If you are a fan of famous Scots poet Rabbie Burns then Culzean Castle is the place for you. Designed by Robert Adams, this fairy-tale castle stands dramatically on a cliff with sea views to the Ilse of Arran, and is ideally located to visit all Burn’s most amous haunts around Ayrshire.
As it’s owned by the National Trust for Scotland, a stay here you won’t just make you feel like a king or queen, but it means you are also contributing to the conservation of Scotland’s proud history. However, the bulk of the bedrooms are off limits so if you want to stay here you have to book the Brewhouse Flat, a circular property located in the West Wing of the castle.
But it’s well worth it. Packed to the turrets with antique furniture and furnishings, artworks, porcelain and other fascinating period objects, the castle is a superb example of 18th century high-class living.
With 560 acres of land, and 22 miles of tracks and paths, you’re spoilt for choice outside as well as in. If you want to get close to the sea, you have three miles of shoreline to explore, then there’s the Fountain Court with its orangery, the Walled Garden for colourful borders, and the tranquil ‘Happy Valley’ woodland trail to the Swan Pond.
There are around 40 other quirky historical buildings and follies hidden throughout the estate, from the Pagoda to the Gas House, as well as shops, cafés and restaurants.
In the words of Rabbie himself: “But to see her was to love her, love but her, and love forever.”
That’s exactly how you will feel about Culzean Castle.
This magnificent 15th century castle is based in the far North of Scotland in Wick near Caithness. Although a real trek to get there, it is well worth it. The 17 rooms can be booked individually, or the entire estate – including separate lodges – can be booked for exclusive use.
Dining at Ackergill Tower is a real gourmet experience as the catering team are blessed with some of the finest and freshest produce money can buy. The herbs are grown in their own garden, and the meats and fish are sourced from the local estates, rivers and coastline that surround this beautiful building.
The Sommelier carefully selects fine and interesting wines that keep the cellar, a former 1940s ammunition store, fully stocked, and of course you can enjoy a wee dram of the hard stuff from the neighbouring Old Pulteney distillery, or taste the Sommelier’s own delicious homemade Sloe Gin.
No list of top Scottish castles would be complete without reference to Stobo Castle. This 19th century exclusive bolt hole is one hour from Edinburgh, and describes itself as Scotland’s only “destination spa”. If that means the spa facilities are better than the rooms, then they are spot on. But you won’t be disappointed with either to be fair, particularly if you stay in the top of the range Cashmere Suite.
Located next to the up market town of Peebles, Stobo has been voted the best spa in Scotland three years running, and it’s easy to see why. The 19th century building plays host to over 80 spa treatments, with the menu always evolving to tap in to the latest health and beauty trends.
So if being a pampered prince or princess is more important to you than the food or the ambience, then Stobo is the castle for you.
About Rob Bruce –
Rob is a marketing professional with nearly 20 years experience of brand building, 15 of which have been working in the premium and luxury sector. He is also lifestyle writer covering all that is tasty, beautiful, quirky and luxurious in the world, with a focus on the UK and Scotland in particular. He’s an avid consumer and reviewer of the finer things in life including food, drink, gadgets, travel and events.
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