Photos courtesy of Dornoch Castle
Single room: £75–177
Double rooms and suites: £129–260
Rates include breakfast and tax
Open: all year
Dornoch is 45 miles north of Inverness on A9. Turn right on A949 toward Dornoch, and continue the few miles into town. The castle is in the center of town.
Nearby: pony trekking; golf; swimming; Dornoch Cathedral; Dunrobin Castle; distillery in Tain.
Yes. Receptions. Cathedral across the street
Family-run Dornoch Castle (officially referred to as a “bishop’s palace”) provides an off-beat quality often missing in more luxurious castle hotels.
To enter the castle, you step through a turret door and then climb a tiny, winding staircase to reach reception. The tower and staircase are part of the original structure, as are the dungeons, now used ingloriously for storage.
Several stairways and labyrinthine corridors lead to the guest rooms, some of which are in a wing built in 1974 and have garden views.
Dornoch features two suites: a gorgeous, carved four-poster bed and an open fireplace will keep you warm in the Old Courtroom Suite and a unique king-size sleigh bed will tempt you in the Cathedral View Suite.
The original stone-wall kitchen overlooks Dornoch Cathedral and is now the highly regarded dining room where you can indulge in Scottish cuisine.
On Saturday evenings in the summer a pipe band parades in the main square in front of the castle.
The Royal Dornoch Golf Club—where golf was first played in 1616 and which now rates as one of the top courses in the world—is a five-minute walk from the hotel.