We take a look at the finest country houses, castles and estates for sale in Scotland.
With 16 bedrooms, Glenborrodale Castle, on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula near Acharacle, is the quintessential castle in a breathtaking setting.
Built in 1902 in red Dumfriesshire sandstone, this Baronial mansion dominates a steep, south-facing hillside overlooking Loch Sunart, the Isles of Carna and Oronsay and the Morven Hills.
It could be a sprawling home, but there are facilities set up to run the place as a hotel, wedding venue or anything else. There is staff accommodation, a professional kitchen and a gate lodge all in place to help.
Beyond the house there are huge grounds of almost 133 acres, including a boathouse and jetty, a walled garden and two islands, the Isles of Risga and Eilean an Feidh.
Dating to the 17th century, the strikingly pretty Cassillis Castle was the home of the Earls of Cassillis. Laid out over five floors, this is a labyrinthine building with huge rooms, magnificent ceilings, spiral staircases, sweeping hallways, breathtaking views and extraordinary grounds.
The Drawing Room is arguably the pick of the many rooms, built in the style of William Burn’s work, though believed to be the work of David Bryce. Vast windows flood the room with natural light, and whilst the fireplace forms a centrepiece for the room, it is undoubtedly trumped by the fine ceiling plasterwork.
The Inner Hall and Dining Room also have grand fireplaces, with the hall’s glazed roof bathing the space in natural light.
The spiral staircase is part of the original Keep of Cassillis, and is built clockwise – apparently the best way to make it easy to defend by a right-handed swordsman.
The Ballroom and adjacent Library were originally the bedroom and living quarters of the Earls of Cassillis. At almost 30′ in length and 20′ in width, the Ballroom is a superb room for entertaining, with windows overlooking the River Doon below.
There is even a secret staircase just off the entrace to the keep, which lead up to the East Chintz Room. At the top of the steps a faded, hand painted notice on the wall advises staff that this staircase was for the use of the Earl and his family only: the sign reads ‘Step no further Master Porter!’.
Grand as it is, the castle is just the starting point – there is also an attendant gate lodge, garden cottage and walled garden, coach house and stable block, all within 310 acres of rolling South Ayrshire countryside that encompass a long stretch of the River Doon. The fishing rights are included as part of the sale.
The property is also only a short distance from the coast, with the famous Turnberry golf course within easy reach.
The Cassillis Estate is for sale via Savills – see more pictures and details.
The 13-bedroom home at the heart of the Penninghame Estate is breathtakingly beautiful, for the building itself, the setting and interiors which have been done with astonishing charm. The mix of original features and 21st century gloss is brilliantly judged.
The oldest parts of the mansion date back to 1700, with the bulk of the building having been constructed in 1869. As well as the bedrooms there are five main reception rooms, 10 bathrooms, a library and a gym. The sprawling floorplan is so large that you almost need a compass to get your bearings while studying it.
The wider estate extends to around 100 acres, consisting of parkland, woodland and a large walled garden.
There is also 1500m of waterfront, with the River Cree running through the grounds and adding to the enchanting beauty of the natural surroundings and the comfort, peace and tranquillity.
In some parts of the country, £3.25 million is not a lot of money. Take Chiswick, for example – you’d need that much and an extra £100,000 to afford this four-bed semi.
Nice as that house is, it’s not a patch on The Roxburghe, which is on the market via Savills for £3,250,000. It’s an early-19th century mansion of grand style with 22 bedrooms, five reception rooms and a glass-and-wood entertaining space for which the word ‘conservatory’ doesn’t really seem adequate.
Yet the house – which has been run for many years as a country hotel – is only the start of the tale, for the property also includes almost 300 acres of land on which sits one of Scotland’s finest inland golf courses, The Roxburghe.
If money is tight but you still dream of owning a Scottish estate, this beautiful and manageably-sized estate could be perfect.
The house itself is in definite need of updating, but other than that, we’re struggling to find the catch of a place with beautiful, mature gardens (totalling 10 acres) plus a further 20 acres of woodland and 22 acres of paddock and woodland.
Sometimes, these properties are all about the castle. Sometimes they’re all about the estate – and West Cult is the latter. Renowned for its high-bird pheasant and partridge, the estate comprises some 612 acres of pasture, rough grazing, woodland, game crops, roads and lochs.
Not that property isn’t part of the deal: there is an 11-bedroom house included as well, plus several cottages.
The part-Gothic, part-Tudor design of the house drips with grandeur, and the rooms inside live up to the promise of the architecture. As well as the 10 bedrooms you’ll find four reception rooms, a conservatory and a wine cellar.
The house itself is only the very start of the story, incidentally: the estate stretches to almost 1,100 acres, with roughly the same again available by separate negotiation.
The lovely Earlshall Castle is a dream find for lovers of history or golf: it’s just a few miles from St Andrews, was built by the descendants of Robert the Bruce, and once hosted Mary Queen of Scots.
The castle, as it stands today, is a 10-bedroom building with a great hall, dining room, gun room, library, study and 10 bedrooms, among other things.
Without doubt the most eye-catching of the interior spaces is the Long Gallery, whose painted ceiling is justly famous for its intricacy. It dates back to the 17th century, and is a phenomenal and unusual work.
With 15 bedrooms and seven reception rooms, Solsgirth House in Dollar is a grand, splendid building that is easily accessible yet has a romantic private location.
Internally the accommodation is both impressively proportioned and manageably laid out. The main reception rooms on the ground floor which include drawing room, dining room, library and ballroom all have large windows with lovely views across the formal gardens or the woodland policies with the Ochil Hills beyond.
Within 10 miles of the centre of Glasgow – and about the same distance north of the airport – lies the Craigallian Estate.
It’s a beautiful country estate with an imposing Victorian house at the centre, which enjoys beautiful surroundings within an estate that comprises some 340 acres – including a loch with boathouse, forestry and pasture land.
The house itself, built in 1884, is vast: it has 11 bedrooms, six reception rooms and a conservatory. Finding all this so close to one of Britain’s finest cities is extraordinary.
An elegant Category A Listed mansion set within 25 acres, Shennanton House is in the heart of the beautiful Galloway countryside.
And the grandeur of the architecture is the equal of the grandeur of the scenery: this magnificent building is a fine example of English Tudor/ vernacular style and is set within mature landscaped gardens and grounds which extend to approximately 25 acres.
From the entrance gate and the lodge, a long driveway passes through woodland, including beech, oak and rhododendrons and the open lawns include a four hole pitch and putt course, croquet lawn and tennis court – the sporting theme continues inside, incidentally, with a fully-equipped games room.
The property could be used as one single home, though needs a little work to do so: It was extensively refurbished in 1988 and converted into four self contained properties each with an abundance of charm and character to provide spacious and luxurious accommodation of between three and five bedrooms, the majority with en suite facilities.
If the thought of all that work to be done is bringing you out in a cold sweat, turn instead to the delightful Glentrium House in Newtownmore, just a few miles off the A9 and roughly half-way between Pitlochry and Aviemore.
This wonderful nine-bedroom house has just been refurbished from top to bottom. It’s Grade B listed with Historic Scotland, but has all manner of modern touches – there is even under-floor heating.
Glentrium is currently run as a wedding venue, but would make a fabulous country home with drawing room, smoking room, games room, library, orangery, home-cinema, beauty spa, sauna and gym.
Beyond the main house there are a further three lodges and a cottage. Glentrium is for sale via Strutt & Parker – see more pictures and details.
Fairytale Craigcrook Castle, in four acres of landscaped grounds, including mature woodland and a walled garden, is an astonishing property just three miles from Edinburgh city centre that is on the market for the first time in 300 years at a price of £6m.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this 16th century castle – from the outside, at least – is the round tower that boasts far-reaching views of Costorphine Hill, Blackhall and the Firth of Forth.
Inside, there are six bedrooms in total set over three floors and a wealth of unusual features, including a fabulous stained glass window – that is part of an internal door – and some handsome wooden-panelling .
The castle became a well-known cultural hotspot in the 19th century, famous for its soirees, and was visited by the likes of Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, George Eliot and Tennyson.
There are four acres of grounds included which take in a walled garden and woodland.
The castle became known for its cultural soirees and was visited by Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, George Eliot and Tennyson.
If it’s palatial space you’re after, this might be the ideal home: a 25-bedroom castle in Dornoch, Sutherland, which is so large it’s currently run as a hotel – and it has been since 1947.
While that very fact might diminish its romance a little, it could easily be restored to a residence should you wish to do so. Inside, the fixtures and fittings are exactly what you’d wish to see with all manner of features retained in this 520-year-old building originally constructed by the Bishop of Caithness as his home.
The present owners have been the custodians since 2000, and have put a lot of effort into refurbishing the castle, which is at the heart of this picturesque town and a stone’s throw from the internationally-famous Royal Dornoch golf course.
More details from Strutt & Parker
Barholm Castle is a traditional Scottish tower house dating back to the 15th century that is on the market for £695,000 via Knight Frank.
John Knox is reputed to have hidden out here during 1566 while on the run from his enemies; his accommodation was apparently on the 4th floor, which is now a large bedroom towards the top of the home.
When Knox stayed here, he’d presumably have used a wooden staircase which has since gone: the stone stair tower is a later addition, having been erected in 1573. Those stairs still stand, taking you from the kitchen diner on the ground floor, past the ‘great hall’ on the first floor, up to the top.
While it’s a fine place on the inside, for our money it’s the location that is most breathtaking: it’s situated on a hillside overlooking Wigtown Bay and the Machars of Wigtownshire.
More details from Knight Frank