Live like royalty: Historic Scottish castle offering Airbnb apartments

If staying in a 17th century Scottish castle seems like the thing of dreams then take a look at Pitreavie Castle, which is offering the chance to rent apartments through Airbnb.

The Castle, which is located near Dunfermline, is one of those places which seems to have been at the forefront of Scottish history throughout the centuries.

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Picture: the views across the Castle grounds, Hunter Residential

The estate was gifted in the 14th century to Lady Christina Bruce, by her brother Robert the Bruce.

In 1608 Sir Henry Wardlaw, 1st Baronet of Pitreavie, and chamberlain to Queen Anne, the wife of James VI of Scotland, bought it for 10,000 Scottish merks and started work, in 1615, on the current castle.

During the Second World War, the castle became the operations headquarters for the Royal Navy and RAF Coastal Command and was visited by Winston Churchill.

Picture: the grand staircase in the Castle, Hunter Residential

In 2004, Kevin and Laura Simpson bought the castle and embarked on a two-year project to restore and convert it to apartments, under the close guardianship of Historic Scotland.

Kevin says: “It needed a great deal of work and although we aren’t property developers, we had undertaken restoration of previous homes.

“The superstructure was intact, the roof was sound and a state-of-the-art sprinkler system was already installed, which crucially allowed retention of the larger public spaces.”

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That said, the interior of the house needed a great deal of work. At certain points you could see from one side of the house to the other, and look upwards through all three storeys.

Picture: a living room in the Castle, Hunter Residential

Kevin says: “It was my idea to take on the castle but it was Laura who took on the bulk of the project management.

“I did feel a bit guilty about plunging into it and then leaving her to take the baton while I worked around the world, but she has done an amazing job.”

The finished castle comprises two principal two-storey homes and four single-storey apartments, two of which are available to rent through Airbnb.

Picture: the living room of the attic apartment, Airbnb

The attic apartment sleeps nine people in three bedrooms with one shared bathroom. Decorated in modern style with quirky Scottish touches such as tartan curtains, the apartment is ideal for families or small groups of friends.

Picture: one of the bedrooms in the attic apartment, Airbnb

The turret apartment is perfect for smaller groups as it sleeps six over two rooms and has a similar modern yet regal style as the attic apartment, with canopied beds, draped curtains, a claw footed bathtub and cosy fireplace in the living room.

Picture: the living room in the turret apartment, Airbnb

If you enjoy your stay in such regal luxury, you can now buy into it as one duplex and one single-storey home are now for sale and include charming original features such as ornate fireplaces, bay windows, arched alcoves and panelling.

Picture: the kitchen has original arches and wood panelling, Hunter Residential

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The landscaped shared grounds of the Castle have tennis courts, a summer house and the more unusual feature of a Second World War nuclear bunker.

The grounds give a remarkable sense of rural privacy, despite the location being so close to the motorway network.

The castle is within walking distance of Rosyth railway station, and near to Edinburgh, making it ideal for commuters.

Picture: Pitreavie Castle is steeped in history, Hunter Residential

The natural pond added at the front of the castle is home to ducks, swans, geese, and resident deer wander through the gardens each evening.

Kevin says that the location means Pitreavie is still at the forefront of a changing Scotland. “The new bridge and the launch of a new aircraft carrier on the Forth last week means it feels like this place is very close to all the action, but in a little oasis of our own.”

Words: Kirsty McLuckie

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