Close to the Game of Thrones fictional region of Westeros in Northern Scotland (Wester Ross in the real world) is a narrow road from Golspie village that leads to a rather less-celebrated Castle hidden behind tall trees, aged over centuries. Rolling through its somewhat short driveway, the first glance of the Castle appeared understated for the grandeur that endures the inside and beyond of the Castle walls.
I had a long list of To-Visit places to tick-off this day and was confident that the Dunrobin Castle won’t take more than an hour of my time. I hopped along the first flight of stairs up the Castle quickly. Greeted by a wall-hanging-head of a Reindeer glaring impressively at me and by an agreeable gentleman who keenly enquired about my purpose of visit. I asked for ‘the best views from the Castle’ and was lead to an unusual route not recommended to most tourists. The few that visit here.
With 189 rooms this fairy tale Castle offers a very different view of itself from the beach side. Built between the 13th and the 14th century, Dunrobin castle has been inhabited by the Earls and Dukes for nearly 8 centuries! It is still an active residence and seat of Elizabeth Millicent Sutherland, the current countess of Sutherland. One of the luckiest aristocrats to own the biggest residences in the north and one of the most beautiful Castles in Scotland.
The interiors are decorated mostly in Scottish Baronial style (big colourful checks) with influence of French renaissance. In the 19th century it was re-designed by Sir Charles Barry, the same architect who designed the House of Parliament buildings. The Sutherland Castle was badly damaged in 1915 during the first world war but was later rebuilt with several new towers added to the structure. This will be evident from the array of ageing signs on the castle building.
An hour had passed just capturing the north-sea beach views and the Italian gardens from the Castle windows. There is no room that does not have a skinned animal fur as carpet! The children’s nursery is charmingly decorated with vintage wooden toys and trains. Quite a delight to glide through and relive such wonderful historic times.
Like a true fairy tale castle, the Dunrobin Castle has a haunted room. Among the upper quarters of the castle is a ‘Seamstress room’, where a young maiden was imprisoned for refusing to marry a high born living at the Castle. She jumped to death from the room window. Her ghost is said to haunt the upper castle, ever since.
This Castle may not be as famous as the Sterling Castle in Scotland but it surely is more fascinating and beautiful than the Sterling castle. Do pay a visit to the falcon garden in the Castle area if you visit Golspie in the morning hours. The Dunrobin castle is also a must visit place for petrolheads rolling through the North 500 route in Scotland. Luckily for me I was driven by the well versed Scott from www.elecar.scot . Perhaps the only lad who will take his guests around Scotland in a Tesla!