Thursday, 18 August 2016

Straight out of a fairytale; Inveraray Castle

So it's been a little while since my last post but that's just because I have been the busiest little bee that ever did fly. Last weekend I popped across to Edinburgh to see a show at the Fringe Festival. The atmosphere walking down the Royal Mile with the distant sound of bagpipes and happy faces is incredible. I use the term walking liberally, more like a shuffle. A slow shuffle. It was unbelievably busy in Edinburgh and bringing a small suitcase instead of a rucksack was just the worst idea ever on those cobbled streets. 

But that's not what I want to talk about today! I want to show you a few snapshots of my day trip to Inveraray castle on the banks of Loch Fyne which is roughly an hour from my home in the west coast. Accompanying me was the same friend which took me on my castle adventures around Aberdeenshire a few weeks ago - you can call him my partner in castle obsession crime. As you may have gathered from my rather regular posts about visiting various castles I'm castle mad. A castle fiend. Just generally a bit of a fantasist and what feeds fantasy more than exploring a beautiful section of history. 

The first glimpse of the castle as you drive over the bridge in to the small town of Inveraray is magical. Nestled up on the hillside aurrounded by trees it really is like a fairytale. Beautiful turrets and lushious gardens looked even more spectacular in the summer sun which shone all day and made our visit extra special. We were in such a good mood we even bought a guidebook, at £6 it's a little steep however written by the family that live there and signed by the duke himself it makes an excellent read! 

Now, for me what sets this castle apart from all others that I have been to is that there truly does feel like there is a family atmosphere and you can really tell that the Duke and Duchess care about the people visiting their home. There are family photographs everywhere and the historic blends with the modern in a way which I haven't quite found in many other places. 

After exploring all the rooms we headed down to the gift shop and tearoom. The shop actually had a great variety of products, although having recently decided that I now felt like an adult because I could go in to gift shops in museums etc and not buy a branded pencil that I'll never use or the most pointless figurine that I'll lose by the time I get home, I refrained from buying anything. The same cannot be said for the cafe where I devoured a giant slice of chocolate cake. Which was divine. Decinitely gets the thumbs up. 

Walking round the gardens is where the magical feeling really sets in. Just look how beautiful they are! There are flowers of the loveliest shades of links and purples and the grass is so well maintained. 

If you are in the west coast of Scotland I would completely recommend a trip to Inveraray. I haven't even touched upon the history of the clan Campbell which is such an interesting story as they were one of the biggest and most powerful clans in Scotland. Have you ever been to Inveraray? What is your dreamy fairytale castle? Let me know in the comments! 



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