Castles (2)

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 00:00

Melville Castle

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Melville Castle - A History : In 1762 the estate was purchased by Sir David Rannie who acquired a vast fortune trading with the East India Company. On his untimely death due to the inclement Scottish weather, the shrewd Henry Dundas, a lawyer from the neighbouring estate of Arniston married his 14 year old daughter, Elizabeth, acquiring both her estate and her vast fortune.

With this new wealth he commissioned renowned architect of the time, James Playfair, to design a new castellated mansion in Georgian style principally for entertaining on a grand scale and in 1791 work commenced on the Castle that stands here today.

Over the centuries Melville Castle played host to many eminent guests, Mary Queen of Scots and her companion Rizzio hunted in the grounds, later Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria were regular visitors. The powerful Dundas family held the Castle until after the Second World War when the 9th Lord Melville moved into a smaller house on the estate and the Castle was leased to the army as a rehabilitation center, later to become a hotel.

In the late 80’s it was again sold and sadly the Castle suffered neglect, leading to its dereliction. In 1993, with collapsing floors and severe dry rot, the Castle and remaining estate was bought by William Hay and over the next 8 years underwent major restoration to become again the elegant building you see today.

Melville Castle - Today : situated just 20 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh, Melville Castle provides luxurious accommodation within the elegance of an 18th century castle. Nestled within 50 acres of sprawling woodland only 6 miles from the city centre of Edinburgh you can feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With thirty two stylish en-suite bedrooms, accommodation ranges from classic double rooms, grand four posters to intriguing gallery rooms.  The classically furnished bedrooms are complete with crisp linen sheets, fluffy white towels and enchanting views of the surrounding woodland. The next morning after a comfortable night’s sleep a wholesome Scottish or Continental breakfast is served to fuel your day.

The Brasserie at Melville Castle serves seasonal, modern Scottish Cuisine with a strong focus on locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality, which is combined with a carefully thought out wine and local beers list.

Open every day, morning until night for breakfast, mid-morning refreshments, lunch, afternoon tea or À la carte dining… offering elegance, style, fantastic service and gourmet fare to their customers.

Afternoon Tea at Melville Castle is the ultimate indulgence, served in the bar area or lounge in the Arniston room. Guests can enjoy a lovely selection of teas or coffee served with finger sandwiches, homemade scones with cream & jam and a mouth-watering selection of seasonal cakes and pastries.

The 50 acre grounds surrounding the 18th century castle are perfect for a leisurely stroll and with the recent addition of beautiful wooden sculptures there is so much to discover. The castle recently commissioned a Spanish carver to create stunning outdoor art from seven felled oak trees. The sculptures representing lovers, warriors and Scotland can now be seen on suggested walks around the grounds.

Melville Castle can also help you arrange the most magical wedding day within one of Scotland’s finest romantic castles. Whether you prefer to take exclusive use of the Castle for a whole weekend or for one day Melville Castle are delighted to offer a versatile array of options.

"Whatever the occasion, Melville Castle will leave a lasting impression."

Melville Castle
Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh, EH18 1AP | 0131 654 0088

Grateful thanks to for copy and photograph.

Monday, 03 March 2014 00:00

Lochranza Castle - Arran

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Lochranza Castle sits on a stunning site on the north of Arran in the village of Lochranza overlooking the loch – Loch Ranza. It is well worth a visit when you are in Arran.

The views from the castle towards the mountains and Loch Ranza are simply breathtaking. You can also look out across the waterway known as the Kilbrannan Sound over to the Argyll coastline. You might even spot some native red deer roaming around or seals in the water. Look out for oyster catchers flying above you!

Originally a medieval hall house built in the 13th century, Lochranza Castle was later converted to a tower house in the late 1500s. It has seen many varied uses and been owned by many historical characters.

The castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland. For more information on the history of this magnificent structure, why not visit