If you enjoy a good historical story and neat places to visit, Loveland Castle, also known as Chateau La Roche, located in Loveland, Ohio may strike your fancy. Built by one Mr. Harry Andrews, the castle sits on about an acre and half of land and is a one-fifth scale replica of 16th century medieval castles, and modeled after ones located in northern France and the British isles. Along with building Chateau La Roche, Mr. Andrews lived an extraordinary life which visitors can learn about. The castle even has its own knights; The Knights of the Golden Trail, established by Harry himself. Harry Andrews was born in 1890 and passed in 1981 from injuries obtained in an unfortunate fire accident, but his castle is still very much open to the public from April 1st through September 15th, 11am to 5pm, seven days a week and on weekends in the fall and winter.
Having a large family, it is important for me to find interesting things to do at cheap rates and this is an excellent location to visit if you and your family are in the area and also on a budget. Admission to the castle and museum area is only $3.00, which, if I am not mistaken, is used as upkeep and renovations needed to the property. Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds and see the castle both from the outside and inside. The road down to the castle is one built by Harry Andrews, and to this day is still impassible by busses. It is somewhat steep and curvy, be sure to take your time in colder months when moister on the road may be frozen.
Inside, you can see the tremendous collection of items one might have seen during the 16th century. The collection even includes two separate full sets of armor. The bedroom where Harry Andrews slept is viewable but blocked from entrance. Other areas of the castle include a kitchen, bathroom, living room, office, dining room, balcony, garage, and dungeon: YES! The castle is equipped with its very own dungeon where children and adults can find a ‘crazy criminal’ (a fake skeleton) locked away.
Notes to remember: When walking around the inside of the castle, be sure to remember the building is old, and was built by a single man, so the building, in areas, has creaky floors that seem to sag a bit but are safe. The staircase from the ground level to the second floor, as well as the staircase leading down to the dungeon are narrow and spiral, be sure to hang on to your children and the railings as slipping or missing a step could result in the inability to regain your footage; however, do not let these details detour you from visiting the castle. It is well worth the money and time to go if you are in the area.
Outside the castle, you can walk around the lush green and floral gardens and find some of the absolute best picnic spots around! If you want to sit and have lunch next to the blooming flowers, picnic tables, or down by a river, it’s all available to you. Trails, which are somewhat steep but passable, lead you down to the Little Miami River, which after heavy rain can be very muddy but still generally a very pretty area. The castle is available for rent for weddings and other events which my fiance and I have looked in to as a potential wedding spot. Overnight visits can even be arranged. An added bonus is that the rates are extremely reasonable. Be sure to see the website or talk with staff in order to set these up and ensure you are adequately prepared for an overnight visit. Although I have yet to visit the castle during the season, I have been told they also have an excellent Halloween display and really go ‘all out’ as it has been described.
The staff is highly friendly and eager to tell you all about Harry, the castle, and the knights, so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Although there are not a lot of souvenirs available to be purchased besides post cards, you are free to take as many pictures as you want. The first time I visited I took around 120 digital photos, and the second visit resulted in around 60 because the area was so pretty and picture perfect. If you love taking photos, as do I, there is seemingly no end to excellent posing spots for unique pictures. I have also visited the castle four separate times, and although we were not the only people on the property, the amount of people was small allowing for limited crowding. You can roam the property on your own, or tours for parties of 20 or more can be arranged upon contacting the staff in advance.
If you and your family are looking for something to do and find yourself around the Loveland, Ohio area, be sure to look up the castle. For more information about Mr. Harry Andrews, his interesting life, or his delightful castle, check out their website.
My fiance and I have seven (7) children ranging in age from 6 to 15 and they each enjoyed the trip, so the castle seems to be appealing to all age groups. As adults, we were also thoroughly amused with the experience as well. As far as grading a location, I would give this place a 7-8 on a 1-10 scale and will most likely return for a fifth visit soon as every time I go I find something new I didn’t see before!