Have you ever wanted to live like royalty? Well now at Forter Castle, you can, and with Wi-Fi that too.Just on the fringes of Cairngorm National Park, this bricked beauty of a building was first built in 1560 by James Ogilvy, the 5th Lord of Airlie in Glenisla, Scotland. He built it to protect the Balloch Pass route to Glenshee from invaders.
Unfortunately, the castle was burned down in 1650 by the Duke of Argyll because the 7th Lord of Airlie refused to sign the National Covenant-a document intended to protect the religion of the Presbyterians in Scotland in 1638.
Fortunately, Robert Pooley and his daughter, Katharine, restored the building in 1988 and have converted it into a self-catered accommodation for up to 16 guests. The exterior resembles a petite, L-shaped castle, but the interior is the epitome of luxury living with a Great Hall, a Chapel, six bedrooms and a kitchen. Katharine has included Scottish elements such as deer antler décor or tartan furnishings, but has mostly gone for a cosy living environment with lots of personal design touches. The hand painted ceiling in the Great Hall and the full suit of armour are a couple of examples of these.
Activities are also plenty; you can take advantage of the nearby National Park to go walking, hiking, horse riding, and even skiing in the winter. In addition, the caretakers of the castle also offer a Highland games experience with crossbows and axe throwing (to name just a few). However, if you’re feeling lazy, you can just stick to good food, or even a whisky tasting. And if you don’t want to venture out, you can watch a film from the castle’s collection or curl up with a good book in front of the log fire in the Great Hall.
Forter Castle may seem isolated, but in fact it’s only one hour and 45 minutes from Edinburgh airport. You can even stop off at Perth, en route, to see other castles such as Balhousie, before staying in your own.