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“Convenient Location”
Review of Bickleigh Castle

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Bickleigh Castle
Ranked #3 of 4 Bickleigh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Northamptonshire, UK
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Convenient Location”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

We took advantage of an Amazon deal giving us a two night stay for £99. I'd say it was value for money for a basic bed and breakfast although talking to the proprietor I got the impression they though they had under sold it. The deal appears to have very popular, so much so that I was hard pressed to find a suitable date to redeem the offer. One unsatisfactory issue I would raise is that there was a £40 extra charge for staying at the weekend. I don't see how it costs 40% extra to sleep in a bed on a Saturday? Especially since we could get availability on a weekend. With the actual final cost being £149 I would say it was as much as I would like to pay.

The location is very good, putting you approx 30 miles from both the north and south coastlines and the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks. Tiverton is the closest town for supplies and within easy reach of the M5. There are also 3 or 4 restaurants within waking distance. Remember a torch (use your phone) if waking over the field after dusk.

There was a wedding when we stayed so the staff were rather busy with that. They forgot to tell us where to go for breakfast and apparently there is a castle tour too? Not a huge issue of course. Incidentally, if you are imaging staying within the castle itself, I don't believe that is possible. The rooms are within a handful of small cottages broken down into individual rooms. The castle itself is quite modest.

The room we had was a little crowded with furniture given it was only a little over 2 and a half meters square. It probably didn't need two chairs really as the standard double bed occupied most of the space. Anyway, it was pleasantly decorated, to which our host draw particular attention, and the ensuite was good. The place is spring water fed as it's in a rural location so don't expect a powerful shower as in a city hotel.

Breakfast is basic and supplied at extra cost. As pointed out in other comments because they use the same tables as the wedding breakfasts you do need to share a table. Personally I prefer a private table; it's rather unusual to eat communally in most other situations (restaurants, most other hotels and so forth). If you are unluckily enough to be draw into uncomfortable conversations by other guests it does put a strain on proceedings...

In summary, an adequate room with few frills.

Room Tip: When weddings are on it can be noisy. Ideally B&B guests would be furthest away from the party a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beckiecook
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, 24 July 2014
Thank you for your helpful and balanced review.

A few matters to mention. It was one of the very very rare occasions when we had a non-exclusive Wedding and hence a mixture of B&B guests staying and Wedding guests. From our point of view as well as the reviewer's, this was not entirely satisfactory and we will try to avoid the situation arising again.

The Castle is indeed quite modest in size, but makes up for this by having a long and very interesting history; it was a great deal larger before the Castle was attacked and partly destroyed by the New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax during the Civil War, but that alone is a most interesting aspect of the Castle's history. I don't think one should disparage a building that has been the victim of warfare.

I have mentioned on several occasions about the debate over the breakfast dining facilities. We may add in some 'tables for two' in view of our own customer survey which found 60% in favour of the round communal tables and 40% in favour of 'tables for two'.

I will again robustly defend the weekend supplement for Saturdays; very few weekends are available to B&B guests, as they are mostly retained (and booked long in advance) for Weddings and major events. In view of the very modest and competitive price of the Voucher deals that have been running, we feel that we are entirely justified in charging a small premium for peak demand.

Saying breakfast is 'basic' seems a relative term and you the reader can judge. We provide for the (inclusive) Continental option cereals, toast, hot croissants, teas, coffee, fresh fruit and yoghurts, For a small additional charge (£2.50 - £5) we provide 'full English' to 'scrambled egg on toast'. We could (and may) provide a more 'de luxe' breakfast BUT this would incur a greater charge as it barely breaks even as it is!
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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
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English first
Letchworth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Had two nights at this accomodation which was wonderful. The room was quaint, clean and a good size with onsuite. Lovely just to walk around the grounds and the free tour of the castle was a bonus. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The breakfast was fine, too. Would be happy to stay here again.

Room Tip: We had room six which was good but you need to go up stairs to get to it. Lovely view in the morning...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anthony W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2014

We stayed at Bickleigh Castle for 2 nights in June, it is set in beautiful countryside and the bedrooms are large and well furnished, all the staff are lovely and are only too willing to help with any info you need. The breakfast is quite basic , we found not all the bedrooms had onsuite but the bathroom was next door and there was no one on our floor so it was not a problem. We would come back again as the setting is beautiful.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vickyandalbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

We have just arrived home from a short stay in the west country, starting at Bickleigh Castle. Curiously, staying the same time, in the next room to another reviewer. How could two rooms be so different ? There was a short delay in hot water appearing one morning but it was no problem, I still managed to have a shower ! The Dog poo in the gravel courtyard was probably the fault of a cat, or a visitors very small dog. The resident friendly black lab gun dog was not responsible ! If staff had time to sift through gravel for tiny droppings, then maybe training should be enforced ! Our room was spotless although, as I was on holiday, I did not really bother to check how dusty the skirting boards were, or if there was a cobweb clinging to a skylight. As we live in a 16th century house I know that if one applied clinical cleaning standards to old properties, madness would surely follow. O.K. Cream, is probably not the first sensible choice for a staircarpet, but there were only two bedrooms at the top, and WE cleaned our shoes thoroughly .....!
As your other recent reviewer said, the talk and guided tour of the Castle and chapel were fascinating. A chance to enjoy an enlightening talk by a true historian - for free !
I would recommend Bickleigh Castle to anyone who loves beauty and hates Trust House Forte.

Room Tip: Just go there, The most romantic location ever !
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank susan f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights this week, It is in a truly beautiful location and the setting is lovely.
This B&B could be so much better than it is if they were to pay attention to detail. We booked this stay through Amazon which saved us quite a lot of money..We would have been very disappointed if we had paid the full price.
We stayed in Moat Cottage Room 17. The room is a reasonable size and there is plenty of storage space.
There are some nice touches like bottled water and there are tea and coffee making facilities...However.. the en-suite looks as if it hasn't been cleaned properly for weeks, or even months. There was dust around the skirting board and the shower door was grimy, the fan didn't work but this might be due to the fact that there are cobwebs and dust blocking the vents. We left a request for the room to be serviced on Wednesday as the towels were damp, but these were just folded and left on the bed.
The skirting board in our bedroom were very dusty and the inside of the wardrobes were equally so. The carpets throughout the cottage are grubby, the fact that they are cream doesn't really help, a darker colour would be much more serviceable. Putting notices up to ask visitors to remove their shoes is a bit much. The notices mention slippers to be used but there were none.
There was an issue with Hot water on our first morning which was put down to work being carried out in the cottage below us.
The garden and castle appear to be well kept it is a shame the rest isn't !!!
The conservatory where breakfast is held is very pretty but again, housekeeping lets it down.. there were cobwebs in the roof windows.
We realise how much money this beautiful building must need but when you are selling a service, you really need to put your customers experience at the top of your list, and that means training your staff properly and carrying our random checks on the work they carry out to ensure they achieve customer expectations.
We were surprised to see dog poop left around the gravelled area in front of the cottages, especially when it could be taken into the cottages on peoples shoes and trodden into the carpets!!!
Some of the staff seemed poorly trained, on our arrival we were given written instructions regarding breakfast which stated in was served in reception when in fact the conservatory is off the visitors lounge, so we went to the wrong place until John took us to the breakfast room.
John made us feel very welcome which wasn't the case when we arrived on our first evening.
On a positive note the tour of the castle, carried out by John, was very interesting and informative, we very much appreciated the time given by John and were pleased we took the tour.
This business could achieve so much more if it was to put in place some training and objectives for it's staff and get a good manager to oversee their tasks.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marilyn A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2014 via mobile

A very pretty and interesting place certainly different from the mundane BnBs and Guest Houses.
However, this does not make grubby tired carpets, bed throws, duvets (I recognise the stains from another review) and decor excusable. Add to this dirty cobwebbed windows and thick dust on the headboard, skirtings, lampshades and sockets etc and you begin to realise that housekeeping is poor here. A service of the room meant little more than a towel change (odd towels) but not even a wipe over in the ensuite.
It's fair to say that the ongoing upkeep and presentation of such characterful old buildings and gardens must be extremely expensive and time consuming but the feeling is more one of staying with an eccentric old relative than a professionally ran venue.
When I read other comments prior to going I was quite prepared for what we found and hey we weren't paying full price but those who do must be horrified!
Yes, I'm afraid the negatives are all true, even the cheap bread observations, plus a few not yet written, but you get the idea I hope.
A pity because the peacefulness and unique surroundings are terrific - especially if you don't have a relative like this!

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank charnwoodtwo
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, 6 July 2014
Interesting the remark about cheap bread. We have tried providing quality bread several times and people seem to have issues with it. I think we are going to have to provide a choice and see what happens.

We're sorry the issue of dust has cropped up. This is a matter to be raised with the household staff and we are copying this comment to as a point of reference for staff training.
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Wonderful location, picturesque and peaceful. Were delighted to be given the bridal suite with huge four-poster bed and enormous bathroom in the castle itself. Views over castle gardens and away to the hills. Made very welcome by the owners. Thoroughly enjoyed the private tour. A truly memorable experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gerard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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