An A to Z of Dalhousie

Fast forward 800 odd years and today’s Dalhousie Castle is an altogether more welcoming place than it was ever intended to be. Sure, the tell-tale signs of a sometimes-grisly past are still there to be seen in the barrel-vaulted dungeon but nowadays our guests can make their own rules. And to give you a head start on how you might spend your time with us we’ve put together a quick A to Z of what’s on offer at Dalhousie.

A is for Archery. Where better to try your hand at this medieval sport than in the grand surrounds of a castle falconry? You’ll use traditionally crafted recurve bows and a range of targets under the guidance of experienced archery leaders. Great fun for all ages, strengths and abilities.

B is for Bagpipes. Our castle pipe sergeant can welcome your guests to the castle with a stately skirl of bagpipes for an authentically Scottish start to your next event.

C is for Castle Rocks. The castle lodge house, just a two-minute stroll away from the main castle, houses six recently renovated oversized bedrooms and suites for a more modern twist on traditional castle living. Think: clean modern lines, large walk-in showers and plush interiors.

D is for Dungeon. No longer a place to be feared, the barrel-vaulted dungeon is now an atmospheric, award-winning restaurant serving sublime cuisine of 2 AA rosette calibre.

E is for Eagle. The Ramsay Black Eagle battle emblem still used today was produced in 1066 when a German Viking, the progenitor of the Ramsay clan, sailed with Duke William II to England and fought alongside Norman troops at the Battle of Hastings.

F is for Falconry. Get hands-on with hawks, owls, falcons and eagles under the expert supervision of trained falconers in the castle falconry.

G is for Ghosts. Dalhousie is alleged to be haunted by a number of ghosts. In particular, there have been reported apparitions of the “Grey Lady”, Lady Catherine, a mistress of one of the Ramsay lairds, who was locked up in one of the castle turrets and left to perish by his vengeful wife circa 1500.

H is for Highland Games. For team building events or just fun with friends, why not try some authentic Scottish capers in the grounds of the castle from bagpipe playing to Scottish dancing and everything else in between!

I is for Initials. Look out for the initials of Sir George Ramsay on the wall of the keep – he was granted a royal charter in 1618 by King James.

J is for Just 8 Miles Away. Scotland’s capital boasts a cosmopolitan mix of shops, historic monuments, family attractions and a thriving arts and entertainment scene.

K is for Koh-I-Noor. Meaning “Mountain of Light”, the most famous diamond in the world, was brought to Britain in 1847 by the 10th Earl James Ramsay who was Governor General of India. The diamond is the centrepiece of the Queen Mother’s state crown.

L is for Library Bar. Walls lined with books, naturally, Chesterfield sofas and a crackling log fire. Our oak-panelled library with its secret bar hidden behind a moving bookcase is the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif.

M is for Moat. The remains of the deep, dry moat are still seen today, as are the holes where the beams for the drawbridge mechanism were above the main door, and the machicolations used by castle guards to drop nasty things on invaders below. Today’s guests are guaranteed a much friendlier welcome!

N is for Nuptials. A fairy tale setting for your fairy tale wedding. We’re licensed to hold civil ceremonies and partnerships anywhere in the castle and its grounds.

O is for Orangery. Our informal bistro-style restaurant is bright and airy and looks out over the South River Esk. Perfect to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea or a laid-back lunch.

P is for Prisoners. Lowered into the bottle dungeon by rope, the score marks of the ropes can still be seen in the stonework. Once in there was no escape through the 11 ft thick walls.

Q is for Queen Victoria. Her Royal Highness was reputed to have visited the castle to take tea with her devoted servant, the 10th Earl, James Ramsay.

R is for Ramsay Clan. The Ramsays of Dalhousie have played a fascinating role in the long and tangled history of their beloved Scotland – and they managed to keep possession of Dalhousie longer than any other family held onto a Scottish castle.

S is for Stairs. Lots of them. Despite our best efforts it has not been possible to install a lift in the castle so take the stairs slowly.

T is for Tea. Afternoon Tea at the castle is a top-drawer affair to be savoured. A feast of sandwiches, homemade scones and savoury tarts, delightful sweet pastries washed down with freshly brewed tea or coffee.

U is for Unwind. Our Aqueous Spa in the castle basement offers everything you need to invigorate and rejuvenate mind and body.

V is for Victorious. We don’t like to blow our trumpets too much but we have won some rather fine accolades including Scottish Castle Hotel of the Year 2016, Best Loved Wedding Hotel of the Year 2017, Regional Winner at Scottish Hotel Awards 2018 for Best Castle Hotel and Best Country House Hotel. We could go on…

W is for Whisky. Surely no trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling a wee dram of the finest whiskies on offer. Sink into a comfy chair in our Library Bar and sip away.

X is for Xmas. With its great halls that were made for entertaining Dalhousie Castle is the perfect venue to get together with friends, family and colleagues during the Christmas season.

Y is for Years. Almost 800. Dalhousie is Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle and the castle’s long and fascinating history remains all around us.

Z is for Zzzzzz. Our rooms are equipped with superior memory foam mattresses and soft Egyptian cotton bed linen for the perfect night’s slumber.

Ready to find out more? Book your stay direct with us for the best rates and the best packages. Book online or give us a call on 01875 820153