Stay in a Castle in Scotland – Introducing Crossbasket Castle *Contains affiliate links
People often visit Scotland because they love castles, but finding a castle hotel that works for families, as well as couples, is a tougher challenge. Crossbasket Castle ticks the boxes. This 17th century property has been sympathetically converted into a nine-bedroom hotel, restored by local businessman and art collector Steve Timoney and his wife Alison Reid-Timoney. Set in rural parkland, it’s 15 minutes drive from Glasgow, 35 mins from Glasgow International Airport, and 45 miles from Edinburgh.
Rooms – Stay in a Castle in Scotland, Crossbasket Castle
The rooms are ornate, spacious and sumptuously decorative – expect a classical style of rich furnishings, velvet, tassels, chandeliers – you definitely feel like Queen for the day. The bathrooms feature freestanding rolltop baths and make getting ready for dinner a treat. Expect robes and lush toiletries by Quercus.
Food & Drink – Stay in a Castle in Scotland, Crossbasket Castle
Afternoon tea is served in the calming drawing room (like a setting straight out of Bridgerton), take an aperitif in the library, but the headline attraction is the Michel Roux Jr restaurant where dishes are served in the luxurious Baillie Room. In terms of a setting we’re talking gold leaf, antiques and Raeburn portraits on the walls.
A 5-course tasting menu is served, at a relatively reasonable £75, and the dishes from this menu can be ordered individually in an à la carte fashion. Highlights include starters such as west coast crab with marinated tomato, avocado and basil. Mains include fillet of Tweed Valley beef, carrots, pommes Anna, wild garlic, and sauce Diane. And, for dessert, consider Albert Roux’s classic lemon tart and raspberry sorbet.
The children’s menu is strong too, so kids are welcomed, catered for, and don’t have to dine from the grown-up menu.
Grounds & History – Stay in a Castle in Scotland, Crossbasket Castle
The grounds are lovely, ideal to take a stroll with your Mr Darcy or Ms Bennet. There’s space to explore, a riverside walk to meander along, and a fountain with outdoor seating for al fresco gatherings.
The castle is rich in history. Its tower dates back to the 15th century and its most celebrated owner was the 19th century draper Charles Macintosh of the raincoat fame. As the pictures depict, the property’s been brought back to life with fixtures and fittings suitable for 21st century guests.
There’s ample to see and do nearby. The David Livingstone Centre will newly reopen in June 2021, to the tune of a £9million refurbishment. Glasgow and all its attractions are a short drive away. We nipped to Chatelherault Park with its elegant manor house, then cycled from there to Strathclyde Country Park and back in the sunshine following the six mile cycle path (no roads involved so v safe). We also dropped by Calderglen Country Park and Zoo, which is home to meerkats, wallabies and marmosets to name a few cute beasties. The National Museum of Rural Life is a total gem for all ages. I’d recommend a car for accessing the castle, and for sight-seeing.
After a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions, treating yourself to a castle stay could be very tempting indeed.