This privately-owned castle, dating back to the 14th century, makes a great day out. Various royals have slept in the fortified manor house and it has appeared in several famous films. Admire the moat, and wander through the gorgeous gardens.
There’s something really charming about the privately owned, 14th -century Broughton Castle, which sits (complete with moat) a few miles outside of Banbury. The charm lies in the fact that it feels quite laid-back: devoid of tourists and not at all commercial. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to admire: stunning hand-painted wallpaper, cannonballs fired at the castle during a Royalist siege in 1642, battered armour on the walls of the Main Hall, and a tiny Council Chamber at the top of the castle — ‘a room that hath no ears’ — used in the 1630s by the opposition to Charles I.
If you’re keen-eyed, you might recognise it from one of its feature film appearances: Jane Eyre, Shakespeare in Love, The Madness of King George, and also the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall — not a bad CV.
The grounds are — of course — gorgeous, with plenty of love seats, mature trees, and vast stretches of lawn. Essentially, it’s a dream for children to bomb around in, and a great place to bring a lunch.