"It seemed as if a great chieftain in olden feudal times was receiving his sovereign. It was princely and romantic."
- Queen Victoria
As the young queen noted in her private journal, on the occasion of her stay at Taymouth Castle during her first official visit to the region, history hangs thickly over the spectacular Scottish highlands.
Their breathtaking natural beauty seems at every turn to have been sketched straight from a priceless landscape by some celestial hand. It is a place of elegiac myth and epic moment, with some of the most significant events in British history having unfolded on those rolling verdant expanses.
That most regal seal of approval is grandly commemorated at the newly restored Taymouth Castle by the soon-to-open Queen Victoria Suite, a stately and exquisitely detailed restoration of the actual rooms occupied by that most iconic of monarchs. With the original castle dating back to 1550, the lifetime of history -the flashes of pageant, the smoke of war, and whisper of high intrigue - is walled up in its redoubtable ramparts.
The neo-gothic expansion of the castle was completed in the mid-nineteenth Century, and has been gloriously nurtured by a painstaking restoration project, which has also made a feature of the surviving vaulted plaster ceiling in the main tower. This rare example of a coveted bygone art is just one prominent example of the stunningly preserved period design and architecture that suffuses every corner of this, one of Scotland’s finest castles.
A sense of occasion steals into the approach to an eighteen-hole golf course, as the singular sportsman is subsumed into the sculpted vastness of nature harnessed for his leisure. However, the Taymouth course, originally designed by Scottish golfing legend and said to be the father of modern golf course design, James Braid, transmits a sense of grand stateliness as it revolves around the aristocratic grandeur of the castle at its centre.
The course’s rolling vistas of groomed copse, secluded wood and luscious lawn are in the process of being re-modelled by leading Scottish based golfer Stephen Gallagher, to bring it up to modern championship criteria whilst maintaining and even restoring many of Baird’s 1920s original innovations.
There is a sense of stately entitlement encountered whilst strolling the grounds and course at Taymouth Castle, which summons up Queen Victoria’s chieftain - a master of what he surveys and at harmony with all that it contains. With a planned collection of bespoke residences underway, Taymouth Castle will soon invite an exclusive community to come and live out their highland fantasy in bespoke state of the art residences.
Due to be constructed in an array of styles from natural materials truly integrated with the environment, the residences will feature precious views of the course and the natural beauty beyond - including properties built on the banks of the River Tay. They will boast exclusive course membership, and an ultra-luxurious concierge and butler service.
To see Taymouth Castle today, Queen Victoria’s words still ring true. True as battle-scarred armour clanging on ancient granite or as true as the unmistakable sound - a mixture of pure power and utter tranquillity - of a tee shot thwacked satisfyingly down the velveteen expanses of the fairway.
- Ben Stewart
Address: Kenmore, Perth and Kinross
Scotland, PH15 2NT