If you would like a castle break in Scotland for a family stay, with easy access to St Andrews, Edinburgh and the Highlands of Scotland, Dairsie Castle might just be the perfect historic location for you.
The first documented reference for Dairsie Castle goes back to 1160, then in the 14th century Bishop Lamberton rebuilt the castle, and in 1335 a Parliament of Scotland was held at the castle. One of the topics on the agenda was to decide on a strategy to meet the invasion of Edward III.
The castle was rebuilt in the 16th century by the Learmonth family...this is starting to sound like a Medieval 'Grand Designs'; not sure what Kevin McCloud would have made of this! James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, then regent of Scotland, laid siege to the castle in 1575. King James VI of Scotland stayed at Dairsie Castle in 1583, following his escape from the Raid of Ruthven in June 1583. Dairsie Castle became a ruin in the 19th century, and here we go again...another rebuild in the 1990’s.
You will be pleased to hear that Dairsie Castle is still standing today, and is not under attack! This unique self-catering property, sleeping 14 people, is located close to St. Andrews and Edinburgh, and is an ideal setting for a family holiday, a castle wedding or for exploring the heart of Scotland.
The interior of Dairsie is infused with interesting artworks and sculptures, telling the story behind the castle and linking to its past.
At the hub of the castle, the Great Hall has a large dining table, which can seat 14 comfortably, and is surrounded by beautiful artworks and sculptures. It also has two large sofas and a foot-stool around the fireplace for pre and post-dinner relaxation. There is also a Minstrel’s Gallery overlooking the Great Hall, which can be reached from a staircase behind the room. Beside this is a wash-room, which takes its design inspiration from the old ducat, which used to stand there. In one of the corners of the Great Hall is also a small compass room, which has floor tiling pointing in the direction of North.
The living room is on the 2nd floor, situated next to the family bedroom. It is carpeted and has a TV, a stereo and comfortable sofas. Next to the living room is a small children’s toy room, which is filled with children’s books, toys and some board games for the evenings.
The kitchen has all the usual culinary equipment and has a 2-hub Aga cooker. The room has a table and chairs and is large enough also to be used as a breakfast room. Behind the kitchen is a laundry room with a washing machine and dryer, and adjacent to the kitchen is a wash-room. The castle is equipped to a very high standard.
At the top of the castle, the Minstrel’s Gallery is a spacious area where you will find a lot of the castle’s artwork and antiques displayed. It is a very bright and large space with good views of the surrounding countryside, and is an ideal place for holding receptions.
The castle has six bedrooms, all with a character of their own; check out the 'Dungeon' bedroom on the ground floor...this is a twin room with a vaulted ceiling. My favourite room is the huge master bedroom with three hand-carved four-poster beds; 1 king-size and 2 large singles. This room also has a stand-alone bath with shutters painted in the Katsushika Hokusai style from the Edo period.
Dairsie has six acres of grounds, including a cop with a woodland walk down to the river Eden, a walled herb garden, orchard and a large open grass area. There is an open garage, originally intended to be a ducat, a watch tower and a large drive, which can park up to eight cars.
If you are looking for a truly unique castle stay in Scotland, you will find that Dairsie Castle will offer you a huge amount and create a lasting memory for anyone staying at the castle.