A former Victorian castle in Cumbria which is now a country house hotel has been put on the market for £2.5m.
Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen, which operates as a hotel and wedding venue with 15 bedrooms, has been owned for almost 20 years by former Mayfair restaurateurs Simon and Wendy Bennett. The couple previously invested in a major refurbishment programme, but now want to step back from the business.
Built in 1841 as a private residence, the hotel is located between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
It features towers, turrets, mullioned windows and leaded lights, a grand hall with Jacobean oak panelled walls, a drawing room and dining room with ornate fireplaces and wood burner stoves, a conservatory bar and a small cinema. Eight of the bedrooms are inside the castle and feature four-poster beds and turrets as wardrobes. The remaining seven rooms are located in cottage suites houses within the 12 acre estate. There is also a five-bedroom owner's cottage in its own private gardens.
The hotel has reportedly experienced a steady rise in turnover and profit for the past four years with an increased number of guests from overseas.
Simon Bennett said: "It would be easy to think that turning a near derelict castle into a successful hotel is achievement enough in a lifetime but we are keen for a new challenge now. There is still huge potential here but it is time for someone else to take Augill to the next level. A spa perhaps, or a purpose-built meeting or function space. There's potential for so much."
Neil Thomson, associate director of hotels agency at the Manchester office of Colliers International is undertaking the sale on behalf of the couple.
He said: "The property is a unique and characterful building situated in the stunning scenery of the Upper Eden Valley and boasting a highly successful and profitable business developed through the years by Simon and Wendy.
"The business attracts a wide ranging trade from both the private and corporate leisure sectors and is a well-established wedding and private hire venue. We hope to generate considerable interest for this rare opportunity from both sectors."
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