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“Very Special”
Review of Duchray Castle

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Duchray Castle
Ranked #5 of 9 Aberfoyle B&B and Inns
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very Special”
Reviewed 8 February 2014

My husband and I brought our 3 year old daughter to stay overnight in mid-January during a visit to Scotland. Needless to say, our daughter was absolutely enchanted to be staying in a REAL castle. She was right, it was enchanting. I'd never go to a B&B just for the sake of staying there, except this one. Aside from the other-worldly atmosphere, it's quiet and clean with gorgeous views all over. And the breakfast was so delicious. Even when the weather was awful, the cozy warm floors and crackling fireplace gave me the feeling of being spoiled. The hosts are incredibly hard working and very personable. Definitely coming back.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank sun_baby76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frances B, Owner at Duchray Castle, responded to this review, 10 February 2014
Thank you for your review. I am glad you and your family had a lovely stay at Duchray Castle and we look forward to welcoming you back one day soon.

Frances
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79 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 January 2014

I spent 3 nights in Duchray Castle mid-January and it was exactly what I'd been looking for in a 'sanity break' - something different and a bit special, quiet seclusion, peace, a bit of luxury, beautiful setting in a gorgeous part of the country and fabulous attention to detail of the castle restoration, decor, furnishings, service, breakfast foods quality and, perhaps most importantly, welcome. Both Frances and Oliver who have nursed this overhaul project for the last 3 years have really put heart and soul into this and you can tell they are passionate about it. Its infectious! I am a bit in love with Duchray estate, the Duchray water which runs through, the wonderful forest tracks, the old trees and new, nearby lochan, and the proximity to the village of Aberfoyle and Loch Ard. I enjoyed trips out, drives west to Inversnaid as well as north over the Duke's Pass, a bit of scrambling around the Craigrostan woods (yes, where the MacGregor clan were based before their steading was burned by the redcoats!) above Loch Lomond at Inversnaid and up to Rob Roy's view. The hosts were good at sharing their local knowledge, recommendations for eating, walking routes, etc. They have a great selection of books and dvds in their library containing books on the surrounding area and its history, plus the Neeson version of Rob Roy on dvd! Frances prepares your delicious breakfast selection while you enjoy a crackling open fire in the medieval vaulted dining room and serves you with the utmost friendliness but also professionalism. The only small criticism bizarrely was a rather tough tattie scone as part of my veggie cooked breakfast! However the amazingly tasty locally sourced free range eggs scrambled with mushrooms on delicious local Mhor bread more than compensated. I thoroughly enjoyed this break, although I suggest you either do not read the ghostly legends attached to their castle history folder, or that you take a companion in order not to spook yourself out on the 1st night, as you could very well be the only person in the castle if the other rooms are vacant as the owners live in the lodge house at the gate, not in the castle! All part of the fun... Check this place out, I guarantee you will be bowled over. [NB: I got a single person discount, a low season 2nd night for half price, and a discounted 3rd night, making it pretty darn good value particularly if you're not overly flush :) ]

Room Tip: There are only 4 rooms - all gorgeous. I stayed in the Tower room as it seemed the cosiest for a sin...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Angela L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frances B, Owner at Duchray Castle, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Hi Angela,
Thank you for your lovely review and for coming to stay with us. I'm glad you got the break you needed. Sorry about the tattie scone, they are hand made by Mhor bread, which means that they don't always behave consistently. I had been warming them gently in a pan, very successfully all last year with great results, but I too have noticed recently that this is sometimes making them go tough- It's a bit of a mystery, I will speak to the bakery to see if they have changed the production process, in the mean time I am now getting better results by putting them in the toaster!
Hope to see you back here one day soon. All the best, Frances
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Dalgety Bay, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We got married at Duchray Castle on 7/12/13. Duchray Castle was the first wedding venue we visited and we fell in love with it straight away, we had no doubt it was the perfect venue for us. It is absolutely stunning, both inside and out, the grounds and the views are just beautiful. The attention to detail with the décor is exquisite and blends perfectly with the history of the building. We had use of all four of the bedrooms for the whole weekend which was great as it meant we could settle in and relax the night before. The beds are very comfy and everything about the rooms is done to a very high standard. The breakfast selection was vast and I loved that there were many locally sourced things to choose from, a very nice touch. The vaulted room we got married in was just breathtaking with the fire crackling and the candles lit. The owner Frances Bigwood was so welcoming and she helped us have the wedding day we dreamed of. The atmosphere created by the castle was so intimate and cosy which was perfect for our winter wedding. Everyone had a wonderful day and were in awe when they arrived at the castle. Many of them were very interested in the B&B and I think you may have a few coming back to visit! We couldn't have possibly wished for a more perfect venue in such a great location for our wedding. We are looking forward to coming to stay again! Thank you very much for everything.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Claire G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 20 December 2013

I stayed at Duchray Castle last autumn with my husband, while on the way to the north of Scotland. The castle is a bit out of the way but potholes aside we made it. The room was great but I would say that I expected a log fire so was disappointed in that regard, though the decor was very tastefully done- a good refurbishment with good food. The midges were pretty merciless,so I would suggest applying plenty of midge repellant before venturing outside in summer. Frances was lovely though Oliver Bigwood is well-named. I will not be visiting again.

Room Tip: One with solid locks.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lucy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frances B, Owner at Duchray Castle, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you for your comments and I am sorry you were disappointed with your stay.
The pot holes on the track, you mention, can at times be bad, but as the track into the forest, to our secluded location, is a forestry track the maintenance of it is out of our control. The forestry commission regrades the track after any heavy use and it has just been done in December. We do make guests aware of the access track on both our website and in the confirmation details you will have received, but I am sorry if it came as a surprise or caused you bother, as we state in all our literature the track is negotiable with care in any normal road car.
Like much of the rural Scotland the midges can be problematic in the summer, however I am surprised you were bothered in September, they are nearly all gone by then. We have midge catching machines positioned around the castle through the late spring, summer and early autumn, which help to control the local population.
Regarding your wish for a log fire, you only needed to ask and we would have lit one for you, however in the summer months we do not tend to have them burning, unless requested, as the evenings are long and this summer especially it was very warm.
At Duchray Castle we understand that time away is precious and we strive to make your stay as enjoyable as possible, I am incredibly concerned about two of your comments and I urge you to please contact me directly on the business email to give me more detail regarding your comment about Oliver Bigwood and your comment about "getting a door with solid locks". I Understand the comment aimed at Oliver is very insulting but I need to understand why you have made this comment. Oliver has infrequent contact with guests, but occasionally does check ins and makes welcome drinks and I am surprised if such an encounter caused upset . Please email me with further details at your first convenience. Frances
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Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We had our wedding reception here in October 2013. It was perfect.

The proprietor, Frances, provided an impeccable service as both wedding manager/planner in the lead-up to the wedding and host on the day. We could not fault Duchray Castle on any level. The 4 bedrooms are all beautifully decorated and the castle is dramatic, atmospheric and stylish, but also homely, intimate and unimposing. Having been to hotels, bed and breakfasts and wedding venues all over the world, we can honestly say this place is like nowhere else. It is beautiful. It is unique. It is unforgettable.

We couldn't recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Adam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

My 17 year old son and I stayed at the Castle for two nights while on a bit of a road trip. We stayed in the twin room. The entire restoration is lovely. Everything so well appointed. Beautiful color choices, delicious breakfast food, very warm environment. The only reason it's not a 5-star review is that 1) we had some hot water issues that I am sure will be rectified and which the hosts managed to overcome by giving us access to a different room for showers/tubs and 2) there were not log fires as hoped and we were a bit disappointed when a staff person said they were not working. This is a bit of a new enterprise and I am entirely sure that all these things will get sorted out. Meanwhile, it is a very special, well-located place and we would return in an instant.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank nygugie61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

My husband and I enjoyed a cheeky overnighter here. The bedrooms and communal areas have been beautifully restored and tastefully decorated, made super homely by log fires. Frances and Oliver are fantastic hosts and made us very welcome. We didn't stay for dinner but ate at one of the pubs in the local village. Breakfast the next morning was delicious. All in all, just perfect!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Pollyj71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Duchray Castle

Property: Duchray Castle
Address: Duchray Castle Duchray Road, Aberfoyle, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park FK8 3XL, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park > Aberfoyle
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Aberfoyle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Duchray Castle 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Forest lies Duchray Castle, a 500 year old tower house linked with Rob Roy. Now newly renovated it offers luxury accommodation and a warm welcome in a stunning, secluded location. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Duchray Castle Aberfoyle, Scotland

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