They say an Englishman's home is his castle. Well, now a Scotsman's castle can be your home.
Come and stay in Craigston Castle. Built by, and home to, the Urquhart family since 1604, Craigston is located on the north east coast of Scotland – considered by National Geographic to be one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world. As guests of the Urquhart family you will have your choice of room, each beautifully decorated with period furniture including original four-poster beds. Each room has its own bathroom. Cots are available upon request.In the evening you can sit by a roaring log fire in the drawing or ante-drawing rooms and enjoy a good whisky from one of the many local distilleries.
Craigston Castle is thought to belong to the Bell Group of Scottish castles, forming “perhaps Scotland’s finest and the most distinctive contribution to western architecture” (H. Gordon Slade).
The Urquhart family is one of the oldest in Scotland and can be traced back to Adam Urquhart the sheriff of Cromarty in 1357. However, according to the great Sir Thomas Urquhart (1611-1660) translator of Rabelais, the family can even be traced back to Adam and Eve through remarkable ancestors including Esormon Ourochartos (Prince of Achaia who married Narfesid, Sovereign of the Amazons) and Bithiah, the Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses in the bulrushes. These fantastic claims are symptomatic of the family’s fondness for the romantic and the strange.
John Urquhart of Craigfintry, known as the Tutor of Cromarty, built the castle between 1604 – 1607. He took a long time to select the best place for the castle that was to be his legacy, and, unusually for the time, had a marked influence on the final project. The exposed Turriff sandstone emphasizes squareness and strength. Two main wings flanking the entrance and connected by an elevated arch, are surmounted by a richly Gothic inspired corbelled parapet, regarded by many as one of the finest examples in Scotland. There are bases for corner turrets near the top corner of each wing, but the turrets themselves were never completed.
Captain John Urquhart (b.1696) bought back the Castle after it had been sold 15 years previously to pay off debts. He had the means to do this due to his career in privateering, at the time a perfectly respectable way of living, and was therefore in the family known as the Pirate. In 1733 he commissioned William Adam, the foremost architect of the time, to prepare a lay-out of grounds and design the wings that were added in 1733-4.
In 1838 John Smith (the architect of Balmoral) designed the new entrance doorway. Smith also designed a two storey addition, but this was not carried out.
The castle has a fully equipped traditional kitchen, with modern appliances for self catering. Meals can be eaten in the kitchen or dining room.
Your hosts can help you choose from the best local produce: game, lamb and Highland beef from the estate; fish from nearby Macduff; and seasonal, organic vegetables from our neighbour.
Complimentary wifi is provided.
Please note there is a small burn that flows 30 yards away to one side of the castle and this small area is not suitable for unsupervised children.
Dogs Allowed: YES. Maximum of 2 only. Additional charge per booking. Restricted to ground floor only