Updated: Jul 2
Inveraray castle has a long and varied history, initially build on the grounds of a castle from the 1400's. The stunning gothic castle looks like something straight out of a fairy tale as it overlooks Loch Fyne and the exciting small town of Inveraray (which, if you haven't yet been, is a fantastic day out and shopaholics paradise). The castle was re-built after a fire in 1877 and again in 1975 and has become a well known and much travelled landmark here in Scotland.
Our invite to collect the botanicals from the gardens to make a custom jewellery range for the castle came from Her Grace, Duchess of Argyll and the 13th Duke of Argyll, Sir Torquhil Ian Campbell. Here we were invited to collect bluebells from the grounds of the castle and develop them into jewellery for their castle's charming gift shop.
The gift shop manager kindly welcomed us on arrival and showed us where to collect the bluebells in a stunningly lit forest clearing set alongside the river. Once our collecting was complete and bluebells were in our drying solution we set about discovering all the castle had to offer (which was a lot).
Reasons to visit the castle:
The weaponry room. On entering the castle you will be greeted by a chaperone at the door who will provide you with information about the castle, it's history and the best rooms to visit inside. The ambience of being greeted warmly at the castle doors makes you feel instantly at home and sets the precedence for the wonder that is inside. It is clear that the seat of clan Campbell has wonderfully preserved the artefacts inside of which there are many, including a foyer filled top to bottom with weaponry with a domed high ceiling. The effect and wonder of the display needs to be seen to be believed.
2. The stunning baroque interior of the castle. The styling of the castle fits the Palladian exterior and the art work inside is truly breath taking and drips with elegance, opulence and history. Here you will find many rooms with priceless artefacts and in depth history. There is even a haunted bedroom where scenes from Downtown Abbey was filmed.
3. The castle gardens. These pristine, flowing and elegant gardens are fantastic to visit in the Summer months and you can walk inside the Duke and Duchess of Argyle's private gardens. With many different species of flowers and long manicured lawns, the castle gardens are a botanists dream.
4. The gift shop. Here you will soon find out range of hand picked Inveraray Castle jewellery which you will not find anywhere else and right beside is the cafe, with handmade cakes and beautiful lunches, it is the perfect end to the perfect day.
5. Finally, the castle is situated in the small town of Inveraray where you can spend the rest of the day. I highly recommend also visiting Inveraray Jail (which is suitable for small children and families) where Most haunted famously filmed an episode. The jail forms an important part of Scottish and Highland history and many local people that are employed to work at the attraction do so with gusto and dedication. It happens to be a personal favourite of mine. For dinners and drinks, I recommend The George Hotel which has exceptional hospitality and fine Scottish food (perhaps I am biased but this is another personal favourite of mine!). In addition to some good food, the small town is brimming with locally made gifts and shops, each one stocking something unique. Truly at the heart of the town is the castle's heritage and grandeur.
With special thanks to the staff at Inveraray Castle and the Duke and Duchess of Argyle.
You can visit their website here: https://www.inveraray-castle.com/
For booking: https://www.inveraray-castle.com/buy-tickets