Blairquhan Castle – an Ayrshire idyll

Blairquhan Castle

Blairquhan castle is a grand regency castle near Maybole in South Ayrshire in Scotland, available to hire for exclusive use. It is a listed building, and the stunning grounds and gardens are included in a national listing of significant gardens. It was in the Hunter Blair family until 2012, when it was acquired by Chinese bottle water company, Ganten Scotland.
Time in the garden

Blairquhan Castle set in over 200 acres of private woodland and elegant gardens, has been given a new lease of life, beautifully restored and refurbished with great care and style. Each of the fifteen rooms in the castle has been individually decorated by local interior designers, and the luxurious furnishings, combined with lots of quirky details and ornaments make this historic venue a delight to stay in.

Luxury bedrooms

 

With an eco friendly biomass boiler installed, the castle is never cold, and with its four grand function suites it has been transformed into an ideal venue for weddings, events and house parties. You can also stay in one of the charming cottages which are part of the old coach house and stables.

The coach house

Blairquhan is close to a number of premium Scottish golf courses. The US President’s Trump Turnberry course is only 14 miles away. The castle has fishing rights in the Girvan river which winds lazily through the estate and trout and salmon can be caught when the river is high.
There is shooting on nearby land in season, and Blaiquhan can cater for shooting parties. You may spot a few pheasant as you wander about the grounds.

Pheasant sculpture

Four different families have lived at Blairquhan or on its lands. TheMcWhirters built the first tower house about 1346. The  Kennedy’s then inherited the estate through marriage and built the remainder of the old castle about 1573. In the early 17th century the Whitefords took over, but in 1798, suffering the effects of a bank crash, they sold Blairquhan to the Hunter family. Sir James Hunter married Jean Blair and then when Jean inherited her father’s estate her surname gets added onto the family name so they became the Hunter Blairs. David Hunter Blair, James son is the one who commissioned the current castle to be built by Scottish architect William Burn.

Ayrshire landscape

The castle is full of important antiques and many outstanding portraits, mostly of members of the Hunter Blair family. If the castle has a familiar look, then it maybe that you have seen it before as its interiors and grounds were used as a substitute for Balmoral castle in the Oscar winning 2006 film The Queen starring Helen Mirren. The bedroom she used to film in is now called the Queen’s room!

The Hunter Blair coat of arms

Beautifully integrated into the 200 acres of parkland that make up the estate, the unique gardens here at Blairquhan Castle are something to behold. They were originally laid out back in 1816 and much of the unique landscaping still remains to this day, most notably the unique walled garden.

A room with a view

The rising ground to the south allowed the landscapers to create an unusual three-walled perimeter. During its construction the main wall was built with flues installed so that it could be heated to protect the precious fruit trees during the cold Scottish winters.

The Laburnum Arch

There is an arch of beautiful dripping yellow Laburnum, beds of roses and cottage garden flowers, and many different colours of azaleas and rhododendrons bloom around the estate. There is a tree trail to follow in the grounds with lots of huge old trees of many exotic types to identify and marvel at, and beautifully manicured lawns. The Dool tree is of special note and is close to the old servants quarters. It was apparently used to hang the odd transgressor as an example to others!

The Dool tree

An impressive avenue of 18th century lime trees creates a magnificent vista, and as the surrounding land is rented to local farmers there are sheep and cattle dotted about the fields, keeping the grass nice and short.
Blairquhan castle is an exclusive venue, and ideal for that very special occasion or event. If you rent the whole castle, a private chef can be brought in to cater for your group or perhaps your wedding party. If you are looking for five star accommodation with outstanding facilities in beautiful Scotland then this could be the castle for you.

Castle view from the garden
The blogger is in Scotland