Welcome to a truly hidden place. A place to be inspired, reflect, recharge and reconnect; where you will feel ‘at home’ whether you’re travelling on your own or with a party of friends. Welcome to Glenapp Castle.
The luxury, award-winning five star hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland, provides an intimate level of service with genuine attention to detail. It has great beauty in its period furnishings and interiors as well as through the breathtaking gardens, forest, and the seascapes that surround that castle.
A Rich History
The castle and surrounding estate have a rich history. The Glenapp Estate was already well established under the ownership of the Earl of Orkney when the industrialist, James Hunter (later to become the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire), acquired it and commissioned in 1870 the celebrated Edinburgh architect, David Bryce, to design a suitably magnificent home for him.
Bryce was a leading proponent of what came to be known as the Scottish Baronial style: combining elements of the Gothic and Renaissance design to create the grandeur and fairytale appearance we recognise today.
The castle’s mellow sandstone battlements, topped by soaring turrets and towers, have earned Glenapp a rightful place as one of the most romantic luxury castles in Scotland.
In 1917 the castle passed to James Lyle Mackay, the son of a wealthy shipmaster. James later became the first Earl of Inchcape following a successful and highly decorated business life.
He became Chairman of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P&O) and was credited with solving the Indian currency crisis just after the turn of the century.
For all his success the history books show he was perhaps tragically upstaged by his daughter Elsie. Elsie Mackay was not only a respected actress (under the name Poppy Wyndham), and an interior designer for P&O, she was also a skilled aviatrix famed for her aerial stunts.
In 1928 she set out to cross the Atlantic in a single engine monoplane, from an airfield in Lincoln, only one year after Charles Lindbergh became the first to make the crossing travelling west to east. Sadly, Elsie and her co-pilot Captain Hinchcliffe, a World War One flying ace, did not arrive and were never seen again.
Renovation and restoration
The castle and grounds were eventually sold on by the Mackay family and over time fell into disrepair.
It was not until the McMillan family of Scottish hoteliers purchased the property in 1994 that, after six painstaking years of toil from daughter Fay and husband Graham Cowan, Glenapp Castle and its gardens were restored to their former glory.
The castle has since steadily won a string of awards and accolades and been recognised as one of the finest luxury castle hotels in the United Kingdom. The castle has been a member of Relais & Châteaux since 2001.
Paul and Poppy Szkiler
In 2015 the castle was acquired by Paul and Poppy Szkiler. Paul is the Chairman of the Truestone Group. Both Paul and Poppy focus on building businesses not simply to create profit but to address social and environmental challenges from Africa to Asia as well as here in the UK.
The Apartment has been in the planning for more than two years and aims to become Scotland’s finest Castle Apartment. The Endeavour combines traditional Scottish baronial style with plenty of modern luxuries to create a sumptuous, and truly welcoming, home from home.
Spanning across 420 square metres, this elegant four-bedroom apartment sits high above the West Coast of Scotland, offering extraordinary views of the iconic Ailsa Craig island, the Isle of Arran, and the Mull of Kintyre.
In addition to the four stunning bedrooms and bathrooms, The Endeavor features a media room with seating for 12 and a library and games room.
The Westward lounge and dining room, which can seat up to 16 guests, with adjacent period kitchen makes it perfect for feasting with friends and family. You will have your own private chef and personal butler at your service throughout your stay.
The apartment also offers a sauna, a beauty treatment and massage room and private access elevator. A spiral stone staircase provides access to the historic turrets of Glenapp Castle where, by day, you can soak up panoramic views and, come nightfall, simply marvel at the stars.
The Endeavour features four individually designed bedrooms: The Elsie Mackay, The Poppy Wyndham, The Kintyre, and The Waverley. In each you’ll find a super king size bed, which can also be set up as twin single beds, fresh flowers, and luxurious bathrobes and slippers.
All bedrooms and bathrooms boast stunning sea views as well as a few little luxuries and extravagant amenities. All bedrooms have private bathrooms with roll top baths, walk in showers and more spectacular sea views.
A stay in The Endeavour includes a private chef, who will be on hand to prepare your chosen dishes. What’s more, you’ll always find the kitchen stocked with an array of goodies, a selection of Suki Teas, Nespresso coffees, homemade chocolates and sweet treats.
Your Private Chef will prepare a daily changing selection of nibbles, snacks and fresh fruit. Also included is a selection of complimentary drinks.
Media Room, Library and Games Room
With a 65” TV featuring Netflix, Amazon, Sky TV, and Disney+, the media room is the perfect place to enjoy cosy nights in. You’ll find Bluetooth speakers, the new Playstation 5 with games and the apartment has its own wifi connection.
Next door, in the library and games room, you’ll also find board games, books, and comfy seating that’s perfect for sinking into with a wee dram after dinner.
Sauna & Massage and Treatment Rooms
The private sauna & massage and treatment rooms mean you can indulge in all manner of pampering without even leaving the apartment. Our beauty therapists can offer everything from facials and nail treatments to hot stone massages and body scrubs.
They can even be on hand for a pre-dinner makeover. Plus, there are yoga mats, weights and hula hoops for those who want to work on their fitness.
With a spacious dining room, and your very own private chef, you can indulge in everything from laid-back breakfasts to decadent feasts. The dining room offers stunning views of Ailsa Craig and, with room to seat up to 16, the kitchen can even be transformed to host a small cookery class for you and your guests.
Your personal butler will be on hand, discreetly, throughout your stay. They will be there to meet you on arrival, help arrange your activities and experiences, oversee all your dining desires, recommend your wines and anticipate everyone’s wishes. Your butler will ensure the best possible experience for you all during your stay.
Experience the height of luxury in the largest and grandest rooms at Glenapp Castle. Wake up to sweeping views across both the surrounding estate and the stunning seascape overlooking the iconic Ailsa Craig.
The Master Suites are traditionally furnished to reflect the opulent history of the castle and provide the ultimate experience for stunning 5 red star luxury castle accommodation.
These cosy yet luxurious 5-star rooms are all located on the ground floor and have lovely garden views, with the exception of Auchencrosh which has a courtyard and woodland views. There are 6 Garden View rooms available at Glenapp Castle all traditionally decorated to highlight the charming history of our castle.
Stunning Scottish Cuisine
Fine dining at Glenapp Castle’s award winning restaurant is a truly unique experience. Whether you choose the six course dining experience or the ‘Taste of Glenapp’ three course menu, we believe you will enjoy the authenticity and flair of the cuisine.
Indulge in a delightful afternoon tea, or enjoy an extended evening dining experience in the gracious surroundings of the castle’s elegant dining rooms.
The restaurant’s six course gourmet menu which includes canapés, coffee, and petits fours allows you to watch the sun set over Ailsa Craig, the Mull of Kintyre, and across the beautiful Ayrshire coastline. Whatever the occasion or time of day, dining at Glenapp Castle is a culinary experience not to be missed.
Major investment continues throughout the estate and castle gardens. Each year we will see even more produce grown here at Glenapp, with plans for even greater sustainability and sometimes quite rare produce grown here in the Castle’s gardens.
The quality speaks for itself
We are dedicated to using local produce here at Glenapp, both for their freshness and the excellent quality available in Ayrshire. Our chefs select the very best meats and cheeses from the very best local farms in Ayrshire and seafood is bought mainly from the quayside at Girvan just as it is landed by local fishermen.
Our own hotel gardens provide many of the ingredients for the exquisite food created by our hotel kitchens.
The distinctive breakfast preserves are prepared at the hotel from fruit grown in our 150 foot long glasshouse and the herbs and vegetables that arrive on your dinner plate in the evening are homegrown in our walled garden and newly installed polytunnels.
Making the most of local produce is a cause we are passionate about, reducing our carbon footprint whilst increasing the flavour.
Award winning dining; locally sourced food
Dinner at our award winning restaurant is a one of the finest dining experiences available in Scotland. All our fish and shellfish are line-caught or hand-dived off Scotland’s west coast and the game comes from local estates from across Ayrshire; beef, lamb, and pork are farmed only 17 miles from Glenapp Castle.
Incredible six course dining menu
The vast majority of ingredients used in the kitchen are from Scotland including fruit, vegetables and herbs coming from our own kitchen garden.
Our Executive Chef, Joe Gould and his team have created a truly memorable dining experience which includes canapés, coffee, and petits fours and changes every night. You can also savour the same flair and authenticity with the ‘Taste of Glenapp’ three course menu.
Watch the sunset over Ailsa Craig, the Mull of Kintyre, and across the beautiful Ayrshire coastline from the castle’s elegant dining rooms sipping a glass of the finest wine from our cellar and perhaps a selection from our famous range of single malt whiskies as the night closes in across the Firth of Clyde.
Produce at Glenapp
All our fish and shellfish are line-caught or hand-dived off Scotland’s west coast and the game comes from local estates from across Ayrshire; beef, lamb, and pork are farmed only 17 miles from the castle.
More than three quarters of the ingredients used in the kitchen are from Scotland including fruit, vegetables and herbs coming from our own Kitchen Garden. All lunch menus can be tailored to suit any special dietary requirements.
What a relaxing way to while away an afternoon with friends or with your family, enjoying tea, coffee, beautifully crafted sandwiches, cream cakes, and, of course, scones with clotted cream and home-made jam. Perhaps even add a glass of Champagne.
Afternoon Tea at Glenapp is a special occasion. Views from our dining rooms over to the Ailsa Craig and beyond are simply breathtaking, these locations to enjoy your afternoon tea offers relaxation, where time feels almost suspended.
We invite our afternoon guests to breathe in the spectacularly clean air and explore the castle grounds including our unique Victorian Walled Garden, beautiful throughout all seasons, and the Italian garden, designed by the amazing Gertrude Jekyll.
Our Afternoon Tea is created daily by our talented team of Chef’s who will utilise the best in season local produce. Afternoon Tea is served in our Castle drawing room or The Azalea Glasshouse Restaurant from 12 noon until 5pm, everyday.
A fairytale venue for a perfect wedding
Hidden away in 36 acres of stunning gardens and woodland, the magical towers, turrets, and crenellations of Glenapp Castle greet you as you sweep up the tree-lined drive telling you this is a magnificent place for your special day.
The hotel will provide you with your own wedding organiser and our team are completely dedicated to making sure every detail of your big day goes according to plan.
Whether you are planning an intimate gathering, or a more lavish reception you can be assured that you and your guests will have a memorable and hugely enjoyable experience in a truly beautiful setting.
Luxury exclusive use wedding
We offer exclusive use of our 5 star castle, allowing you and your wedding party to enjoy both the estate and exceptional service our team provides to its full extent in total privacy.
Take over the whole estate to use as you please and create your perfect wedding day. From archery activities for all to enjoy to pre-wedding nights for the bridal party to relax and prepare, the choice is yours.
Glenapp Castle provides an intimate location for your wedding day, and our private hire arrangements allow you to book out rooms and activities for your guests to use.
All our arrangements are tailored to the number of guests attending and offer a range of dining options and entertainment. Make your day extra special by choosing an arrangement that suits your wedding guests and ceremony.
Beautiful outdoor weddings
Glenapp Castle Estate provides a glorious location for larger weddings. Enjoy your big day in the breath-taking setting of our castle gardens – perfect for wedding photographs, relaxing walks, and high-end celebrations. Our marquee weddings are ideal for up to 200 guests and will provide a day that you will never forget.
For those important events
Many people are aware of Glenapp as a beautiful Relais & Chateaux hotel with exquisite gardens, cuisine, furniture art, and of course the sense of privacy for the most discerning of guests.
Fewer people would be aware of the amazing trading history of the owners of Glenapp going back almost 150 years. Many describe Glenapp as being a place, not only of great beauty but, of inspiration; a place where creativity seems to flow and often strategic decisions are made.
Your own castle for the weekend
For those special occasions when you really want your friends or your family to be together, Glenapp is the ultimate destination. Our exclusive hire offer really does give you the freedom to enjoy this castle hotel and the company of those close to you in complete privacy.
If you have an event you would like to share with others, Glenapp will create and prepare a bespoke event for you. Your dedicated personal event manager will build an itinerary to meet your highest expectations.
You can choose the food, the entertainment, the experiences and activities to suit your particular friends or family, or your corporate gathering.
The perfect setting
The combination of forest, seascape, and the protection of this baronial castle all lend themselves to create an atmosphere for planning, reflection, and reconnecting.
The castle itself can accommodate up to 42 guests, 17 suites in the Castle plus another 4 bedrooms in our magnificent new Castle Penthouse Apartment, The Endeavour.
We also can accommodate up to a further 26 guests in 5 star local cottages along the Stinchar River and on the harbour’s edge with complimentary transfers to and from the castle.
Dedicated to your event
Reputed to be the venue for a meeting in 1944 between Churchill, Eisenhower, and Lord Inchcape, then Chairman of P&O, where the D Day landings were planned, Glenapp has a history as a place for making important strategic decisions.
During your time here you will have your own dedicated conference organiser to ensure that the event goes exactly to plan.
Thirty-six acres of grounds to explore
Overlooking the Firth of Clyde, out to the iconic Ailsa Craig, the beautiful, secluded, and peaceful gardens of Glenapp Castle offer the perfect location to relax, recharge, and take afternoon tea.
Take time to fully enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents of thirty-six acres of castle grounds, strolling the carefully tended lawns and pathways, surrounded by a vast array of exotic plants that have been collected since Victorian days.
We even have our own wooded glen to follow. Visit the stunning walled garden, and of course our Italian garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll.
Gertrude Jekyll and the Italian garden
Gertrude Jekyll is considered by many to be the pre-eminent garden designer of the early 20th century. She is perhaps best known for her work with Edwin Luytens, taking inspiration from the wider Arts and Crafts movement, she brought an air of freshness and science to garden designs.
After exploring the grounds you can relax over afternoon tea, a freshly prepared salad or savoury dish from our famous kitchens in our newly restored Azalea Glasshouse Restaurant.
Everything on our doorstep
Many visitors to Glenapp don’t even feel the need to venture out of the castle grounds! As well as many walks to explore, our thirty-six acres of gardens and woodlands also boast herb, fruit, and flower gardens, a 150 foot Victorian glasshouse, and an all-weather tennis court and croquet lawn.
The grounds are bounded on all sides by yet more woodland and open countryside to explore. Guests staying at the castle can enjoy a range of country sports from shooting, high pheasant and partridge shooting, deer stalking as well as salmon fishing on the River Stinchar, or trout fishing on a nearby loch.
HEBRIDEAN SEA SAFARI
After nights of fine dining and surrounded by the wonders of Glenapp Castle and its estate, come on board the Glenapp boat to now explore the Hebridean islands and your adventure will continue.
Your private chef will be on board and the professional crew will navigate you towards remote islands, coastal castles and distant inns.
Enjoy lunch at one of the many famous seafood restaurants, before arriving at an island or beach where the Glenapp island concierge team will have prepared your luxury glamping in the wild.
A well-deserved hot shower and a ‘dram’ before chef prepares a memorable dinner under the stars. This will be an adventure which few have experienced before.
Travelling between islands you will spot bountiful sea and bird life, or go ashore to the site of an ancient monastery, archaeological site, hidden castle garden, or whisky distillery. This will be your memorable and unique Glenapp sea safari.
For the first part of your adventure you might decide to take ‘Ripley’ the sea eagle with you. ‘Ripley’ has been trained aboard the boat to catch fish in the local waters.
At 7 pounds and with a wing span of 7 feet she is a formidable hunter and can easily take fish up to 4 pounds in weight, one of the many raptors who visit Glenapp through our partnership with Elite Falconry. Cameras ready, the Hebridean islands await.
Fishing – Chartering the Glenapp Castle 33ft boat allows guests to tackle even the most adventurous of sea fishing along the Ayrshire coast and local islands. Moments away from the castle is the Stinchar River and a variety of seasonal salmon and trout rivers.
Permits, ghillies and equipment are all provided in season. We also have access to what has been described by one journalist as the “best fishing in Scotland” at Lochnaw Castle, 30 minutes from Glenapp where rods and lunch can be provided.
The croquet lawn at Glenapp is beautifully manicured and holds multi-generational croquet tournaments which can be surprisingly competitive.
It is fascinating how games of all types can bring out the best and worst in people, as their competitive side emerges, even in the midst of a relaxing holiday. Quoits will be no exception.
This addictive, French inspired game will captivate and challenge your composure and accuracy.
The lake and lawns of Glenapp provide a stunning vista for small and large firework displays which can be choreographed to your own design.
Glenapp is on the very edge of the dark skies national park, one of only a few in the world. The brilliance and clarity of the stars and constellations are truly amazing.
Whether with our local dark sky rangers providing explanations and insights, or simply on your own, enjoy the breathtaking night skies at Glenapp. The dark skies national observatory will also provide a memorable night of wonder.
Mountain bikes from Glenapp will provide an opportunity to explore coastal paths and forest trails with terrains to suit all abilities.
The Glenapp trained archery instructors have all the equipment on site to test your capabilities here in the woods of Glenapp.
Clay Pigeon Shooting
For groups and on a private exclusive hire basis, a team of instructors and guns are available at Glenapp. For solo or smaller parties, Clay Pigeon shooting can also be arranged locally.
Jogging and Hiking
Whether following the marked trails throughout the Glenapp estate or adventuring along the coastal paths, there are beautiful, pure air opportunities for both the casual and serious runner.
For hikers, whether a three or four mile ramble or a 20 mile adventure, Glenapp Castle is surrounded by forest, sea and hills that are truly breath-taking.
Deerstalking and Photography
With a professional tracker, follow the trail of stags and deer through the forest and glens, and capture on film the beauty of these silent forest dwellers.
For exclusive hire bookings, an entire highland games competition can be arranged. From tossing the caber to tug of war, an epic battle can ensue, organised for private parties or corporates.
The Pinetum and Arboretum
In centuries gone by, the aristocrats and industrialists who owned Glenapp Castle traded with the world. They would often bring back trees and plants from distant lands.
Today we describe the Glen, only metres from the front doorstep, as a “Raiders of the Lost Ark” adventure, a place to walk and play amongst rivers, bridges, ravines and the tallest fir trees in Britain.
On a regular basis, Glenapp is host to a whole range of raptors, from tiny pairs of owls, to huge eagles and nimble hawks.
We regularly provide 90 minute fully interactive experiences on the lawn in front of the castle where birds of prey will soar high above the estate before swooping down onto your leather gloved hand to retrieve a tasty morsel.
On occasions, with your family gathered around our lake, an eagle will dive vertically before submerging and re-emerging clasping a fish in its claws.
For the more adventurous, we can take you out on the Glenapp boat with a Fish Eagle who will catch mackerel or pollock before your eyes, or alternatively go hunting through the forest with a hawk.
Horse and Carriage Rides
In our local village, Ballantrae, is a craftsman who has refurbished a whole variety of beautiful carriages. Horse and carriage rides are available from the doorstep of Glenapp with blankets to keep you warm.
The tennis court can sometimes be a suntrap in the Summer months and with a cool coastal breeze, what better way could there be to while away the late afternoon before Pimms on the lawn.
Mountain bikes at Glenapp will provide an opportunity to explore coastal paths and forest trails with terrains to suit all abilities.
The Ayrshire Coastal Path at the edge of our estate is a hidden gem. You’re unlikely to see to many people but you will come across remote beaches and ancient woodlands and, on a good day, panoramas all the way to Ireland.
Only a short distance from the Castle are five of Scotland’s magnificent shooting estates where seasoned parties from around the world are able to shoot pheasant from October through January.
A unique and challenging sport available within a beautiful landscape and with professional guides.
Fishing with Eagles
As part of a unique experience with our partner company, Elite Falconry, we are able to take with us on boat trips a Fish Eagle, who is a total natural at catching fish before your eyes. This is a truly extraordinary experience.
With some of the purest air in the United Kingdom, enjoy coast, hill, forest and glen hikes or jogging from 2 to 30 miles all in the same day.
In past years Glenapp was designated the golfing hotel of the year. This was fascinating from our perspective as we don’t have a golf course!
However, and quite incredibly, we do have the highest concentration of open golf courses in the world on our doorstep ranging from Turnberry and Dundonald to Prestwick and Troon. Let Glenapp be your base as we transfer you to arguably some of the best courses in the world.
Less than 25 minutes along the coast is a well known quad-biking facility for those with an urge for speed.
Our local area of South Ayrshire is quite famous for curling. Not only are Olympic curling stones fashioned from the granite on Ailsa Craig, our local island, but also one of the finest curling rings in Scotland is only 20 minutes from the Castle.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Can be arranged on the River Stinchar, five minutes from the front door of the castle.
Horse Racing at Ayr race course
Host to a season of memorable horse races, coordinate your calendar to enjoy the cuisine of Glenapp and the spectacle of the season’s races.
Mull of Galloway trail
The Mull of Galloway is known as one of Scotland’s great trails. Enjoy guided tours in this Scottish wilderness.
Great car journeys of Scotland
The South West Coast 300 is a three hundred mile journey encompassing some of the finest roads and scenery in this part of Scotland.
McLaren, our local travel partner, have both half and full day tours for guests, where you will be treated to a bespoke guided tour around beautiful Ayrshire.
Ailsa Craig close up
Ailsa Craig is a magnificent island, with cliffs in part almost vertical, close to 1100 feet high. Known as a sixty million year old volcanic plug, it towers above the seascape and is home to puffins and almost 40,000 pairs of guillemots during the season.
A lesser known fact is that the granite once quarried on this island still provides the highest quality of granite for curling stones used by Olympians throughout the world.
Ailsa Craig is 30 minutes by boat and, with its own 15th century castle ruin, makes a quite idyllic landing sport for exploration, picnics and seal and bird watching.
Private chef on board
As part of a variety of unique castle experiences, one of our Glenapp chefs will join you aboard the Glenapp Castle boat and, after you have caught pollock, mackeral or coley, they will create the most spectacular on-board dish for your delight.
Castle experiences by boat
Around the shores of Ayrshire are many castle ruins and active castle homes. View Culzean Castle and its cliff top dominance 25 minutes north of Glenapp or, deeper into the Hebridean islands, view the iconic castle facing the Isle of Mull, where the movie “Entrapment” was filmed.
Glenapp guests are able to enjoy a personal massage at the Castle. Guests also have access to a nearby coastal spa only 10 minutes from the castle. Overlooking the sea, the spa offers a swimming pool and full array of spa treatments.
Complement a luxurious stay at Glenapp Castle Hotel, where you can enjoy some of Scotland’s finest cuisine, with a boat adventure to the Ardbeg Whisky Distillery on the Isle of Islay.
Helicopter to a variety of Hebridean Island distilleries
Glenapp has a secure helicopter landing site two minutes from the front door of the castle, with endless unique destinations in a 100 mile radius.
Machrihanish Golf Course by boat
With its tee off across the Atlantic, the first drive on the Machrihanish Golf Course has sometimes been described as being designed by the “Finger of God”.
Arguably one of the most beautiful settings for golf in the world, this remote golf course at the end of the Mull of Kintyre might take five hours of driving from Glasgow and yet is only an hour by boat from Glenapp.
Robert Burns Museum
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is within an hour of Glenapp and whether it’s a privately curated tour of the museum, dinner in the Bard’s original home, or occasionally, with special permission, listening to a musician playing the original Robert Burns‘ fiddle, this is a great local experience.
This Scottish national treasure with its original art and antiques was rescued by Prince Charles and his Trust. Visitors from around the world marvel at the history of this extraordinary Scottish home, where, once again, personal curated tours can be arranged.
Full of Armoury and heraldic artefacts, this 15th century castle is also home to The Eisenhower apartment, an enduring gift to General Eisenhower for his wartime efforts. Permission has been given for the hire of this apartment with a Glenapp chef providing lunch or dinner there for guests.
For those who enjoy touring Scotland’s castles and to understand their origins, visit this ninth century castle. The owners of Lochnaw are the perfect hosts and guides and will provide a stunning lunch or dinner as part of your experience, which could also include fishing on their prized loch.
Wonderous lochs, a magnificent castle and history dating back to the battle of Culloden.
A relatively new Distillery an hour from Glenapp in the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway region.
Lochranza, Ardbeg and Laphroig distillieries
Scotland is famous for its whisky distilleries, many of which date back centuries. Today, a number have their own restaurants and visitor centres.
For example, Lochranza on the Isle of Arran can be reached in less than 90 minutes by boat, or we can provide transfers to the many land based distilleries such as Bladnoch. For the more adventurous, the famous Ardbeg and Laphroaig distilleries are a little less than 2 hours by boat or 30 minutes by helicopter.
Travel from Glenapp to the Airds or Isle of Eriska hotels
La Route du Bonheur par la mer. Once again for those with adventure in mind, Glenapp has re-created from the origins of Relais and Chateaux, “La Route du Bonheur” but, on this occasion, “par la mer”.
Travelling on the Glenapp boat you can lunch at harbour-side restaurants, taking in wildlife and, in our view, quite epic scenery.
You will spot castles, uninhabited islands and possibly porpoises and minke whales before arriving for dinner at the prestigious Airds Hotel, north of Oban, or the Isle of Eriska Hotel. This journey, 80 miles by sea from Glenapp, will end that evening with a well deserved dinner.
Unwind and relax
Seven minutes from the castle is Pebbles Spa, offering state-of-the-art beauty, relaxation and wellbeing treatments. For a small fee Glenapp guests can use the fantastic facilities right on the shoreline, with the castle providing transfers.
High quality treatments
Relax in the luxurious surroundings of Pebbles Spa, located on the very edge of the coastline just down the road from Glenapp Castle. Pebbles Spa incorporates an infinity swimming pool, spa, heat experiences, gym, spa treatments rooms, and a bistro.
Let the beauty of the sea take care of you with the spa’s Thalgo marine based products. These treatments harness the riches of the sea so you can benefit from the power healing, revitalising, and rebalancing properties vital for health and wellbeing.
Their exceptional body treatments refine, tone, and ease tensions while the facials offer spectacular results in purifying, hydrating, and firming. The spa also offers DECLÉOR as an aromatherapy range for those who are looking for more relaxation with aromatherapy oils.
Possibly one of the most exciting classes held at Glenapp to date has focused on perfumery. Foraging first for ingredients in the gardens before being taught the wonders of making perfume, this experience was once described by a group of seasoned travellers as one of their best travel experiences. Classes can be booked for two hours or half days.
Parties of 2-8 people can book a private cookery school experience with our Executive Chef. He will walk you through the gardens, picking herbs and produce before passing on skills and ideas to allow you to prepare new and magnificent dishes of your own.
Photography and painting courses
With many talented artists and photographers living in the vicinity of Glenapp, we can readily arrange for half or full-day courses on site.
Genealogy and Heraldry
Guests from all over the world marvel at discovering their ancestral roots in Scotland. With new ferry terminals to Ireland only 15 minutes away, Glenapp is a wonderful base from which to dig into your family history, discovering its roots and heraldic symbolism in Ireland and Scotland.
Ranging from pool, chess and bridge, all games form part of the life of a beautiful Scottish home and hotel. For special occasions, we can arrange magicians and caricaturists and, for larger occasions, a whole team of Highland Dancers who will interact with guests and inspire even the most reluctant of visitors to become a Scottish dancer.
Glenapp benefits from having a number of wine experts at the hotel who will guide you through the wines from our wonderful cellar.
Frequent visitors to Glenapp are AD Rattray’s “The whisky experience”. They will create bespoke demonstrations, including tasting and food pairing, whilst also conveying the history and processes around making some of the most famous whisky in the world.
Hendrick’s Gin tasting
Hendrick’s famous Gin distillery is local to Glenapp and private tastings can be arranged at the castle.
Iconic links golf courses near Ayrshire
Golf is one of the main outdoor sporting activities in the area and there are four championship golf courses in Ayrshire within an hour of the castle: Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes, and Turnberry.
Our concierge team have good relationships at all these courses and will be happy to arrange your golfing requirements. You can sense the history of these iconic links courses as you walk in the footsteps of the great names that have done battle around what many regard as the ultimate test of golfing ability.
Take the Glenapp boat
Take the Glenapp Castle boat across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran and choose from a mix of seven immaculately maintained links and parkland settings including the beautiful Brodick and Shiskine golf courses.
Or for the more adventurous take the Glenapp boat a little further to the tip of the Mull of Kintyre to the Machrihanish course? To quote Old Tom Morris in 1878 this was “specifically designed by the almighty for playing golf”.