After saying our goodbyes we are on the road again.
Today’s journey is one of our shortest only at just over an hour from Castle Levan to Culcreuch Castle. On the way we pass through Greenock and Port Glasgow before heading out into the country to the village of Fintry. Fintry is some 19 miles north of Glasgow, nestled in the strath of the Endrick Water between the Campsie Fells and the Fintry Hills. As we have enjoyed a few castles near the sea, it is nice to head out into the countryside.
As we head in to the small village of Fintry, we see the sign for Culcreuch Castle. We drive along the tree-lined driveway through the grounds to the castle. The castle looks fantastic and we can tell that we have arrived at a little piece of history which dates back all the way back to the 12th century.
As we are a little early for check-in we go for a wander around the well-kept grounds. Culcreuch boasts its own private loch, there are benches in the grounds where you can sit and while away the time. There is plenty of space to take a walk to take in the grounds to enjoy the surrounding or in our case for Jasmine space to run around. She particularly liked the playground with the swings and slide, a great feature for the children.
We head inside the castle and are greeted by Karen whom I have often spoken to on the phone, so finally nice to put a face to a name. The welcoming reception area boasts a nice warm fire so great for those chilly days. She shows us to the Spiers Room on the second floor. The room gets its name from the Spiers family who bought the castle from the Napiers in 1769 for the reputed sum of £15,000. Peter Spiers was a Glasgow merchant who established a cotton-spinning woollen-weaving mill and a distillery in Fintry. It is great that the names of the rooms all reveal a little bit of history about the castles past.
In the castle there are three room categories, Standard, Superior and Deluxe. As the castle is very popular, should it be fully booked, in addition to rooms inside the castle the grounds house the courtyard building which offers a selection of rooms great for those on a budget. You can see how close it is located to the castle in the photograph above, so guests can still use all of the castle’s amenities.
Once settled in to our room, I take a tour around the castle with Robert, the castle’s manager. I get to peek in and see some of the other rooms before the guests arrive. I also take a look in the recently renovated lounge, which was designed by John Amabile, who has featured on programmes such as 90-minute makeover.
Culcreuch Castle is ideally placed for visiting local attractions. You have the added benefit of experiencing a country getaway, yet still have the delights of Stirling and Loch Lomond all within a 30-minute drive and Glasgow just slightly further away. It is also a great place to enjoy a spot of cycling or walking for those who love the great outdoors.
For dinner in the evening there are two choices available, either the Castle Restaurant, which offers a fine dining experience or the Dungeon Diner which is located within the original Tower itself. With Jasmine in mind we opted for the Dungeon diner, with its stone walls and relaxed atmosphere. I opted for the fish and chips, whilst Naomi had the vegetarian special on offer. The meal was thoroughly enjoyable, and as a sign that the food was good Jasmine ate hers all up! One tip would be to stay for two nights so that you get to experience both restaurants. In our case we will just have to return! On an evening, guests can enjoy drinks at the bar or relax in the lounge.
After a good night’s sleep we head to breakfast where a selection of cereals, juices and pastries are on offer. We also opt for a cooked breakfast to set us up for our long journey to Inverness. I have the pleasure of meeting Mary Anne who is preparing for a wedding taking place that day at the castle.
After leaving the breakfast room I am told that some Celtic Castles clients wish to see me. I head back to the breakfast room and I am greeted by Mr and Mrs Broadbent (above) who are enjoying four castle stays over the year to celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary. It is lovely to meet them both and find out all about what they have been up to during their stay at Culcreuch. It is always lovely to meet Celtic Castles customers during trips such as these as this is the reason we love our job so much, assisting people to find their ideal castle experience.
I say my goodbyes to the team and thank them for such a wonderful stay. Culcreuch is really a great property with such history, offering a countryside getaway with plenty of scope to explore. My only wish is that we were staying longer!
I take some last pictures in the rain before getting in the car to head on our way north up to the highlands. Culcreuch has certainly left a wonderful impression.