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News and articles from our featured castles.

Top 3 Castles to Rent for a Party...

You may have a special birthday or family event looming. You're keen to get all of the 'gang' together, but concerned perhaps about finding a suitable space. You don't particularly want the rigidity of strict hotel schedules and prefer a more relaxed set-up. The solution? Book a castle on an exclusive self-catering (vacation-rental) basis, giving you complete freedom to organise your group and spend the time just as you wish...without breaking the bank!

Choosing the top three party castles across England, Scotland and Ireland is a difficult one, but my personal favourites are...

Castle Law



Castle Law lies at the foot of Law Hill in West Kilbride, just inland from the Ayrshire coast, in Scotland. It sleeps up to 14 people in 7 rooms and is equipped with all the modern amenities of today’s world, yet offers a true castle experience. It can be rented on a self-catering basis for weekly stays or short breaks for 3 or more nights and is perfect for families or a group of friends. I was lucky enough to celebrate my 40th birthday at this castle, which you can read about here.

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Top 5 Castles by the Sea

There is no shortage of incredible properties here at  Celtic Castles, but I think it's safe to say location plays a big part in just how desirable a stay in a castle is. Very few properties can say they're within touching distance of these breathtaking bodies of water, and that's exactly why we're going to highlight a few of those that can.



Amhuinnsuidhe Castle

This castle hotel, located on The Isle of Harris, is well and truly remote, but well worth a visit, given the opportunity. Often seen as an escape from the pressures of the modern world, and renowned for its salmon and trout fishing, the Amhuinnsuidhe Estate sits on one of the most north-westerly points in Scotland and is accessible only via sea or air.

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How to Choose a Castle Wedding Photographer (3 Key Areas)

With all the images we now see across our social channels and 4K screens, photographs have never played such a big part in our lives and the mood these images captures is even more important on your wedding day; they become very personal.

I was speaking with Ryan Browne, a multi-award-winning MPA Photographer based in Yorkshire, and asked him what he thought a bride and groom should think about when choosing a wedding photographer.



“Make sure you have looked through the photographer's galleries properly. This way you will have an idea of the photographer's style and you will see if it fits the vision of your day.”

I do think the most important question you need to ask yourself is what style of wedding photography you prefer. The days of just posed shots are long gone. One of the most popular styles I tend to see is the reportage/journalistic style of wedding photography. Taking candid photographs of people is great for creating a story of the day; this also captures the emotion of the wedding day, picking up real smiles and laughter and even tears! These are images you may not see on the day, but they bring it alive and keep it alive when you look back at them 10 years down the line.
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How do I stay in a real castle?

There are so many different castles to choose from, so where do you start? This is a quick and easy 4-step guide to help you pinpoint your perfect castle.


Where...

The first thing I always suggest is to look at your preferred location; do you or your group need easy access to the castle, or are you happy to be within 3 hours of an international airport? If you have a county or city in mind that you want to be close to, this has to be your starting point. If you would like a sea view, to be in the Highlands of Scotland or 2 hours from London, put this criteria into the mix, as this is important. You might also want to be within walking distance of an Irish pub! Once you have decided where you would like to be, this will make it much easier for us to help you.



What...

The feel are you looking for; luxury stone walls or modern boutique? Do you want a true castle experience with rustic, stone walls or a more modern boutique style of interior? This is a critical question to ask to narrow down the castle options to choose from. Think about the memories you want to take away with you from the castle; this is always a good way to help you focus on your requirements. You may also start to list the 'must have' elements...Do all the rooms have to be en-suite or are you happy to share a few of the bathrooms? Do you need a pool table or swimming pool (not many have a pool!)? Do you want a roaring fire in the castle or in your bedroom?
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Visit Moffat in Scotland

Moffat is a vibrant, bustling town in the heart of Southern Scotland; a great attraction for visitors to the Scottish Borders.


Moffat has a rich heritage and history and a thriving cultural and creative scene, with attractions including The Moffat Museum, where you can learn more about the fascinating story of the town. Theatres, art galleries and shops galore, a thriving music scene and a whole host of fun events throughout the year make Moffat a must-visit town for all.

It's a perfect place for walkers, located on the scenic Southern Upland Way and the most northerly point on the Annandale Way.

If your prefer to explore on wheels, you'll love the challenge of touring the hills and valleys on the surrounding country roads.

Moffat Museum

The museum, including the Old Bakehouse, tells the story of Moffat from pre-history to the present day portrayed by video and artefacts. 

Moffatasia/Station Park/Boating Pond

Enjoy the Moffatasia interactive water feature - mushroom jets, fountains, water cannons as well as putting, boating pond, children's play picnic areas. Moffatasia is suitable for people of all abilities.

Farmers' Market

A friendly, busy Farmers' Market in the centre of picturesque Moffat hosts between 25 and 30 stalls every month; at least two-thirds of the stalls offer local food and drink sold by those who produced it. Up to a third of the stalls are artisan and local crafts. The market is held every second Sunday of the month, except November when it is the third Sunday of the month.

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Murder Mystery Nights in Castles

Castles are the perfect backdrops for a Murder Mystery-themed evening. Below are details of 3 castle Murder Mystery events, taking place at regular intervals throughout the year, which anyone can join. If you are looking for a bespoke Murder Mystery for a group booking or castle corporate event, we can help arrange these at any castle, contact us for more information.


Lumley Castle

Lumley Castle is a 14th century castle located in North East England, just outside the city of Durham.

In 1903 a murder took place at Lumley Castle. This villainous act was the result of a master criminal mind, however a mistake was made – a clue the police overlooked.

You are invited to attend a re-enactment of the murder, to see if you can play detective and solve this hideous crime.

Was it the ambitious land owner Jack Horner or cunning Lady Lily or the scheming Sir Ralph or perhaps the plotting maid Dinah?…

Can you guess whodunit and why?

Murder Mystery evenings take place on selected weekend dates throughout the year and are suitable for adults and children 12 years and above. Room prices vary throughout the year, enquire for further information and prices.

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Top 5 Things to Do in the City of Perth, Scotland

Scone Palace is one of the most important properties in Scotland; it was the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert the Bruce.


Less than 40 minutes from Edinburgh, located across the River Tay, just 15 minutes from the city of Perth in Scotland, Scone Palace offers the perfect combination of tranquillity and accessibility. 




The village of Scone once stood within the grounds of the palace, however, when the Medieval house was rebuilt as a Gothic palace in 1803, and the landscaping of the new palace grounds took place in 1805, the entire village was relocated two miles away and became known as ‘New Scone’.


The celebrated Moot Hill at Scone, the ancient crowning place of the Kings of Scots, 42 of them in all, is located immediately in front of the palace and is crowned by a tiny Presbyterian chapel. A replica of the famous Stone of Scone sits in front of the chapel.


Here's of 'Top 5' of things to do whilst staying at Scone Palace:

1 - Walking up Kinnoull Hill; make sure you bring your camera! Kinnoull Hill has fine woodlands and a dramatic clifftop escarpment above the Tay. It makes a grand setting for a cylindrical tower built as a folly. The whole walk makes an excellent circuit from Perth city centre.

2 - A private tour of Scone Palace is complimentary for guests staying overnight at the property.


3 - A day at the Races at Perth Racecourse; Gold Cup Day is the most prestigious race on the calendar in early June, attracting one of the biggest crowds as fans flock to see some of the best-rated horses compete for the main prize.

4 - Fishing on River Tay, which is internationally renowned for its Atlantic salmon fishing. It is one of the best salmon rivers in the United Kingdom, indeed in the whole of Europe. The Tay is the home of record fish, including the largest ever rod caught salmon in Britain, which was caught by Miss Georgina Ballantine in 1922, weighing 64lbs, and which remains the British Record.


5 - The Black Watch Castle and Museum, set in the origins of Balhousie Castle, is said to date back to the 12th century. Originally an L-shaped tower house, what we see today is the central part, possibly dating from the 17th century. In its present form, the castle dates from the 1860s. In 2008 The Black Watch Heritage Appeal was launched to buy, develop and endow Balhousie Castle to create a permanent home for The Black Watch in Perth at the heart of the Regimental area. 
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Traquair Springs into Action with a New Ale this Season

Traquair is celebrating a new season this year with the launch of a thirst quenching “Spring Ale”. With an ABV 4.2%, it is the lightest of Traquair’s ales yet, produced from the tiny ancient brewery at Traquair House.

“We are trialling this new ale for the Spring and so far the response has been brilliant. Traquair Ales are often on the stronger side for many people’s tastes, 
so this ale is aimed at a wider audience", commented Catherine Maxwell Stuart,
21st Lady of Traquair.

The  recipe is devised from an earlier cask ale brewed for the Referendum in 2014 and
has a hint of coriander, but also has the distinctive taste of all Traquair’s
ales, derived from their fermentation in oak tuns – the only brewery left in the UK continuing to use this ancient method of brewing.

Traquair also has a new head brewer, Frank Smith, who has finally achieved the top job after 25 years at the brewery! He is responsible for the new ale and thinks it will be repeated in future years if capacity allows. Last year, the brewery increased its production through purchasing two new conditioning tanks and is looking to increase sales in Scotland and the UK. The brewery currently exports nearly 70% of its production  to the US, Canada, Japan, Italy and France

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2018 Open Championship - Carnoustie



Carnoustie is a small town on the Angus coast between Dundee and Arbroath, famed for its championship golf course. In 2018 The Open Championship will return to the Carnoustie Golf Links Course.

The Championship Course has hosted seven Open Championships, one Ladies Open and one Seniors Open, making it one of the very few to have done so in the UK.

Held from 16 to 22 July 2018, this will be the 147th Open Championship and the world's best golfers will gather to compete for the famous Claret Jug on one of the best links courses in Scotland.

Accommodation in the area is in very high demand and, as such, we recommend that you book this as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

We have a selection of castle experiences to enhance your golfing package:

Dairsie Castle
A unique self-catering property sleeps up to 14 guests, located just 40 minutes' drive from Carnoustie.


Dalmunzie Castle
1.25 hours from the course, Dalmunzie Castle can offer dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in 17 bedrooms. The hotel has a golf course attached for those who wish to enjoy a round themselves in addition to spectating!


Fasque Castle
A luxurious, exclusive-use castle, sleeping up to 38 adults, 50 minutes from the Carnoustie Golf Links Course.

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Looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding?


Image courtesy of: Michael Dean of Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

Looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding?

Have you considered a traditional Celtic Handfasting ceremony?

A Handfasting ceremony is not recognised as a legal marriage ceremony, however in Scotland, the celebrant is authorised by the Registrar General, so officially recognised for Scottish couples. In the wider community, the handfasting ceremony can be used to strengthen your vows or to show commitment to your married relationship.



Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition that involved tying the hands of the betrothed together. This type of ceremony is very popular in Scotland and Ireland.

The tying together of hands with a ribbon or sash and exchanging of vows is believed to date back to late Medieval times deriving from the Old Norse; hand-festa. Handfasting then represented the betrothal (or engagement to be married) of the intended couple, not the actual marriage itself.

Today the ceremonies are tailored to the wishes of the celebrant couple and can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.



Several of our Scottish and Irish castles are happy to offer this traditional ceremony, which blends nicely with the castle theme.

Featured Castle: Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, ScotlandFeatured Castle: Glenapp Castle, AyrshireScotland

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Castles available to book through Celtic Castles

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