at once. Naturally our conversation turned to our darling daughter on several occasions, but have you seen her?! She’s a bloomin’ marvel. And this was our first night away from her in months. We were missing her.
As the evening drew out, and our words turned to happy slurs, we decided to head up to our room; that ridiculously comfortable queen sized bed calling our names. And within about 2 minutes of our heads hitting the pillow we were snoring. It really was a whole new level of comfort. I think it was the best nights sleep we’d probably had in weeks.
The following morning, as the light drew in through the curtains, we woke up, feeling surprisingly fresh, but despite agreeing that we’d properly explore Ruthin town today, we both agreed we’d rather get on the road sooner so as to be reunited with our little lady sooner. So, we enjoyed our continental breakfasts consisting of a huge array of options; pastries, fruit, yoghurts, cereals, cooked breakfast, antipastos, and cheeses, (There really was something for everyone) and we headed out into the castle grounds to explore our magical escape by the light of day.
By now the snow had all but melted, but that didn’t detract from the beauty in our surroundings. The air felt crisp and fresh. At the rear of the hotel portion of the castle, were remnants of the original structure, now covered in moss and grass. Peacocks roamed the gardens, and the beautiful North Waleian mountains sparkled, still topped with snow in the distance.
As we pulled down the drive way, we both agreed that we felt a little sad to be leaving, after feeling so at home and welcome in this beautiful castle, that had we had our daughter with us, we would definitely have stayed for an additional evening.
Ruthin Castle has left its print on our hearts, and we have agreed that we would definitely like to return there again very soon. If you are looking for romance and something with a hint of magic and prestige, look no further than Ruthin Castle.
Thank you for having us Ruthin! See you soon!
Lots of love