Glenapp Castle is set in 36 acres of beautiful Gertrude Jekyll designed grounds near the coast of south Ayrshire, with stunning far reaching views over the sea towards Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran and the Mull of Kintyre beyond. Renowned as a 5-star Relais and Chateaux property with its award winning restaurant, Glenapp Castle is available on an exclusive use basis to discerning guests looking for complete privacy and discretion in their very own Scottish castle. Yet a stay at Glenapp is so much more, with a truly bespoke approach to create an experience you will never forget, the team here will go above and beyond to enchant and amaze you and your guests.
A sweeping tree-lined drive leads to the castle with its romantic soaring turrets, its battlements clad in ivy and its welcoming entrance. Glenapp’s architectural style is Scottish baronial, with wonderful high ceilings, vast windows and elegant interiors creating a luxurious yet welcoming home. Glenapp Castle was built for James Hunter in 1870, by Scottish architect David Bryce, and was acquired by the Inchcape family from 1917 to the early 1980s. Lord Inchcape was the Chairman of P&O and it’s said that he hosted a meeting with Churchill and Eisenhower at Glenapp in 1944, where they planned the events of D-Day landings. Lord Inchcape’s daughter, Elsie Mackay, was a celebrated aviation pioneer who attempted to cross the Atlantic in a single-engined aircraft.
The spacious Drawing Room forms the heart of the castle, flooded with natural light with dual aspect windows affording all day sun and spectacular views over the tree tops to the sea. The two vast fireplaces and magnificent chandelier create a real sense of occasion, with sumptuous sofas providing the ideal place for pre-dinner drinks or simply relaxing and soaking in the views. This room can also be used for dining for up to 60 guests for larger parties.
The Colquhoun Dining Room is dressed in opulent red tones, again boasting beautiful views and a lovely fireplace, creating a magnificent space for dining for up to 40 people. The McMillan Room is a bright and airy room with dual aspect views and again can seat 40, providing an alternate dining space.
The beautiful wood panelled Library is a cosy room again with a working fireplace and enchanting views over the grounds, ideal for relaxing after dinner or for more intimate dining for up to 10 guests, and makes the perfect space for entertaining children or for guests to relax away from the main festivities.
The cuisine at Glenapp is a highlight of any stay, with a truly bespoke approach to your needs. Whether you are looking for an elegant fine dining tasting menu in the Dining Room or a relaxed fish and chip supper in front of the fire, the talented head chef will work with you to produce a menu to your exact tastes and specifications using locally sourced seasonal produce, with many ingredients from Glenapp’s own gardens.
Whether your stay is for business or pleasure, you can dine in one of the smaller dining rooms seating up to 40 guests or use the main drawing room to seat 60, all with beautiful views over Ailsa Craig. When the sun shines, why not take a delicious picnic lunch on the lawns or afternoon tea in the walled garden?
Every aspect of your stay will be unique to you and your guests with an enviable Rolodex of activities and experiences available, from “money can’t buy” experiences such as the castle’s private boat to the surrounding islands, golf courses or the amazing Ailsa Craig; an uninhabited island teaming with wildlife – perfect for a champagne picnic.
The area used to be famous for its smuggling so why not take part in an amazing smuggling challenge activity using rowing boats and contraband at the harbour, or perhaps perfume making, foraging (including foraging for cocktail ingredients and making your own wild cocktails), wine or whisky tasting, clay pigeon shooting or falconry displays in the Castle grounds.
Guests at Glenapp can benefit from private tours of Dumfries House with unrivalled access to private areas not open to the public, along with exclusive access to the nearby Hendricks Gin distillery.
Country pursuits can be arranged, with sea angling and game fishing or shooting for pheasant and grouse in season. Golfers are spoilt for choice in the vicinity with over 30 courses, including the world-famous links courses, Turnberry and Royal Troon. The more energetic members of your party might enjoy a game on the tennis court or a competitive match on the croquet lawns in the grounds. Or perhaps you fancy your very own festival with glamping and outdoor activities – the sky is the limit at Glenapp, and with its amazing star gazing opportunities, even this can be offered to our guests.
When it’s time to retire to bed, there are 17 luxurious bedroom suites for up to 34 guests, with a spectacular penthouse apartment due for completion in summer 2018 offering a further 3 – 4 bedrooms for an additional 6 – 8 guests. A further 36 guests can be accommodated in 5-star cottages adjacent to the Stinchar river and the harbour nearby, with complimentary transport available for guests to and from the castle.
The Castle suites are country house style on a grand scale, with spacious bedrooms, vast comfortable beds and cosy armchairs or sofas from which to appreciate the spectacular views. All of the bedrooms are beautiful, individually designed with elegant antique furnishings, many with four poster or canopied beds and all offering spacious ensuite bathrooms.
The two grand Master suites are particularly spectacular, with stunning hand carved four poster beds, spacious sitting areas and amazing views with triple aspect windows.
The penthouse apartment can rival some of the finest private suites in the world, with its spectacular private drawing room which can be used for private dining, a sitting room, games room, kitchen, sauna and beauty treatment room, along with an astonishing master bedroom suite boasting the most glorious panoramic views. A beautiful spiral staircase leads to the private roof terrace with 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside and coastline with views as far as Ireland on a clear day. There are a further 2 spacious twin/double rooms, 2 bathrooms and a children’s bedroom available.
The bedrooms and penthouse can be reached by a lift and there’s an accessible room on the ground floor, with garden views, in addition to two dog friendly rooms.
The beautiful castle gardens are a peaceful idyll, whether strolling past the mature cedars and redwoods on a summer evening or exploring the winding pathways. Wandering through the 36 acres you’ll discover a formal Italian garden, designed by the renowned Gertrude Jekyll and a wooded glen with mighty Sequoias and Giant Redwoods, with some of the tallest trees in Scotland.
Guests will also find a lovely walled garden, before being delighted by the reflected beauty of the castle in the azalea pond. The romantic exterior and grounds lend themselves perfectly to weddings, with ceremonies possible both in the grounds and castle itself.
Wellington boots, raincoats and umbrellas are available to ensure that the great outdoors and the castle’s location near the seaside can be enjoyed all year round, and you can return to roaring fires and a wee dram at Glenapp to keep out the chill. A short drive south in Galloway is Britain’s largest forest park, with woodland trails, lochs and hills covered in heather; perfect to stretch your legs and walk off any gastronomic excess from your stay.
The surrounding countryside offers some of the most stunning scenery to be found anywhere in the world, with spectacular sunsets, ever changing colours and light and dramatic coastlines. There is an abundance of wildlife both in the Glenapp estate and the surrounding areas and islands, with birds of prey, deer and wildcats, along with sea birds, puffins, basking sharks and whales.
Ferries from nearby Cairnryan allow an excursion to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Gardeners will appreciate a visit to the formal gardens of Culzean Castle or the botanical gardens at Logan Gardens or Castle Kennedy.
If you’re responsible for organising corporate events, Glenapp has every facility for meetings, conferences, team-building, product launches and events. It offers peace; time to think and space to be creative. The main drawing room is suitable for 60 delegates when arranged cabaret-style or up to 75 theatre-style, with separate break-out rooms for smaller group discussions, or private meetings. The team would be delighted to organise group activities and entertainment for your delegates.
Whether you are looking to escape to the country, celebrate in style or hold a high end corporate event, Glenapp Castle is the perfect venue.