This weekend we rented a car to transport all our early goods from our hotel to our new flat. Since, we had the rental through the weekend, we decided that we should put it to good use and drive north and explore the country a bit.
We ended up at Inveraray Castle, about 45 minutes north of Glasgow and decided to walk around the grounds. Admission is £10 per person and you have access to all the grounds, gardens, and about half of the house.
The house is significant because it is the traditional home of Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Campbell Clan. The Duke also has a home in London that he spends most of his time at, but about half of the house is devoted solely to their use and does not permit visitors.
The gardens and grounds were beautifully landscaped. The flowers were in blossom and I am still shocked by how many flowers are still blooming this late into September!
We wandered around the grounds for a bit before entering the castle.
The foundation for the castle was laid in 1745. The original designers, Roger Morris and William Adam, designed a two story castle with different elements drawn from the Palladian, modern Baroque, and Gothic styles.
Later additions to the castle came about because of a fire in 1877. The additions included a third floor and the cones to the tops of the corner towers.
Inside, the rooms are smaller then I expected, but well-designed and informative.
The incredible Armoury Hall displays hundreds of weapons on all four walls. The tall ceiling displays the family crest in the center. Around the room are various artifacts from various military exploits the Campbell Clan participated in.
As you move towards the next room, you're greeted with family portraits on the walls, including a group of modern pictures atop the piano. One of the pictures is of Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady, displayed because the piano was the one used to compose music for the famous movie.
Upstairs the two of the bedrooms display artifacts, letters, and a video about the family during the World Wars. One of the middle rooms is devoted to activities of modern day. My favorite montage was the framed picture from Downton Abbey, because yes, this was the castle used in Season 3 Christmas special set in Scotland.
In the basement is the kitchen, displayed as it would have appeared in the Victorian Era. The walls are covered with beautiful copper pots and pans. A tea shop and gift shop round out the rest of the basement which opens towards the gardens.
The drive up to Inveraray is beautiful (coming in another post) and the castle is a definite must see if you're ever in the area!