Monthly Archives: October 2018


Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019 is here! And we’re delighted that our nation is on the Top Regions list for the beautiful Scottish Highlands and islands!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Region No. 5.

The popular travel guide has listed its “ten regions that are ready for the spotlight”. As usual, Lonely Planet has made some great choices. Each one is definitely worth visiting, judging by the variety of history, culture and beautiful scenery. Although we’re not quite number one on the list, which Piedmont, Italy is, the Scotland’s Highlands and islands are listed as number five! We’re right above the Russian Far East and just below Australia’s Red Centre.

What’s so great about the Scottish Highlands and islands?

The list item starts by praising Scotland’s whisky: “a thousand years of history and culture distilled.” Lonely Planet seems to like the distilleries up here, and we agree. In particular, Oban Distillery is well worth a visit for the tours and tastings it offers.

Barcaldine Castle, Scottish Highlands

The item also includes a link to Lonely Planet’s video “Introducing Scotland’s Highlands & Islands”. Give Barcaldine Castle a wave at 1:09! Also linked is their article The Great Glen: coast to coast along Scotland’s rift valley. You may want to have a read and see some of the gorgeous sights included, such as Glenfinnan Viaduct.

If that’s not enough, have a look at Lonely Planet’s full Highlands & Islands page to see what else they have to say. Among its ‘top experiences’ is the seafood of Oban.

Come and see for yourself.

Fancy a trip up to the Scottish Highlands to see what Lonely Planet is talking about? While you’re at it, a stay at Barcaldine Castle will give you an even more memorable experience! Have a look at what else you can get up to when you’re visiting the Highlands.

Road in Scottish Highlands

Got any special occasions coming up? Any cool party themes in mind? If not, why not?! Nothing adds to the fun of a party like a gripping theme and an interesting venue. We’d love to hire out our castle for an evening and give you full and exclusive use of this historic building.

But what sort of party themes would really do a castle justice?

In case you need inspiration for your next event, here are some ideas to suit a variety of tastes.

Party Themes, Game of Thrones Night

A Game of Thrones

FeastOf all the best and most popular party themes, this is one that we recently brought to life here at Barcaldine. Just last month we held the most fantastic feast in the Seven Kingdoms! Our guests celebrated a 50th nameday in style complete with excellent costumes and a delicious feast prepared by our new chef John Larkins, it was like stepping right into King’s Landing. Any excuse to host another clash of kings would be welcome!

Party Themes, Harry Potter, Witchcraft and Wizardry

A Spellbinding Night of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Jacobite train on Glenfinnan Viaduct

Did you know Hogwarts is in the Scottish Highlands? Although the Harry Potter books don’t mention it, J.K. Rowling has told us so herself. The films also use a number of Scottish locations for parts of the Hogwarts grounds. But the real Hogwarts cannot be plotted on a map. Maybe it’s next door to us!

Muggles can’t see Hogwarts, but they can still come to Barcaldine Castle for a night of witches, wizards and a magical feast — and maybe try to spot a giant squid in Loch Creran. Of all the party themes we’ve thought of, we’d perhaps like to try this one the most! For an even more magical time, while you’re here, you could even pop up to Glenfinnan Viaduct, where the films showed the Hogwarts Express transporting young students to the famous wizarding school.

If you visit during the summer, you can even take a steam train ride on the Jacobite, from Fort William to Mallaig, along the viaduct itself. Check it out and have your own Hogwarts Express journey! And that’s not all. Not far from the viaduct is also Loch Eilt, famous for a couple of Potter scenes of its own — including the breaking of Dumbledore’s grave on the island Eilean na Moine.

Party Themes, Fairy Tale

A Fairy Tale Ball

Another classic way to get that fantasy feel is with a fairy-tale theme and a party in the Great Hall. Dress to the nines and throw an enchanted ball with roaring fires and romantic candlelight. We can’t promise talking candlesticks and tea cups, but we can guarantee you a memorable and magical night! We’re always up for hosting a wicked queen or a sleeping beauty, so be our guest and have your happily ever after.

 

Party Themes, Ghosts, haunted castle

A Night of a Few Frights

full moon

TripAdvisor has voted Barcaldine Castle the number one haunted B&B. Legend tells that the ghost of Donald Campbell, the Laird of Barcaldine, haunts the castle to this day. Donald was murdered during the Massacre of Glencoe, by Stewart of Appin. Stewart then escaped and went to stay with Donald’s brother Duncan, who hadn’t heard the news. Still, Donald haunted Duncan for housing his murderer, and it was only after Stewart had done a runner that Duncan found out his brother was dead. Frustrated by this, Donald’s ghost returned to Barcaldine Castle for good, where guests say they can still feel his presence…

We all love a good ghost story, and a nice gothic evening in the castle can add to the chilling legend surrounding it (especially the Caithness Room). If you’re a fan of all things gothic, you could even pretend you’re in Castle Dracula or the Castle of Otranto.

 

Party Themes, Back in Time, history, Shakespeare

A Trip to the Past

MacBeth, Shakespeare

The Black Castle was built between 1601 and 1609 by “Black” Duncan Campbell. During the Union of the Crowns, as it happens. In 1603, Elizabeth I of England passed away; James VI of Scotland quickly succeeded her, uniting Scotland with England and Ireland. What better use is there for Barcaldine than to celebrate our history and keep it alive with a Renaissance-style feast?

We also suggest some Shakespeare themes. Did you know The Scottish Play (Macbeth, but don’t say it out loud) is thought to have been first performed in 1606? People often connect the play with King James, patron of Shakespeare’s work. So bring your skulls and go mad, and we predict that you’ll have a great time!

 

Just a few ideas to get you in the party mood.

So what are you waiting for? Thinking caps on, and see if you’d like to book Exclusive Use of Barcaldine Castle for your next big event. It’ll be a night to remember!

Barcaldine Castle