13th-century Mingary Castle opens again...

It was music to my ears when I heard Mingary Castle was re-opening. After a multimillion pound refurbishment carried out in 2016, the castle opened and then sadly closed in 2019. But then a young couple - Colin Nicholson (32) and Jess Thompson (24) - had a dream when they returned to Scotland; they wanted to have their own place and, “...when the opportunity arose for Jessica and I to take on the lease of Mingary Castle, we jumped at the chance,” Colin said.

Jess and Colin

They have both just moved an hour to the West, from where 3 AA award-winning chef, Colin, was Head Chef at the 'Albert and Michel Roux Jr dining at Inverlochy Castle', north of Fort William, and Jessica was Restaurant Manager.

Colin is highlighting the rich natural Scottish larder by building a menu around local ingredients and seasonal produce, all on the doorstep of the castle. Front-of-house will be managed by Jess, who is an experienced five-star restaurant manager, and watched closely by Hamish, their wirehaired Dachshund, whom I expect will steal the show!

Mingary Castle

With beautiful views over the sound of Mull, and steeped in history as the seat for centuries of Clan MacLain, Mingary Castle offers a relaxed, luxurious, wilderness retreat with the comforts of 5-star sumptuous bedrooms to dream in. From the ramparts, you can watch the sunrise with a coffee and then toast the sun set with Champagne! One new addition this time will be the restaurant seating up to 20 guests and open to non-residents, allowing locals and holiday makers in the area to dine with the 10 residents. This can only enhance the ambiance. As well as meals and accommodation, Mingary Castle offers opportunities for stargazing in the courtyard, as well as easy access to local activities, including walking, sea adventures, wildlife tours and whisky distillery tours.

The last time I stayed at the castle I was touring on a motorcycle. The Ardnamurchan peninsula has some of the most gorgeous roads to ride or drive on; just be aware that these are narrow roads with passing places.

You could spend a week at the castle and still not see it all, buy hey ho, that means you can come back next year!!

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Must-do attractions:

Ardnamurchan Distillery.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse. The drone footage will make you want to add this to your wish list for sure. Jump on the Ferry at Kilchoan, a short walk from the castle, and visit Tobermoray on the Isle of Mull.

For more images of this beautiful area, check out Steven Marshall Photography.