Skip to main content

Design NYC Magazine. The Magazine of the Architects and Designers Building

Architecture Features

Highland Fling

Dating back to the 17th century, Aldourie Castle is the only habitable castle on the shores of Scotland’s Loch Ness and showcases classic Scottish Baronial design.

Aldourie Castle

Aldourie Castle is available for exclusive use, and guests can enjoy activities and menus inspired by the bounty of the Scottish Highlands.

Aldourie Castle

Aldourie Castle is part of Wildland, a group committed to restoring and “rewilding” the open landscape of the
Scottish Highlands.

The quintessential Scottish trip would include the windswept Highlands as well as a stay in a castle, and Aldourie Castle delivers on both– with an ecological twist. Dating back to the 17th century, it’s the only habitable castle on the shores of Loch Ness and is part of Wildland, a landscape conservation organization based in the Highlands.

The 300-year-old baronial castle features 12 bedrooms and five cottages and can be rented for exclusive use. While the castle is undeniably grand with its turrets and towers, there’s also a warmth and coziness that comes through the design. Interiors are pure Scottish country house, meaning it’s informally elegant and nothing is too precious.

It’s the kind of place where a guest can settle by the fire in the Drawing Room in their wellies after a hike and feel at home.

“We’re proud to be long-standing bathroom suppliers to Aldourie and some of these pieces were supplied fifteen years ago. That they look just as good now is a testament to timeless design and quality hand manufacture.”

— James Lentaigne, Drummonds
Aldourie Castle

Left: Bathroom fixtures blend in perfectly with the period surroundings. The Lowther vanity in Arabescato marble and polished nickel is by the UK-based Drummonds.
Center: Aldourie is a series of thoughtfully curated spaces that showcase a rustic elegance, and menus highlight produce handpicked from the estate’s garden.
Right: The design of every space in the castle combines the grandeur of an estate with all the comforts of home, as seen in the Lorimer bedroom.

While each bedroom is unique, what unites them is bold use of color and textiles injecting plenty of character. Rooms are richly decorated with wallpapers, vintage rugs and furniture, and impressive four-poster beds.

Aldourie Castle

Each of the 12 bedrooms (including the Watts, pictured) and five cottages has its own design, but what they have in common is plenty of character and patina, thanks to a mix of antiques, bold colors, and textiles.

Bathrooms are equally elegant and period appropriate. Some bedrooms feature claw-foot tubs as well as veined-marble double sinks. Bath fixtures are by Drummonds, known for its signature British style and craftsmanship. Previously a dealer of antique bathroom pieces, Drummonds established its own foundry 30 years ago. Today the company is known for combining traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology, and its products are inspired by the icons of the Victorian era.

Aldourie Castle

The interiors at Aldourie are quintessentially Scottish country house, with true warmth and character. The Great Hall features a mix of antiques and intimate places to relax and chat, and is meant to feel like a private home.

“We’re proud to be long standing bathroom suppliers to Aldourie and some of these pieces were supplied fifteen years ago. That they look just as good now is a testament to timeless design and quality hand manufacture,” says Drummonds’s managing director, James Lentaigne. Drummonds products used in Aldourie include the Lowther vanity in Arabescato marble and polished nickel, the Mull classic taps, and the Swale cast-iron bathtub.

The Scottish landscape is just as integral to a stay at Aldourie as the interiors. The castle is surrounded by 500 acres of gardens, woodland, and wildflower meadows filled with local flora and fauna such as heather and ancient trees. The grounds are designed to let guests connect with nature and enjoy areas of quiet contemplation, such as the walled garden. Guests can wander paths leading to hidden seating areas, or simply soak up the Loch views from the Boathouse, which has a whimsical hull-shaped roof.

Aldourie Castle

Left: The landscape is an integral part of a stay at Aldourie Castle. Guests can join the head gardener for a tour of the grounds, which includes a greenhouse, walled garden, and rolling landscape dotted with paths.
Right: Tucked on the shores of Loch Ness, the Boathouse has a unique design with a roof carved in the shape of a boat’s hull, making it the perfect place to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset.

But the gardens are more than just a place of beauty and serenity. Wildland’s mission is to restore the wild, open landscape of the Scottish Highlands to their former natural splendor in conjunction with great estates such as Aldourie. Regeneration of this wilderness will take decades, and as part of the process, Wildland hopes that native species which have long been absent from the land will return, such as lynx, bears, and wolves. Aldourie is one part of that process.

Aldourie Castle

Left: The Library is designed to be an enveloping, jewel-box of a space, and its color palette of green and brown blends in with the surrounding landscape.
Center: The Morie undermounted basin and Mull classic taps from Drummonds have withstood the test of time at Aldourie.
Right: Sinking into a warm bath at the end of the day is a must at a country house, and this bathroom is both extravagant and classic. For a similar look, try Drummonds’ Ness bathtub and Mull standing bath and shower mixer.

“Our approach to conservation recognizes that we all must learn to live in harmony with our natural environment and we aspire to experiences which give our guests opportunities to ground themselves in nature,” says Joe Dunn, director of built development for Wildland. “We also recognize the importance of Scotland’s built heritage and the connection to the past, and we aim to conserve our buildings and ensure they are valuable assets for generations to come.”