Head around 10 miles west from Inverness along the A96 and you’ll come to Cawdor Castle, an impressive 14th-century tower house and is easily one of the most romantic castles in the Highlands.
Cawdor Castle Gardens
Literary fans might recognise the Thane of Cawdor – the king of Cawdor – from Macbeth. Sadly though, the tower was built after the 11th century when Macbeth ruled in the north.
The four-storey tower is a heavily fortified house, with just one entrance, and has been lived in continuously for centuries. This has helped to ensure the building and its contents remain in excellent condition.
The castle is open for visitors from the end of April until October each year, seven days a week. Guests can investigate the dungeons, the impressive drawing room – which features works from Sir Joshua Reynolds, Francis Cotes and Sir William Beechey – the tapestry bedroom, featuring some amazing wall hangings, and the old kitchen which is decked out in an array of vintage cooking implements. You’ll also find a well dating back to the 17th century, which is dug straight into the red sandstone the castle is built on,keeping it constantly filled with at least six feet of spring water.
Outside, you’ll find the three sumptuous gardens. These include the walled garden, the flower garden and the wild garden, alongside a nine-hole golf course, a putting green, bookshop, a wool shop, a restaurant and the Courtyard Café. So no matter what takes your fancy, there’s guaranteed to be something to make Cawdor Castle a fantastic day out for everyone.
The grounds are also a great place to explore, thanks to the extensive nature trails that snake across the charmingly titled Big Wood. Most of the walks begin in the wild garden and range from 0.75 to five miles in length, allowing you to explore dozens of different tree species and even come across some wild roe deer, herons and birds of prey during your visit.