It has been six months since I took the rather daunting decision to relocate from a chaotic city life in London to the simplicity of country living in the Scottish Highlands. Making sure I take pause to connect with and discover my surroundings, I have been on an expedition to explore as many Scottish castles as I can, one of which is not too far from home – Cawdor Castle.
Scotland hosts some of the most magnificent and impressive historical buildings and Cawdor Castle, in the heart of the Cairngorms, is no exception. Originally belonging to Clan Cawdor and interestingly built around an ancient Hawthron tree in the 15thcentury, this place has a history and story steeped in fascination and intrigue. Memorably showcased in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, there is enchantment and charm to the castle and surrounding grounds. I recently took a visit and was mesmerised with the warmth yet theatrical atmosphere that is ever present thought-out this grand fortress.
As you enter and cross the metal drawbridge, you can observe the original 1638 stone frame for the Campbell coat of arms and (very modern) motto “Be Mindful’. Inside, many of the rooms are filled with photographs, memorabilia and souvenirs accumulated by many generations that have lived within the castle throughout the years.
Furniture pieces such a George III period desk made of pearlwood and satinwood, and a French Louis XV writing table by Pelleter are just some of the exhilarating and captivating antiques that are dotted around the castle. There is a personal warmth and homely feel, yet against the backdrop of a medieval space you can sense the liveliness of the castle’s soul.Rich and decadent tapestries from the early 17thcentury hang against the interior walls and neo-gothic furniture adds a touch of antiquity and incredulity to the space. There is grace and sophistication as well as an eclectic charm to the décor that transports you to another time and place.
The expectational grounds surrounding the castle are superb with three separate gardens that host an array of intoxicating florals, botanicals and contemporary installations to delight and captivate.