An iconic 19th century Cumbrian castle is on the market for £2.5 million.
The owners of Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen are selling the property and looking for a ‘new challenge’.
The hotel has been run for nearly 20 years by the husband and wife team of ex Mayfair-restaurateurs Simon and Wendy Bennett.
The two invested heavily in the castle, restoring it from near ruin with a major refurbishment programme.
Mr Bennett explained the pair’s decision to sell up after transforming it into a successful business.
He 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.”
The castle’s history stretches back to around 1841 when it was built as a Victorian gentleman’s retreat.
These days the castle features as a hotel, with 15 individually decorated letting bedrooms, eight of which are in the castle itself, with a further seven in external cottages, and a five bedroom owner’s cottage on the 12 acre private grounds.
The rooms are all decorated with unique features such as four posters beds, and wardrobes built into the castle turrets.
Augill also serves as a popular wedding venue, and features a grand hall with Jacobean oak panelled walls, a drawing room and dining room with ornate fireplaces and wood burner stoves.
The hotel has seen a steady rise in profits over the last four years, with an increasingly international clientele; three of the last four weddings at the castle involved couples from overseas.
It also enjoys trade from being situated in the heart of one of the best grouse shooting locations in the country.
It has acquired a host of awards and accreditations over the years, and was one of only 37 hotels to retain its place on the Sunday Times’ 100 Ultimate British Hotels list.