The remote Highland castle with majestic sea views and 'grandest bedrooms' named best in Scotland

This historic castle may be a long drive (and short ferry crossing) for most, but it’s well worth the journey.

A 13th century Scottish castle, which has been transformed into a restaurant with rooms, has been named one of the best in Scotland as it was awarded AA Restaurant with Rooms of The Year Scotland at the AA Bed and Breakfast Awards, 2024. 

Mingary Castle, on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is run by award-winning chef owner Colin Nicholson and Jessica Thompson. It has won a plethora of awards in recent years, with its (just four) suites being branded the ‘grandest bedrooms’.

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The castle’s location means that guests and visitors can enjoy uninterrupted views out to Mull and beyond. The castle is built into the cliff edge, so its battlements cast an imposing view as you drive down towards the car park. But, you can climb up to the battlements to take in views of the Atlantic Ocean and 360-degree views of the peninsula.

Mingary Castle

Receiving the award is a huge achievement for the restaurant with rooms, with Mingary Castle being one of only three Scottish establishments to win an award this year. The win also comes just four months after they were awarded 3 Rosettes at the AA Rosette Awards in February.

The 13th century Mingary Castle was restored to its former glory in 2016 and in 2021 its drawbridge dropped and reopened as a stunning restaurant with rooms, with seasoned chef and hospitality professional, Colin, at its helm. It was awarded five gold stars by AA in 2022 and recognised in The Times Top 100 Places to Stay in Britain’s list. 

This year it won Best Restaurant Newcomer at the Scottish Excellence Awards and was a winner of the Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice Awards for Restaurants with Rooms. In June, Colin was crowned Scottish Chef of The Year at The Scotsman Scran Awards.

Upon winning the award, Colin Nicholson said: “Me and the team at Mingary Castle are all so delighted to have won AA Restaurant with Rooms of the Year for Scotland.  To be listed amongst some of the UK’s most loved inns, B&Bs and restaurants with rooms is such an honour. We couldn’t have achieved this without the hardworking team here at Mingary, who make the Castle feel like home to every single one of the guests who stay with us. I’d also like to extend my thanks to our loyal guests - both local and from afar - who have supported us ever since we opened”.

Mingary Castle

Chef patron, Colin Nicholson’s, restaurant serves a five or eight course tasting menu in the intimate 20 cover dining room. The daily changing menu showcases the best produce that the west coast of Scotland has to offer. 

Fruit, vegetables and herbs are sourced from the local community garden that Colin is involved in, fish is sourced from Tobermory Fish Co and Iain Stewart’s in Fort William and a local fishing boat for langoustines, crab and lobster, and Highland based Great Glen Charcuterie is used for cured meats. They work with a local farmer who provides the pork for their homemade sausages for breakfast. 

Colin’s tasting menu is designed to use the ingredients to their full potential, simple dishes bursting with flavour are at the heart of the cooking. A complimentary wine pairing, featuring old and new world wines, is available.

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Mingary Castle

Mingary Castle’s restaurant is open Tuesday-Sunday between 6.30pm-8.30pm for residents and non-residents. Guests can select either a five-course (£60 per person) or an eight-course tasting menu (£90 per person, or £140 including paired wines). 

Afternoon tea is served in the dining room every Friday between 12:30pm-2:00pm. A lunch menu is served on Thursdays and Saturdays between 12pm-2pm, and a table d’hote lunch is served every Sunday two courses for £36 or three for £46).

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