The highland life: a review of Scotland's Skibo castle

Words by
Jemima Sissons

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

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.

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.

Joining fee £30,000 from July 2018; annual membership £9,000 from January 2019. Single £860; double £1,290,