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“Could be a Gem but run by amateurs”
Review of Bickleigh Castle

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Bickleigh Castle
Ranked #3 of 4 Bickleigh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Could be a Gem but run by amateurs”
Reviewed 17 May 2014

Booked through a KBB Deal, just as well because full price would have felt like robbery! the location is beautiful with a castle with history attached (great tour given), reception was OK and we had the room with en suite in the cottage. Unfortunately the room was rather dirty and full of cobwebs in and around the fire place and from the ceiling. the 21st century attempt at electrics and electronics need to be tidied up, the TV and kettle don't need to look like an after thought. Breakfast OMG, COBWEBS hanging over the table where the self serve table was we where served breakfast by the resident Gardener/in keeper (bar was not open due to few guests) and now chef (what a man) the cooked breakfast however was really good, all we can say is in the right hands this could be a Gem!

Room Tip: only one room has an en suite so book early if that's important otherwise you have a communal ba...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank shankly1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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341 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

This is a four star location and wonderful historical setting. Rooms are a bit tired but they are located in ancient thatched cottages so I make allowances. Staff were friendly but untrained.
Breakfast arrangements were ghastly. Budget supermarket sliced toast and marmalade sachets with average coffee is not good enough....even for a café!
It is not cheap....and it is not worth it.....must try harder

Room Tip: find somewhere else to stay...........
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bobbydazzler199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

A very unusual holiday location. We've just returned from a 3 night stay at this amazing place. The castle has an amazing history and this is being continued with the current owners. It a beautiful wedding venue with accommodation in thatched cottages. The rooms are individually decorated in keeping with the accommodation and the bedding is Egyptian cotton an added bonus. Although only a bed and breakfast venue there a plenty local eateries that are supported by the guests from the castle.
We would recommend the castle to anyone who likes quirky accommodation, a bit of history, and walking

Room Tip: Better to visit in late spring, summer or autumn.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

I purchased Amazon Local Voucher, and booked one double room at the end of April by calling the hotel making sure the room is available. A couple of days ago, I had a message to my mobile to say they have booked a big wedding that weekend (same weekend I booked), so I had to change my booking. I was annoyed about this as I confirmed with the hotel that my original booking was accepted. I suggested another weekend, they said they are not available. So I suggested another weekend as I saw the rooms were available on their website. They came back to me to say the weekend is also not available. They blamed the company control the room booking was not updating promptly. They suggested to book weekdays which I didn't want to book. They said I could get refund from Amazon if I didnt want to book a room weekdays. My husband and I were really annoyed with their attitude torwards us. Basically, they kicked us out from the booking becuase they had a better offer. I don't recomend this hotel to anyone. I will not even consider to visit this hotel in future. I can believe some bad comments about this hotel in Tripadvisor.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank M0M02014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

My wife and I just had a most exceptionally wonderful and charming stay at Bickleigh Castle. In all sincerity, our stay, for the price we paid, could not have been better. Nonetheless I write this review partly because I am incensed by two comparatively recent reviewers, who seem particularly to demand from paying a bargain price, no less than "six star service etc."!? Alas, as is ever so true, some people just can't be pleased at any price.

Bickleigh castle, unquestionably (at least to those of us still in the real world) provides the most exceptional value for money - and all the more so, if you've managed to come on a voucher deal, as we did. Having said that, few hotels at the price we paid come even close to sharing barely half of the charm that Bickleigh most enchantingly offers. Perhaps it might even be clichéd to say as much, nonetheless - we truly were treated like 'treasured guests'; yet, if I strayed from saying so, it just wouldn't be true: so yes, indeed, we were very much made to feel *that* welcome by most members of staff. Oh, and lest this reviewer forgets - animal lovers take note: you'll find that the most friendly of our furry friends abound at this property!!

But back to one of the recent, and may I ever so accurately say 'absurd' complaints below. That is, one recent reviewer, I note complained, actually, I should better put that as ridiculously complained - that there were no check in staff when they arrived. Well, our experience could not have been more different: I informed them on booking that "we'd arrive at approx 3pm", but because we got sidetracked at Stonehenge, we actually arrived late, at a little before 5pm. Was that a problem? Not in the slightest! Were we made to feel unwelcome in any respect? Again, not even in the slightest! We didn't even have to ring any bell. Instead, a member of staff "D" (& thank you D!) was patiently expecting our arrival and could not have been more friendly nor charming (despite our lateness) as she showed us to our most delightful, tastefully decorated, most wonderfully cosy 'cottage ensconced' sleeping quarters; which I might add were serenely tucked away at the ground floor rear of one of their mews.

Which now also brings me to take on another recent reviewer, who claimed some insufferable 'cods-wallop' about the room's being "too cold"!?? I jest you not! Well, I first read that on the day prior to our arrival, and it worried me. At least, at first it did. The reality, however, is altogether a different story. I can assure you all that to say the rooms are too cold is akin to saying that "Xmas falls in mid July". Why? Because rooms are fitted out with (around 1700 watts of) electric convector heaters - the type of heater which heats so effectively, they will warm any room to sub-tropical temperatures within ten minutes. Hence I called his criticism what it truly is: insufferable codswallop. And believe me, when I say "sub tropical" you can read the rest of my reviews to very much realise that my wife and I do just happen to know what that description means!

With that being said, enough about the wayward naysayers. A wonderful start to our stay followed as we initially marvelled at both the tastefully decorated interior as well as the cleanliness of the room and its adjoining bathroom. As a fitting side-note, complimentary tea, coffee, bottled mineral water and even 'biccies' were in our room. There are plenty of towels and other welcome sundries too. It's the little details like these which all help in adding up to make staying at Bickleigh one of the bargains of this century. The room's double bed was extremely comfortable, being of medium firmness, with duvet and fresh smelling blankets a plenty. Again, all was absolutely superb for this price bracket. No musty smells, no flickering tv sets, no faulty windows, nor patchy mobile reception, not even a half hearted cobweb could ruin out stay at Bickleigh Castle! And... the bathroom was exceptionally clean too, fitted out with 'his' and 'hers' sinks - which is always a welcome design, esp when competing with the misses vis-a-vis our morning ablutions.

Let it be remembered: At all times during our stay we resoundingly felt that Bickleigh Castle is the kind of venue where every guest is made to feel absolutely welcome at all times. For example, my wife, being a very keen and budding gastronome, had espied that the estate was teeming with (when cooked) sumptuously tasty wild garlic, and so she ever so cheekily asked if we could pick a little to bring back to London. Was that a problem? Not in the slightest - moreover, we were told, in the most friendly way, simply to help ourselves to as much as we liked. So, with all thanks both to my lovely wife and the most generously accommodating staff at Bickleigh Castle I can now declare that almost every night since we've departed, I've been tucking into my wife's Thai style wild garlic creations.

The only downsides we noted, were owing more to the presence of others than to anyone at Bickleigh Castle itself. For example, in the ground floor room of our appointed cottage, those staying above us were evidently up, alive and undoubtedly 'in semi perpetual motion' (read: stomping around their room) from 4AM onwards. Good for them. However, being a light sleeper, they definitely disturbed my sleep, as sound alas can sometimes seem to pass between floors quite easily; albeit, not enough to hear distinct words, but enough that you could easily tell when someone was talking or watching tv above you. I must stress again that such was not the fault of the hotel, and had guests simply been a little more aware of those underneath them, then I'm sure we'd have had no such problems to report at all. But I must, in my review, declare all. Happily that also means - on the second night's stay, it was a totally different and most relaxed sleep which we shared- i.e., once that couple had checked out. Anyway, the point of this extremely minor criticism is to let you know that if you're also a light sleeper, do definitely choose to stay at Bickleigh Castle; however it might be wise also to bring some earplugs - just in case you're also below some (dare I say it) 'less than considerate' others, alternatively you might declare as much on booking (which, alas, I admit now that I didn't do in advance...) so that their staff can make every effort to ensure that you've no similar problems. Then again, other guests notwithstanding, you are staying in a countryside setting in rural devon, so it would be reasonable to expect that you might, at the very least, just hear 'Mr. Cockadoodledoo' announce the sun's perpetual re-appearance o'er the horizon each morning. Don't get me wrong - we very much treasure the sounds of the awakening countryside each morning, but frankly It's far nicer to be woken by other guests - no earlier than sunrise... please? Perhaps bear such in mind, particularly if you're coming from a comparatively soundless, suburban cul-de-sac! A last criticism can be put this way: Wireless internet is (at least when it's working well) provided by BT. Again, any vagaries to do with internet connectivity are more to do with BT itself - in its rural incarnation as an 'ISP', than to any fault of the castle's denizens. So, when it worked it worked fine, and I'll just say no more. Then again, this is really an idyllic rural escape, so fellow city dwellers - please prepare to just forget about: the internet, a certain minority of other guests, and mobile reception and instead - just visit Bickleigh Castle to full on enjoy yourselves.

To conclude: we strongly recommend you stay here as a couple. Rural escapes don't get much better than this and certainly not at the price we paid: Wonderful. Wonderful and wonderful. That's how we would and do describe our recent stay in three unashamedly repetitive words. As for Devon itself, it's arguably one of the most appealingly beautiful counties in the whole of England. What's more, there is just so much to do and see within miles of Bickleigh. We'd love to return someday soon - both to Bickleigh Castle and to Devon. Just before I sign off - thank you again Good sir ("J") for your most engaging and interesting tour of the castle, grounds and chapel, which we so very much enjoyed on the morning of our departure. It really left us in perfect form for our journey home.

Room Tip: Rooms are wonderful. Nonetheless I recommend that light sleepers either choose an upper floor room i...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheSpiceOfLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
somerset, england
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

This has to be the best groupon deal I've ever had, a delightful place in a superb location with friendly owners & staff. We stayed for 2 nights with complimentary continental breakfast. Although called Bickleigh castle it looks more like a Hall or grand gatehouse, however it's still very impressive and has a really interesting history. The accommodation however is not in the 'castle' but are rooms & suites in several quaint and historic thatched cottages next to it.
I can see why weddings are popular here as whole groups can share a cottage. We visited on a Monday so luckily had a cottage almost to ourselves, not sure what it's like if all rooms are occupied?
This place is more quaint country cottage b&b than contemporary boutique hotel, so don't expect that. However if you want to completely get away from it all in wonderful surroundings, this place is perfect. Our 2 nights felt like a whole week, loved it! Take an hour out for the castle tour and see the chapel, so interesting.

Take ear plugs as windows on listed cottages means birds wake you at 5am.
Also some beds have fancy wrought iron bedsteads if over 6ft as husband is, you will get feet tangled up.

We ate in the evening at both fishermans cot - substantial and tasty pub grub and the trout in - slightly more upmarket (hence expensive) but go early as by time we got there things were dissapearing off daily menu. You can walk or 2 min drive to both.

Room Tip: Room 14 - family suite with own staircase. 1 double room & opposite a room with 2 singles with a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pipsy589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield/South Yorkshire
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We visited for a two night stay on a voucher deal. Check in was after 3.30 and we arrived at 3.35. After ringing the bell numerous times,banging on the door and even entering all accessible areas shouting for a member of staff, a young girl of about 13 finally came to reception at 4pm! The proprietor arrived back from his walk about the same time and checked us in. The young girl then showed us to our accommodation which was in a separate building and a block of approx 12 rooms. We had a large ground floor room which was a bit of a miss match to say the least. The young girl informed us that we had one of the newly refurbished bathrooms. The bathroom had twin sinks and a lovely large shower cubicle but the ceilings in the room and bathroom had spiders and cobwebs hanging from them. The bed was clean and comfortable although the bedspread had seen better days and had holes in it. Also on the ground floor was a communal kitchen with an iron and worktop fridges. It was really dirty and the only thing in the fridge was a mouldy carton of milk.Breakfast the next morning was continental and adequate and my husband decided to opt for the full English at a £5 supplement . The food was freshly cooked and the breakfast staff were lovely. We then opted for the complimentary tour of the castle which was very interesting and informative. The location of the castle is wonderful, very tranquil and picturesque.The place should be an absolute gold mine and I'm sure it would be if they paid more attention to detail and cleanliness.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Foxiedebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bickleigh C, Guest Relations Manager at Bickleigh Castle, responded to this review, 3 May 2014
Firstly, apologies for the difficult check-in. We will try to ensure closer communication/information for guests arriving at weekends, but it is unusual to have the problems mentioned. The Castle is a big area and so it is worth mentioning for the sake of all readers that Reception is in the top-left corner or our central courtyard (as shown on the aerial photograph on the home page of our website); there is a bell-push on the outer door and another on the counter just inside. You can bring your car into the courtyard on arrival for unloading possessions.

Most of our cottages are thatched, and thatch unfortunately attracts spiders, so we can be hard-pressed sometimes to keep them to the eaves. They are very tiny - nothing scary. It is a hazard of country life, unfortunately.
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Additional Information about Bickleigh Castle

Property: Bickleigh Castle
Address: Bickleigh, Bickleigh EX16 8RP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Bickleigh
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Bickleigh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Bickleigh Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Bickleigh Castle Romance and History in Union.Situated on the Devon and Somerset border, in rolling countryside within its 30 acre Estate, it’s hard to believe it is just minutes away from Junction 27 and Tiverton Parkway train station.Bickleigh Castle is not only a gorgeous Devon wedding venue, it also caters for conferences and seminars and offers Bed and Breakfast accommodation throughout the year in its romantic buildings and traditional, thatched cottages.This fabulous wedding Castle also offers exclusive use for a get together with friends and family, birthday parties, private dining, anniversaries, retirement parties or reunions. Bickleigh Castle offers you the unique and magical experience of living with your guests in a 11th Century castle.Enter through the 17th Century, Italian wrought Iron Gates to discover the romantic and fascinating history that abounds in this magnificent 11th Century Castle and it's Estate, through which the River Exe also winds its way.Within the moated grounds, Bickleighs’ 6th Century Chapel stands today as it did all those years ago, probably the oldest building in the County and where, our married couples receive their blessing.This listed Grade One Castle exudes a rich and intimate atmosphere with its history echoed in its wonderful romantic heritage, regal Great Hall and elegant Tudor Bridal Suite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bickleigh Castle Hotel Bickleigh
Bickleigh Castle Devon

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