Category: highlands

Skibo Castle

Skibo Castle is located in the Highland county of Sutherland in Dornoch, Scotland. The castle was built in the 18thcentury and overlooks the Dornoch Firth. An earlier 13thcentury castle sat on this site and served as the residence for the Bishops of Caithness. In 1545, the estate was given by the church to John Gray to form an alliance against the threat of Protestantism. In 1745, Robert Gray surrendered the estate and it was later purchased by a relative who built a modern home on the property. The property changed ownership numerous times. In 1898, wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie purchased the dilapidated estate. Carnegie proceeded to put two million dollars into the property to build a baronial mansion house with turrets and battlements. He also created the Loch Ospisdale, constructed an indoor Olympic sized heated swimming pool, and added a 9-hole golf course. Skibo Castle remained in the Carnegie family until 1982, when it was purchased by businessman Peter de Savary, who instituted the private, members only Carnegie Club. The castle went through a 30 million dollar restoration to create a luxury Edwardian sporting estate. The club was sold to Elis Short in 2003. The grounds house eleven well-appointed lodges, extensive gardens, and an artificial lake called Lake Louise. The castle boasts 21 guest rooms, a spa, a private library, and a clubhouse with a restaurant. Activities include golf, swimming, tennis, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, and archery. Skibo Castle houses the Carnegie Club and is only open to its 650 members, however the public can make tee times for golfing. 

Taymouth Castle

Taymouth Castle is located in Perthshire, Scotland. An
earlier castle was built on this site to serve as the seat for the Campbell
Clan in 1550. The first Marquis of Breadalbane demolished the original castle
in the early 19th century and built Taymouth Castle on the 450-acre
estate. The estate lies on the south bank of the River Tay, a mile from Loch
Tay in the Grampian Mountains. The castle was built with blue-grey stone and
constructed in the neo-Gothic style. The central building with its colonnade
and corner towers dates from 1806. The interior is lavish with intricate
carvings, plasterwork, painted murals, panels of medieval stained glass, and
Renaissance woodwork. There are many deteriorating buildings on the Taymouth
Castle Estate, as the castle sat unoccupied in 1982 and wasn’t purchased until
the 21st century. The new owners are restoring the castle into a luxury
hotel with a spa and equestrian center, which is set to open this summer. There
are also residences being built on the property. The property still boasts an
1830 circular tower, with a two-stage circular Gothic folly, although built as
a ruin, it was originally habitable. There are also two ruined temples, a semi
circular folly, a ruined tower, a historic urn, and a historic dairy made of quartz
stone that glistens in sunlight, which was visited by Queen Victoria in 1842.
Taymouth Castle has an 18-hole golf course built over the castle’s former deer
park, the course and hotel are closed and currently under renovation.