Inverlochy Castle – Fort William, Highlands, Scotland
A Baronial Bastion of Ease and Luxury
I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot,” wrote Queen Victoria, no stranger to the allure of the Highlands, who stayed at Inverlochy Castle in 1873 shortly after its completion. Set amid magnificent scenery, it is a grand baronial castle hotel of limited formality, cozy with roaring fireplaces and overstuffed chairs, and set on 500 acres of private land on the shores of Loch Lochy. Its good taste and country opulence show up in a great profusion of flowers, fragrant toiletries reminiscent of grand luxe hotels, fresh herbs and just-picked vegetables from the walled gardens and local suppliers, and after dinner, a single-malt whisky from a neighboring distillery. To enjoy this singular combination, wayfarers come from all over the world, elated at their own good fortune at having found a room (there are just seventeen available) at one of Britain’s most special country retreats.
Against the backdrop of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Great Britain (4,406 feet), the castle is the ideal base from which to experience the magic of Scotland’s Highlands and offshore excursions.
“There is still something of an Odyssey up there, in among the islands and the silent Lochs,” wrote D. H. Lawrence, who visited the Highlands in 1926. “It is still out of the world, like the very beginning of Europe.” The same awe will most likely be experienced by visitors a century later.