Five fantastic castles you can spend Christmas in

Aldourie Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Aldourie Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

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MAKE your Christmas day even more memorable this year by spending it in one of these stunning Scottish castles.

Celebrate Christmas like a laird and enjoy your merriment in the memorable surroundings of one of Scotland’s grand castles.

Glenapp Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Glenapp Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Leave the cooking to the chefs, the food shopping to the staff and relax like a royal as you and your family enjoy a Christmas you won’t forget.

Roger Masterson of website CelticCastles.com, which offers premium experiences in Scotland’s castles, says spending Christmas in such grand surroundings can be magical for family and friends: “There is something really special about Christmas and being with your family or significant other, but when you are staying in a castle the experience is even more unique, it puts the importance of your time together on another level and creates memories for life, especially if you have whole castle to yourselves and are being treated like royalty”

GLENAPP CASTLE

(Glenapp Castle, Ballantrae, Girvan KA26 0NZ, 01465 831212)

Kincraig Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Kincraig Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Glenapp is a fairytale castle hidden on the beautiful Ayrshire coast in Ballantrae, Scotland. Now a five star hotel, the castle offers 17 rooms for hire (individually or exclusively for 34 guests), each priced according to their location in the building, their views and their size.

Built in typical Scottish Baronial style with towers and turrets, the castle has beautiful private gardens designed by world famous garden architect Gertrude Jekyll and are for the exclusive use of guests.

Many of the rooms have stunning views out to the Firth of Clyde, taking in the famous volcanic outcrop of Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran, Holy Island and on a clear day, the hills of Northern Ireland.

For Christmas, the castle is offering carols by candlelight, a six-course dinner on Christmas Eve, presents in your room or under the Christmas Tree as well as dinner and a ceilidh band on Christmas Day.

Dalhousie Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Dalhousie Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Package: Three night Christmas break

Price: £2250 to £3750 for two people sharing (depending on room size) children under five go free, Children from 5 to 12 years: £125 per night (full board)

ALDOURIE CASTLE

(Loch Ness, Inverness IV2 6EL, 01463 751309)

Inverlochy Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

Inverlochy Castle. Picture: Celtic Castles

This historic castle and estate is situated on the southern shore of Loch Ness, close to the city of Inverness.

Reminiscent of the Disney castle, with its pretty turrets and cream walls, Aldourie’s opulent interior will take your breath away.

Offering grandeur and comfort, Aldourie is the only habitable castle on Loch Ness, meaning you can wake up on Christmas Day to wonderful views of the world’s most famous loch.

At Christmas, the castle offers an exclusive package meaning a large group can hire out the whole castle, tailoring events and meals to their individual needs.

Package: Exclusive rental for up to 28 guests for three nights

Price: £20,000 (plus VAT) for the entire castle (working out at approximately £240 per person per night - based on 28 guests staying)

INVERLOCHY CASTLE

(Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN, 01397 702177)

This majestic lochside castle is nestled into the foothills of Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and is surrounded by some of the most idyllic Highland scenery you’re likely to find anywhere in Scotland.

As an added bonus the 19th-century castle’s three dining rooms are run by none other than celebrity chefs Albert and Michel Roux Jr, offering the finest British cuisine (with a little French influence of course) made using the finest local produce.

For Christmas, each guest will enjoy a visit from Father Christmas, Christmas lunch and dinner, boxing day brunch and even clay pigeon shooting.

Package: Minimum of three nights over Christmas

Price: £495 to £905 per person per night (based on room size)

DALHOUSIE CASTLE

(Edinburgh EH19 3JB, 01875 820153)

This wonderfully compact little castle is situated just eight miles from Edinburgh’s city centre. Overlooking the River Esk, the castle is steeped in rich history with King Edward I and Oliver Cromwell both using the castle as a base for their forays into Scotland and both Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott having paid visits.

With 29 individually styled bedrooms available, guests will be able to enjoy a Falconry show, a traditional Christmas lunch, a live jazz band and even the chance to nip into Edinburgh’s city centre on Boxing Day for a spot of shopping.

Package: Two nights over Christmas

Price: £750 to £1750 for two people sharing (based on room size)

KINCRAIG CASTLE

(Tomich, Invergordon IV18 0LF, 01349 852587)

Considered by many to be a hidden treasure in Ross-shire, Kincraig Castle Hotel offers fine views overlooking the Cromarty Firth, a 2 AA rosetted restaurant, a whisky snug and four star service, all within a beautiful Highland setting.

Situated just outside of Inverness and close to Tain and Dornoch, the castle has a traditional exterior which is complemented by a luxurious modern interior replete with tartan chic.

This Christmas, Kincraig offers some great value for money with great holiday packages and a real focus on some delightful food (which they are famed for), including a 4-course Christmas lunch and evening buffet, as well as a filling Boxing Day brunch.

Package: Two or three night stay

Price: £438 to £638 per room for two night stay) and £596 to £796 for three night stay

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