When you come to stay in Scotland, you come for our historic sites and breath-taking scenery. Although our view of Loch Creran and the Glen Coe mountains is reason enough to come and stay, we know a few more things you should see when you come to Oban.
Or, as we also know it, McCaig’s Folly. This century-old structure on Battery Hill is a great place to look out over Oban Bay and take it all in at once. A little bit of a climb, but it’s worth it!
Inspired by the Roman Colosseum, the tower was built in 1897 by John Stuart McCaig (using local stone from Loch Etive) as a monument to his family and to bring work for the local community, before his death in 1902.
Dating back to the 15th century, the ruins of Dunollie Castle lie on the outskirts of Oban, with plenty to offer. Besides delightful waterside views, the seat of Clan MacDougall also features the 1745 House Museum, with artefacts relating to the clan and the local community over the years.
Stood at the mouth of Loch Etive, just a few miles north of Oban, Dunstaffnage Castle dates back to the 13th century and once served as the formidable stronghold of Clan MacDougall.
With an impressive curtain wall, a strategic battle position, and its 13th-century chapel, Dunstaffnage offers a beautiful piece of history for you to see.
Just across Loch Etive, sitting on the northern bank, the Ardchattan Priory Gardens has over 200 varieties of shrubs, including several fine species of roses.
Sir Duncan MacDougall founded the priory in 1230 for the monks of the Valliscaulian order. Later, in the 16th century, it became the home of Clan Campbell and has remained so ever since.
We hope you get to see some incredible sights during your next trip to Oban. And don’t forget to check out our favourite places to eat while you’re here. When you’re done seeing the sights of Oban, find out what else you can do in Argyll.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In case you need inspiration for your next event, here are some ideas to suit a variety of tastes.
Of 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!
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.
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 teacups, 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.
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.
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!
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!
Who doesn’t love a castle? We’ve all heard of Camelot, Castle Dracula, Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Hogwarts, and other impressive buildings of fiction. It’s always nice to visit a real castle to recreate the mystical feeling that we often associate with our favourite stories. Plus, they can teach us something about our country’s history.
There are many good reasons to visit a castle on one of your trips – but why just visit a castle when you could own one for the day? With exclusive use, you can take full advantage of the scene and truly relish the castle-y experience.
From ancient gates, to grand towers and magnificent grounds, here are our favourite reasons/excuses to indulge in your castle fantasy and experience it all to yourself, just for a bit.
Perhaps the most obvious reason to rent a castle is for a wedding in the perfect setting. Since the royal wedding earlier this year, many engaged couples might be tempted with a royal wedding of their own, and the dream fairy-tale wedding is definitely a stylish way to tie the knot. Where better to do it than a place that was built to last?
Even for those who are already married, a party to celebrate a special anniversary would be just as romantic, if not more so, and we think it’s very deserving of such a beautiful setting. Even without a special anniversary coming up, there are still special birthdays to celebrate – and who could think of a cooler birthday party? Castles could suit a bunch of different types of parties … but personally, we’re thinking of a themed murder mystery!
Sometimes an office Christmas party isn’t a good enough thank-you for the team. And they might just need a change of scenery. So why not treat them like nobility? As well as having plenty to see and explore nearby, a castle is the ideal setting for some memorable team-building activities.
And we don’t just mean to take your usual pics for your post-holiday slideshow or your social media. We mean that any photographer, professional or amateur, with or without a model in regal fashion, deserves a historic scene for some artsy shots. Different castle interiors can offer all kinds of scenery, from grand and elegant to rugged and medieval, so they set the tone for an array of purposes.
From history documentaries to medieval dramas to fantasy films, we love to watch some drama in the great hall! Even an amateur filmmaker could set their stage and shoot a scene with a stunningly realistic background.
For filming in Barcaldine Castle, find out more here.
We hope at least one of these ideas has tickled your fancy, and we hope you’ll pick The Black Castle for all your castle needs. For more information about renting here, please visit our Exclusive Use page.