ethie castle

Photos courtesy of Ethie Castle








The abbot and monks of nearby Arbroath Abbey first built a sandstone keep on the site in 1300. Remodeling took place with an added courtyard in anticipation of a visit by King James V in 1530.

It was rumored that after the murder of Cardinal Beaton (of Arbroath) in St. Andrews, the monks of Arbroath hid the treasures of their abbey in Ethie’s walls.

The Carnegie family (later the earls of Northesk) bought Ethie Castle in 1665 and held its title until 1928. The 7th earl was a vice-admiral who commanded alongside Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, In tribute, the symbol of Trafalgar could be incorporated in the earls of Northesk arms. This can be seen today. This same earl modernized the castle and transformed it into a country house.

The 8th earl was friends of Sir Walter Scott, who penned his novel The Antiquary here, the Castle of Knockwhinnock standing in for Ethie Castle.

Pamela’s Perspective

You can only like an establishment that proclaims “Who can resist a famous Arbroath Smokie for breakfast?” on its promotional literature. For those in the dark, an Arbroath Smokie is a haddock smoked over hardwood. Its particularly noted for its coppery brown color, creamy texture, and savory flavor. The European Commission has granted special status to the name Arbroath Smokie; much like the designation champagne, it can can only be used in reference to the real smoked haddock within a 8-kilometer radius of Arbroath.


Ethie Castle

A 14th-century castle


Inverkeilor, by Arbroath
Angus DD11 5SP
Tel: ++44 (0)1241 830434
Fax: ++44 (0)1241 830432
Hotel website

Fast facts

3 rooms

Single rooms: from £94
Double rooms: £119–138
Rates include breakfast
10% surcharge for stays of only one night
No credit cards

Open: all year, but check ahead

Getting there

The castle is north of Dundee on the coast and just a bit northeast of Marywell on the A96. The nearest train station is at Arbroath.

What to do

Nearby: fishing; shooting; golf; hiking; Glamis Castle; Kirriemuir (birthplace of J.M. Barrie); Victorian Trail; ancient carved Pictish stones of St. Vigeans, Meigle, and Aberlemno


The de Morgan family welcomes you to their family home on the coast of Scotland. This is not a hotel but a rare castle bed and breakfast property.

After a days activities what better place to relax but in a cozy den with a roaring log fire to warm things up. Or you might try the Cardinal’s Sitting Room, which features a tiny door that leads to an ancient chapel. An elegant Georgian drawing room hung with fine art is more formal.

Climb to the top of the castle and you’ll be rewarded with fine views of the surrounding countryside from the Tapestry Room.

With only three guest rooms, you have a choice of a four-poster bedroom, a bedroom overlooking the courtyard with a 1920s art-deco bathroom, or a room with a kingsize bed and a sitting room with views of the garden.

An excellent breakfast and home cooked dinner (with advance notice) are served in the Tudor kitchen, where a log fire sometimes blazes in the enormous Inglenook fireplace. Larger groups are accommodated in the castles dining room, which features an ornate plasterwork ceiling and a great table.

Something special

curlicueGhost legend. The ghost of Cardinal Beaton (who was murdered by Protestants) is said to walk a narrow stairway to the secret doorway that connects to his bedroom.

curlicueSaid to be the 2nd oldest permanently inhabited castle in Scotland