If you’re planing your big day in a Scottish wedding venue and hoping to stay in the bonnie country for your honeymoon, I can’t think of anywhere more romantic and special for your first married holiday than Glenapp Castle.
It’s set amid the rolling hills of Ayrshire, and the surrounding seascapes provide the most beautiful of backdrops – wonderful for quality time with your brand new spouse. For the ultimate in seclusion, the castle isn’t signposted, perfect for getting away for it all after months of stressful wedding planning.
Glenapp Castle in only an hour away from Glasgow, where we travelled to on the Caledonian Sleeper, direct from London.
My memories of travelling to Scotland consist of ten hour car journeys, listening to Barry Manilow on loop, because our cassette player was broken (though I am partial to ‘Copacabana’), so the trip on the Caledonian Sleeper was worlds away from my early experiences.
We traveled in a first class cabin, boarding the train at bedtime, and arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed into Glasgow first thing in the morning, ready for the drive to Glenapp.
From the minute we pulled up to the gates of Glenapp Castle we were treated like royalty. Our car was parked for us while we enjoyed drinks in the library, before being shown to our room. And what a room it was!
It boasted a four poster bed, a roll top stand alone bath, and a fire crackling away in the corner. On top of that, it had a turret! All my princess dreams came true when I realised the door beneath the turret was in fact a private exit to the gardens from the castle.
While I would have happily luxuriated in our room for the duration of our stay, adventure called.
The castle grounds offer a whole host of activities right on your doorstep; think bike rides around the estate, walks through enchanting woodland, or even a spot of tennis.
Further afield, we drove to Galloway Forest Park and set off on a walk that took in mountains, forests and lochs – what more could you want from a Scottish break?
I must mention that when we headed off for our hike, the hotel kindly packed us a picnic so we wouldn’t go hungry – a little touch that made all the difference.
If you want to explore further, a short boat ride across to the small island of Ailsa Craig will reward you with amazing wildlife. I get sea sick, so that was a no-no, but the incredible views of the island from the castle were enough to quench my thirst for adventure.
After a day exploring the Scottish wildlife, a six-course dining experience awaited us in Glenapp Castle’s restaurant.
Dishes ranged from a delicious velouté to a superb soufflé. The menu is based on local produce, and changes nightly. This was food we’d never have imagined, and we devoured every morsel.
Something I especially loved about Glenapp was that every evening they posted the menu under your door, and after you headed down for your meal, they drew the curtains, lit the fire and made your bed up, ready to fall into after your decadent dinner.
Garden View rooms from £295 per room per night, including breakfast.
Tickets on the Caledonian Sleeper start from £35 one-way in a sleeper seat, or £75 in a berth. Check sleeper.scot for details on Lowland and Highland Routes.