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Our little black book of enchanting places

The Scottish castles that inspired our Warp & Weft collection

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Scottish Highlands©inigofotografia/thinkstock

It’s no secret that we’re mad about Scotland here at Travelwrap. We’ve even named our latest Warp and Weft collection after four Scottish castles. We thought you might like to see just what it is about these Caledonian gems that inspired us.Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire©balmoralcastle.com Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, is probably Scotland’s most famous castle, largely because it belongs to HM The Queen and is said to be where she is happiest. The original castle, later rebuilt in the Scottish Baronnial style, was bought in 1848 by her great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert. Prince Albert also designed the exclusive grey, red and black Balmoral tartan which even today can can only be worn with the Queen’s permission. The grounds, gardens and exhibitions are closed to the public in August, September and October when the Royal Family is in residence but there are a number of guided tours in late October, November and December (see website for details and for opening details in 2017). There are also several holiday cottages to rent on the estate. Further information, Balmoral Castle; Warp & Weft Balmoral Braemar Castle, Aberdeenshire©Purestock/thinkstock

Braemar Castle, also in Aberdeenshire, was built by the Earls of Mar, once one of the the most powerful families in Scotland. In the mid-17th century the castle fell into the hands of a rival family – the Farquharsons – who leased it to the British army before taking it back again in 1831. When Prince Albert bought nearby Balmoral a few years later, the Royal couple often took tea with the Farquharsons. In 1948 the 16th laird, Alwyne Compton Farquharson, married a flamboyant former Vogue fashion editor who redesigned much of the castle’s interior and subsequently opened it to the public. Like every Scottish castle, Braemar has its ghosts, including a wailing baby. The castle is open from 10am-5pm, Wednesday to Sunday, in October, after which it closes until 26 March 2017. Further information, Braemar CastleWarp & Weft BraemarGlamis Castle, Angus©Glamis-castle.co.uk

Glamis Castle, in Angus, has many distinguishing features, including being one of the most haunted castles in Britain, being mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and apparently harbouring a terrible secret which only three people alive know. Fortunately, Glamis also has a happier associations: the historic seat of the Bowes-Lyons family, it was one of the childhood homes of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and was always a great favourite: HRH Princess Margaret was born here. Now the family home of the 19th Earl of Strathmore, the castle offers daily guided tours between March and October, then every weekend until 18 December, while the grounds, gardens, restaurant and gift shop are open year round. There’s a ‘haunted tour’ of the castle on 29 and 30 October. Further information, Glamis Castle; Warp & Weft GlamisBrodie Castle, Moray©The National Trust for Scotland

Of our four favourite Scottish castles, Brodie, in Moray, is the only one that is no longer privately owned, having been handed over to the National Trust in 1980. The castle was built in 1567 by Clan Brodie and transformed into a grand Scottish Baronial-style mansion in the Victorian era. It remained in the Brodie family until Ninian Brodie of Brodie died in 2003, swiftly followed by his son and no family members currently live in the castle. The National Trust has done a fantastic job of restoring Brodie and its artefacts, while the 71-hectare estate offers a number of features including an adventure playground, a nature trail, a walled garden and a Pictish monument. The castle closes on 26 October, but the grounds and tea shop are open year-round. Further information, Brodie CastleWarp & Weft Brodie

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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