Dating back to 1560, Forter Castle is situated in Glenisla, amongst the wild wonders of the Cairngorms National Park and the Scottish Highlands. It combines a rich history with luxurious interiors, full of traditional character and modern comforts.
Set across five floors, the castle accommodates up to sixteen guests in seven individually designed bedrooms and boasts a stunning Great Hall with large fireplace and hand-painted ceiling. You can choose to self-cater, or bring in external catering for one or more nights.
The caste is privy to some of the most magnificent views in Scotland. The beauty of the Scottish countryside can be seen from every window.
In times gone by, the only way to gain access to Forter Castle was with an army. However, for you and your party, restrictions have been loosened!
The Great Hall
The Great Hall spans the entire width of the castle and is a fabulous space for entertaining or just to relax in on the large sofas. The fireplace dominates the room and, above you, is a hand-painted ceiling documenting the history of the building. The sitting area is perfect for pre-dinner drinks, then gather around the large table (seating 16) for an exquisite Highland feast.
After a day exploring the Perthshire countryside, you’ll want a comfortable bedroom to retire to. Thankfully, Forter Castle has these in abundance.
Spread over five floors, each of Forter’s unique bedrooms has its own character. There are carved four-poster beds, bespoke cushions and throws, paintings and tapestries adorning the walls, antique furnishings and many other luxurious touches. The bathrooms are to an equally high standard, several with free-standing baths.
Many of the bedrooms have breath-taking views across to the nearby mountains of the Cairngorms.
For us, the highlight is the Laird’s Room, a chamber which fills the entire footprint of the castle, and boasts its own library area and sofa.
In total, the castle sleeps up to sixteen guests. Ten guests in five four-poster rooms and a further two in Julian’s Room. At the very top of the castle is the Garret, a large room holding four single beds, ideal for children.
The castle has been specifically fitted out with a state-of-the-art kitchen containing all of the equipment needed to help prepare a simple breakfast or create an exquisite banquet. The castle can assist with deliveries from one of its recommended suppliers or external catering can be arranged for either part, or the entire duration, of your stay.
Forter Castle is located in the heart of Scotland, inside the magnificent Cairngorms National Park, making it an excellent base for adventure and leisure activities.
Any time spent taking in the Highland scenery is far from wasted, and the way you experience the countryside is up to you! By foot or mountain bike, the surrounding area offers countless paths and tracks, or perhaps consider travelling by horseback? The local stables can accommodate all skill levels, from the complete beginner to the experienced rider.
As ever, Scotland is the home of Golf and there are many courses within easy reach. And what trip to Scotland would be complete without at least one visit to one of the many local distilleries?
Stalking, fishing and shooting can all be arranged nearby and, when the snow falls, skiing and snowboarding are available in the surrounding mountains.
Forter Castle makes an excellent location for an intimate Highland wedding. The castle is unique in that it has its own chapel and, with accommodation for 16, this is an ideal number for a smaller occasion, although day events can accommodate up to 24 guests. A list of reputable local contacts is available to you for the likes of catering, hair, make-up and bands. The castle's expert team will work closely with you to make your perfect day as stress-free as possible.
Forter Castle is fully licensed to host civil, religious, and humanist wedding ceremonies, same-sex marriages and wedding blessings.
Forter Castle was built in 1560 as a “fortalice” by the Ogilvys of Airlie. The purpose behind the construction of Forter was to fortify and protect the entrance to the Balloch Pass to Glenshee and the important Moneca Pass to Braemar and the North. At the time of construction, marauding bands of caterans threatened the settled folk in this area and the clan feuds, stoked by religious differences, as Protestantism came in to supplant the old Catholic religion, made it necessary to build a new fortalice for the house of Ogilvy.
As a fortified tower, Forter fared extremely well; it was only as a result of a force of some five thousand men with heavy artillery to back them up that, in the year 1640, Forter eventually fell. The personal feud that led to Forter’s downfall came about through the sale of the land on which it sits. In the agreement, Donald Campbell, Abbot of Coupar Angus, inserted a clause which protected the fixity of tenants settled at the head of the Glen, who owed allegiance to Clan Campbell.
Naturally, Lord Ogilvy did not agree with this, and hostilities between the two families steadily grew, with blood being spilt on both sides. Eventually, the fighting came to a climax when Lord Argyll raised a formidable force of five thousand men, armed with heavy artillery against whom there could be no real resistance. The men marched on Forter Castle, where most of its occupants had already fled to the surrounding hills. The attacking force set Forter alight, gutting the building and leaving it a ruin, which it would remain for 350 years.
Thirty years ago, Robert Pooley set eyes on Forter Castle. The stone walls were crumbling, scarred by fire, and the entrance was obstructed by three feet of debris, which made entering a challenge. In the centre of the structure were two mature trees, which had been the only inhabitants of Forter for over 340 years. On 8 August 1988, the Pooley family purchased the estate.
The team that collaborated on the restoration insisted upon discovering the original design through careful observation. The scarring in the stones of the castle revealed the past structure through subtle clues; the irregular split levels of the upper two floors were found by examining fixtures visible in the stone by the irregular position of windows and the evidence of fireplaces. Experienced craftsmen were found from all over Scotland. Authentic materials were carefully sorted and utilised. The castle was built in the traditional L-shape of a 16th-century fortified house.
The Great Hall, with its oak ceiling, supported by massive 12-inch beams, is particularly impressive. The only deliberate change was to make the Laird's bedroom the full expanse of the castle, the same dimensions of the Great Hall.
After two years of dedicated work by Robert and his team of craftsmen, the structure was complete. On 7 July 1990, the 350th anniversary of the destruction of Forter, the Pooleys held a gathering to celebrate. Robert realised his dream of building the castle back to its former glory.
|Dates||Weekly (Fri - Fri)||Mid-week (Mon - Fri)||Weekend (Fri - Mon)|
|05 Jan - 21 Feb||£4725||£4095||£3465|
|22 Feb - 28 Feb||£5985||£5355||£4725|
|01 Mar - 29 Mar||£4725||£4095||£3465|
|30 Mar - 13 Apr||£6615||£5985||£5355|
|14 Apr - 12 Jul||£5985||£5355||£4725|
|13 Jul - 03 Sep||£7875||N/A||N/A|
|04 Sep - 08 Oct||£4752||£4095||£3465|
|19 Oct - 29 Oct||£5985||£5355||£4725|
|30 Oct - 18 Dec||£4725||£4095||£3465|
|19 Dec - 04 Jan||£9135||N/A||N/A|
Prices are based on 12 guests on a self-catering basis. For 16 guests, supplementary charges apply.
Prices apply to 2020/21 dates.
Not only is Forter easily accessible from Scotland's major airports, you will also enjoy the central location, giving you easy access to a large number of points of interest.