Tracey Horton and Rob Beaton bought Culdees Castle in the summer of 2019 after stumbling across it during a family holiday in Perthshire and are determined to return the site to its former glory.
The castle was designed and built in 1810 for Charles Drummond, whose clan was rewarded for fighting with Robert the Bruce, and hasn’t been lived in since 1968.
Armed with Ms Horton’s extensive experience in property development and events management, the pair began renovations and have completed a luxury glamping site with three cosy cabins, each named after previous custodians of the castle.
Visitors can enjoy hot tubs, fire pits and BBQs with direct views of the backlit castle, Ms Horton even has plans to offer a luxury champagne bar where guests can enjoy afternoon tea.
The couple hope to continue renovating the main body of the castle next year, and future plans include revamping the commercial kitchen and chapel, as well as designing a cosy whisky bothy.Tracey Horton, Managing Director, Culdees Castle Estate, said: “We knew renovating Culdees Castle would be a big project, but we really appreciated the beauty of the building and were determined to transform it into something special.
"Perthshire has a great reputation for tourism, so we really needed to make Culdees stand out from the crowd.”
Ms Horton is originally from Deal, in Kent, while Mr Beaton is from Glasgow, but the pair relocated after purchasing Culdees and live next door to the castle on the site.
Despite her extensive background in property development, Ms Horton had never managed a site on her own and utilised support from a range of Business Gateway’s start-up support services including advice on their business plan, marketing, and funding.
She continued: “I can’t thank Business Gateway enough for their support – they have helped enormously with setting up my own business.
"I was used to managing and running projects, but admittedly was a complete novice at doing it by myself, especially on a project of this scale.
"I am so pleased that what we have built so far has proved popular with the public. We’re hosting our first wedding in October which is just so exciting.”
Stuart Milne, Business Gateway Team Leader & Business Adviser, said: “Tracey and Rob took a risk when purchasing the Culdees Castle Estate, but it has paid off.
"Their passion was second-to-none and, when it came to writing up their business plan, we knew this venture was going to be something special.
“I have no doubt that the castle will give people something to look forward to as restrictions ease further, and I’m confident the venue will make a beautiful backdrop for the weddings that have been booked for later this year.
"We will continue to support Tracey and Rob as they continue their renovations and I look forward to seeing what they do next.”