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Lough Cutra Castle, Galway, Ireland (Sleeps 17; $30,000 per week)
Dating back to 866 A.D., Lough Cutra is a dream for history buffs. (The Danish invasion of Ireland took place on this very spot.) But it?s also an idyllic country getaway for pursuits like horseback riding and pheasant shooting.
Rindge Castle, Rindge, New Hampshire (Sleeps 22; $6,900 per week)
For a closer-to-home experience, try Rindge Castle in scenic New Hampshire. Perched atop a hill on 500 acres of land, Rindge boasts miles of cross-country ski trails and views of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s beloved Mount Monadnock. It also abutts a private lake.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India (83 bedrooms; from $350 per night for a two-person luxury room)
Built in the 18th century as a summer getaway for the Maharaja Jagat Singh, this extravagant palace sits on a four-acre island in Lake Pichola (that’s about five hours south of Jaipur) and can be reached only by boat. Though you can’t take over the entire castle (alas), you can rent the lavish rooms for as little as $350 a night. Bonus: There’s plenty of on-site yoga.
De La Salle Castle, Toronto, Canada (Sleeps 16; from $5,500 per week)
Walking distance from downtown Toronto but with the feel of a far-removed estate, De La Salle is perfect for playing princess in close proximity to a Starbucks. And in case you were wondering, yes, the TV adaptation of Anne of Green Gables was indeed filmed here.
Castle Livorno, Tuscany, Italy (Sleeps 26; from $18,000 per week)
Surrounded by a terraced olive grove and less than two miles from golden secluded beaches, this Italian castle is perfect for a languorous Under the Tuscan Sun type of sojourn.
Punta del Este Castle, Uruguay (Sleeps 16; from $5,500 per week)
Live like royalty (if only for a week) at this South American beachfront castle. On-site staff includes a private chef, chauffeur, maid and masseuse, and there’s an infinity pool that overlooks the castle’s private beach and garden.
Oheka Castle, Huntington, New York (From $390 per night for a two-person chateau room)
Built in 1921 and updated in 1984 for $30 million (one of the largest restoration projects in American history), Oheka Castle is ideal for those not ready to commit to renting an entire castle.
Paço de Calheiros, Porto, Portugal (From $120 per night for a single room)
Nestled among vineyards and gardens above the Lima Valley, this estate belongs to the Count of Calheiros (it?s been in his family since 1336). Haven?t you always wanted to shack up with a count?
Lindsay Castle, Knysna, South Africa (Sleeps 12; $3,500 per week)
At the beachside Lindsay Castle in remote South Africa, you can paraglide high above the coast, rappel down the Knysna cliffs or zip-line through the Tsitsikamma Forest.
Highclere Castle (a.k.a. Downton Abbey), West Berkshire, U.K. (Available for events only)
Get your Dowager Countess on at Highclere Castle, real-life home to the Carnarvon family (since 1679) and better known as, um, Downton Abbey! In addition to day visits, the castle is also available for corporate events, private tours and weddings. Matthew Crawley not included.
All this Kate Middleton stuff is totally out of whack. Girl had a baby. Baby was named George. Big whoop.
That said, we have always had a thing for princesses. And tiaras. And castles. (Sorry, we watched a lot of Disney movies as children.)
Luckily, we can now live out that castle-dwelling aspiration thanks to a new crop of chateaus and palaces you can actually rent for vacation.
Check out our royal list...and never forget the little people.
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