Agent Review: Aldourie Castle, Scotland
It could be said that Aldourie offers guests “something they didn’t know they wanted.” Of course there are those who already know they would like to be Laird of their own castle for the week; for those who have not yet had that thought, it’s time you did, and I have just the place for you!
Aldourie Castle is a very easy five miles from Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, and yet it feels like it’s completely removed from everything. There are no signs displayed for the castle; the anonymity discourages wayward visitors from arriving uninvited in order to mark another castle off their list, or expecting afternoon tea.
I must add my disclaimer here; I went to visit Aldourie interested to see it, but with a firm idea that it wasn’t my “cup of tea” in the sense that “old,” “busy décor” and “grand” are just not my style. I came away completely corrected in my assumption – I really, really liked it!
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As a child I had the good fortune to visit some magical family homes, and while I may not remember all of the details there are many memories of wonder as I think back on our explorations around these strange, yet welcoming places. Aldourie has it all; there are winding corridors, spiral staircases, stair ropes, murals and wall paintings, pictures everywhere, towers, and acres and acres of outdoors, and that doesn’t even mention the beautiful location on the banks of Loch Ness – just that fact alone teases the imagination. The property has been beautifully restored with a great deal of care and lots and lots of money. The end result is wonderful and I can confirm the accuracy of their website when they state:
The interiors have the grace and scale of a stately home, yet the intimacy and cosy warmth that dispel any notion of formality. From the moment you arrive, Aldourie will relax and enchant you. Furnishings throughout the Castle are of the highest quality, with rich fabrics, elegant furniture and fine antiques.
Immediately upon arrival I could imagine myself staying there, and making it “home”. What a wonderful first impression! Online images can only reflect a one dimensional view of something that is a tactile and encompassing experience of space, beauty, comfort, luxury, service, activity, relaxation and warmth from the very first welcome. A long weekend or a week here would be a dream trip for adults and children alike; the only downside would be that would not be long enough!