On a crispy winter morning I drive slowly through the Scottish countryside. I admire the rolling hills and often forget that just thirty minutes away from the centre of Edinburgh, we are surrounded with such tranquillity and beauty. In this quiet and serene valley I head to the impressive Borthwick Castle. Built in 1430 by Sir William De Borthwick; the castle is known as one of the finest preserved 15th century keeps in Scotland. Its history has been touched by the likes of Mary Queen of Scots and Oliver Cromwell. It now operates as a luxurious retreat for exclusive private bookings, and I have been invited to view what this striking venue has to offer.
As I approach the castle I see the outline of this splendid fortress; its double towers standing proud on top of the Mote of Lokward. I drive through its small archway and I am immediately astonished by the most attractive setting and architecture.
As I climb the stairs I am met by the lovely Business Development Manager, Lizzie Fisher who has agreed to show me around this beautiful venue. Normally the word Castle conjures up images of cold draughty rooms, so what really surprised me as I entered was its welcoming warmth. This remarkable 600 year building has recently been renovated to an impeccable level. This includes a state of the art heating system and a luxurious multi-million pound upgrade to its interiors. The interior design company: Design Direction have done an impressive job. Due to their efforts, Borthwick castle managed to scoop one of the UK’s most prestigious interior design awards at The Northern Design Awards.
There are three recreation rooms within the castle which can be hired for exclusive events; The Great Hall, Garrison and State Room. The larger rooms of The Great Hall and Garrison can be used for banquets, receptions and other ceremonies. The state room is cosier affair, where you can enjoy a relaxing glass of your favourite drink in front of the roaring fire.
All the rooms, as you can expect are beautifully designed and offer a luxurious experience that is second to none. I especially liked The Great Hall due to its large arched roof, impressive banquet table, which was adorned with candles and flowers, and the impressive fire place.
The Castle has 10 uniquely named and styled bedchambers. In the North tower; Wizards Tower, Knights Templar, The Earl of Bothwell and Adinston.
In the South Tower; Sinclair, Mary Queen of Scots, Red Rose, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Borthwick and Oliver Cromwell.
The rooms are scattered throughout the castle, each one providing a different ambience and story. Their luxurious interiors are exceptional, immediately exuding a relaxed and tranquil ambience.
A lot of thought has gone into the small features in each of the rooms, even down to the studded details on the walls, which were obtained from old world war 2 soldier uniforms, adds that extra unique flare. To top it off, each room has gorgeous sash windows providing awe-inspiring views of the surrounding countryside; who wouldn’t want to wake up to that?!
My favourite room has to be in The Gate House, located at the entrance of the castle. This beautifully decorated room is fit for royalty. The four poster bed was painstakingly made to resemble the original bed in which Henry VIII was conceived and the carved marble bath tub was so heavy it had to be lowered in through the roof. As you can see, Borthwick Castle has gone to a lot of effort to provide the ultimate and unique experience.
With every private booking, you are provided with your very own team of staff catering to your every need. Even if you choose to come back here again and again each stay will be bespoke, allowing you to enjoy a completely new experience. So, whether it’s a family vacation, special occasion or corporate event, you know you will be guaranteed a uniquely tailored experience that boasts luxurious interiors, impeccable service and an stay that no one will ever forget. I certainly haven’t seen this kind of venue in Scotland before and I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to experience the true meaning of Scottish hospitality.