Loveland Castle, or Chateau Laroche, as it is also known, is one of the more unique attractions that can be found in the Cincinnati area. More specifically found along the banks of the Little Miami River in the city of Loveland, this lovely stone castle looks as if it were plucked out of medieval Europe. Its exterior exudes a true fortress appeal, and as is true of most castles across the world, beautiful gardens adorn the grounds. Interestingly enough, many of the stones that were used to build Loveland Castle were collected by its world-traveling founder or gifted to this founder by people from foreign places.
The history of Loveland Castle begins with the vision of one Harry Andrews. Born in 1890, Andrews was a medic in WWI, and due to a rough bout with spinal meningitis, he was actually declared dead at one point during the war. After the war, Sir Harry Andrews, as he is often called, stayed in Europe for quite some time, and one of his primary objectives was to visit various castles. This in turn inspired his building of Loveland Castle, the process of which began in 1929. The founder built the structure with his own two hands, and it took five decades to complete.
Andrews was a Boy Scout troop leader, and when he died in 1981, he left his beloved castle to his troops. Their clan, if you will, is called the Knights of the Golden Trail, and over time, members have contributed to a number of castle renovation projects. These projects included an expansion of the gardens, and now visitors can view a video that details the history of the place. Other things that visitors to this southwestern Ohio attraction can expect to see are original checker and chess sets that were made by the founder, and there is an interesting collection of weaponry on display. When they're not enjoying the various exhibits, many Loveland Castle visitors treat themselves to a picnic on the grounds, and during the Halloween season, the structure becomes a haunted house attraction.
Loveland Castle Ohio is located at 12025 Shore Drive, and should you be planning on dropping by, it is open to the public throughout the year. This castle and museum is open April through September daily between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. October through March, it is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, with the hours being the same. The admission fee is more than fair at any time of year, which might encourage you to pick up something in the gift shop, and extended tours can be arranged for an added fee if you please. It should also be noted that during the peak April to September season, Loveland Castle can be rented out for weddings and other private events.
Plenty of good hotels can be found in the Loveland Castle Ohio area, so finding a reliable place to stay close by shouldn't be difficult. The Cincinnati hotels certainly include a few dandies, so you might start there. Anyone who is planning a Loveland Castle wedding/reception is especially encouraged to consider the Best Western Mariemont Inn. This wonderful inn at 6880 Wooster Pike has a charming appeal that is hard to deny, and it doesn't hurt that it is situated in a very beautiful part of the city.
Image: J. Stephen Conn (flickr)