One of the most frequent requests we get from our clients is to stay in a Scottish castle for at least some of their holiday, but it comes as a surprise to a lot of guests as to the breadth of possibilities this can actually encompass. The most obvious differentiating factor is of course price, with some castles charging a £150 – £200 per night per room and other castles costing up to £20,000 per night! There’s some helpful information below but to help you decide what sort of castle is best for you we’ve put together a short quizz……
8 people or more: If you’d like to stay in a Scottish castle and your group consists of 8 or more people then you probably have the most choice available to you. Due to the economies of scale involved we would recommend an exclusive use castle as, once the cost is split between everyone, it can be a reasonably cost effective solution as well as being a magical way to spend a week with friends. If you like the privacy of the exclusive use setting but prefer the service levels of a hotel then that’s not a problem at all, given the right budget we can provide chefs, butlers, barmen, drivers etc. etc!
4 – 7 people: The middle ground is a bit trickier, it’s too few people for an exclusive use but can be expensive in a hotel setting (if there’s only 1 person paying e.g. a family group). At this level we would recommend a stay in Scottish Castle B&B. Castle B&B’s are not that common but they do exist, we have excellent options on the west coast and in the borders. Another option along a similar line is to take an apartment in a wing of a castle, we can offer this in the Cairngorms National Park, in the Scottish Borders, in the Trossachs National Park and also in the Highlands
1 – 4 people: For smaller groups then we would certainly recommend a good Castle Hotel, these sorts of hotels are dotted around Scotland and are very varied in price, size, style, location and speciality so, with this in mind, I’ll narrow down the options again below.
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Fishing: If you’ve decided on a fishing trip and would like to stay in a Scottish Castle then there are a few locations we’d recommend; The Scottish Borders, Highland Perthshire & Speyside. Withing these 3 main locations there are multiple exclusive use castles so plenty of choice for large groups. The Castle B&B’s near fishing areas are more limited with 1 main one in the Borders so a castle hotel is the best option with 2 options in the Borders, 2 in highland Perthshire and 1 on Speyside.
Red Deer Hunting: Red deer hunting takes place in the Highlands only so this rules out any castles in the Borders. Highland Perthshire has 1 castle hotel that has access to red deer hunting and 1 or 2 exclusive use castles. Up on the West Coast there is an excellent 5-star castle hotel within reach of some fabulous hunting but it is probably the most expensive hotel in Scotland (worth it in our opinion). The other option of course would be to consider the various Scottish islands…. but that’s a whole post on its own best saved for a later date (or get in touch and we’ll put together a bespoke proposal)
Wing shooting: The best wing shooting takes place in the Scottish Borders and also in Highland Perthshire so there is quite a choice if you’d like to stay in a Scottish Castle during a wingshooting trip. Pheasant and partridge are the best options for wingshooting and we have 2 Castle Hotels in the Scottish Borders and 3 in Highland Perthshire all within easy reach of world class pheasant and partridge shooting. The castles in the Borders can also offer grouse shooting should the weather conditions allow it. There are also options in Angus, there is one castle in particular which is truly stunning and sleeps up to 20 people all in en-suite rooms but at roughly £27,000 B&B it’s the most exclusive of exclusive use castles in Scotland!
We British find talking about money very uncomfortable so I’ll speak only in generalities:
Budget sensitive: If you are on a tight budget but would nevertheless like to stay in a Scottish castle then a Castle B&B is the way forward, there are 2 that we would recommend that give the full castle experience for a very reasonable price, one is in the Scottish Borders and the other on the West Coast. The Scottish Borders castle B&B has access to salmon fishing, pheasant / partridge / grouse wingshooting, roe buck stalking and golf. The West Coast castle B&B is for adventurous fishermen (remote and quite treacherous conditions) and for those on a tour of the Highlands, hikers, sighting / historical tours and for those in search of stunning scenery. Both castle B&B’s are in extremely high demand, we recommend booking at least 6 months in advance if not more
Budget aware: For those with a bit more budget to spare but still keeping a close eye on costs we would recommend perhaps an apartment in a wing of a castle. Alternatively, if the group size is big enough, an exclusive use castle of a more simple / rustic style. Why not add a bit of luxury and add a cook for the week, much less expensive than eating out all week but more relaxing that cooking every night
Quality first: This is where the Castle Hotels really come into their own, they are almost all 4 – 5 star hotels so represent the best quality in terms of accommodations, service, food and drinks etc. For larger groups we would recommend mid range exclusive use castles with a chef and a couple of staff (e.g. housekeeper and waiter)
Luxury: Scotland has several 5-star castle hotels, let us know what you’d like to do in Scotland and perhaps a rough idea of your budget and we will suggest the best option for a luxury stay in a Scottish castle. High end exclusive use castles are reasonably common and we usually offer them fully catered with a driver, chef, wait staff and a butler, the only caveat is that booking needs to be well in advance, 6 months at the very least in order to provide a choice. We can certainly provide luxury exclusive use a the last minute (indeed its becoming a bit of speciality) but the choice is more limited.
VIP: We have extensive experience of providing super-luxury hunting, fishing and golfing holidays in Scotland for VIP clients. In the past we have hosted royalty, international dignitaries and high-net-worth individuals from across the globe. We understand the particular and unique needs of VIP trips so the best option is to contact out Director, Ian Walls, via email in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org