We take a look at the finest country houses, castles and estates for sale in Scotland.
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.
No less a figure than Sir Walter Scott used to live her – but now, it’s is up for sale with Savills, who are asking for ‘offers over £5.5m’ for the spectacular, 863-acre Ashiestiel estate on the banks of the River Tweed, a mere five miles from Galashiels and its 50-minute Borders Rail-way link to Edinburgh, 35 miles to the north.
Originally a 17th-century pele tower, Ashiestiel House was later extended and enlarged, before being completed in the 19th century with the addition of an east wing. Built on two main floors over a lower ground floor, it has been refurbished throughout by its current owners since 2011.
The project included complete re-wiring, re-plumbing and re-roofing of the entire building, the installation of a new family kitchen, seven new bath/shower rooms to complement the master suite and six further bedrooms on the first floor and the creation of a TV room, games room and secure gun room on the lower-ground floor.
A reception hall and four grand reception rooms are located on the main floor, all of which have splendid views of the surrounding grounds.
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.
The estate agents describe this one as a ‘a unique opportunity to restore the finest Georgian castle in the Inner Hebrides.’
They’re entirely right – and at this price, they will no doubt generate an enormous amount of interest. But there is a lot of work to be done before the magnificently-named Breachacha Castle is back to its former majesty.
Once it’s done, this castle really will be something else. Built in the Palladian style, with Gothic Baronial crenellated parapets and turrets, Breachacha is a 1750 marvel once visited by Boswell and Johnson – and one which both apparently approved of: ‘We found here a neat new-built gentleman’s house, better than any we had been in since we were at Lord Errol’s,’ wrote Boswell in 1773. ‘Dr Johnson relished it much.’
The building fell into disuse after the war, however, and by 1998 was all but a ruin. The present owners took it on in 2006 and have done a significant amount of work with conservationists securing the structure – but a change in their circumstances means they are now moving on.
The ground and first floors, and the wings of the building, still need a lot of work. Or rather, a LOT of work, as these pictures make clear.
The vendors currently live on the top two floors of the central part of the castle – in what is effectively a six-bedroom apartment that enjoys outstanding views over Coll’s beautiful beaches and the Atlantic ocean.
It’s a huge project, of course. But at the price of a modest flat in, say, South West London, the starting point is right. We look forward with great interest to seeing who takes on this wonderful opportunity.
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.
Above the River Tay in the heart of the county, some 10 miles south of Perth, five-bedroom Balhomie that is on the market for £950,000 via Galbraith.
The property enjoys an elevated position —indeed, when the house was built in 1901 as a shooting lodge, the site was chosen for the view.
The 3.7-acre gardens include a terraced lawn and a well-stocked rhododendron and azalea bank that provides an array of spring colour.
There’s also an orchard with plum, apple and crab-apple trees, kitchen garden, original glasshouses, an onion house and former stables.
More details via Galbraith
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