Waking up to the sight of the dappled waters of the Dornoch Firth and a snack of homemade shortbread to fuel a morning canter, guests at Skibo experience that rare combination of exclusivity and home comforts. This, however, is once you get in; for entry is via membership to its Carnegie Club, where an annual fee allows guests to take advantage of the castle and all its incredible facilities, which include a spa, 18-hole golf course and a new equestrian centre.
The highland life: a review of Scotland's Skibo castle
4th September 2018
Home to the prestigious Carnegie Club, Skibo Castle is one of Scotland's best-kept secrets. Aside from its 8,000 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, the castle also boasts a spa, an 18-hole golf course and an equestrian centre
Rooms are regal with yellow brocade wallpaper and prints of Edinburgh Castle, while ceramic rabbits furnish the wardrobe tops. Twin Drummond basins in the bathrooms appeal to a trad market as does the wonderful afternoon tea, which includes a tempting array of scones, ham sandwiches and lemon drizzle cake. Set in almost 8,000 acres of grounds, there is a focus on the outdoors. The kitchen garden promises soil-to-plate dining and the gardens are resplendent with gladioli, violets and dahlia in the summer.
Those after more of an adventure can sign up for the two-day walking tour from Ullapool to Bonar Bridge or a spot of quad-biking through the Highlands. Nature-lovers can look out for kites, golden eagles and five breeding pairs of osprey. New developments coming next year include a treehouse, zip lines, advanced archery and a new shooting range. Of course most people come here for the Carnegie Links where guests can finish off a successful round with a glass of Chablis in the soigné clubhouse.