|Castle Cawdor, near Inverness, dates back to the 14th century|
Another glorious Scottish castle - this time Cawdor, is within a stone's throw of Inverness. This one is much less imposing than Dunrobin, considerably smaller and has a colourful, well-kept garden and a well-publicised association with Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', in which the principle character is made 'Thane of Cawdor'. It draws visitors from far and wide and is one of the main tourist attractions in this area, so make sure to get there early to avoid the crowds.
|The Flower Garden at Cawdor Castle|
|There are fine views of the castle from the flower garden at Cawdor|
|'The Sun' slate sculpture at Cawdor Castle by James Parker|
|The Paradise section of the ancient walled garden at Cawdor|
The ancient Walled Garden at the castle was remodelled by the incumbent Lord Cawdor in 1981, with the help of his surviving wife Angelika, the current Dowager Countess, and is very different in character to the Flower garden, save for the Paradise section (above), although equally well planned to give colour and interest throughout the seasons. There is a holly maze here too, but it is often closed in August for clipping and maintenance.
If you visit on a Tuesday or Thursday during high season - May to August - you can either walk or drive to neighbouring Auchindoune (above) with its peaceful Tibetan garden and charming kitchen garden (below) which was laid out by Arabella Lennox-Boyd. It is very different in spirit and much less grand than the castle gardens, but well worth visiting. But only open from 10.00 -16.30, two days a week.
Cawdor Castle is open daily from the beginning of May until early October, from 10.00 to 17.30 (last admission 17.00). Prices are £10.50 for the castle and grounds, and £5.75 for the gardens and grounds (free to Historic Houses Association members). Auchindoune has an honesty box and entry is £3.00 per person.
|The neighbouring gardens at Auchindoune are very different in spirit|
|The kitchen garden at Auchindoune was laid out by Arabella Lennox-Boyd|