Once upon a time there was a beautiful magical castle near the little village of Meikle Wartle…
Experience the magic of Wardhill Castle - one of our most elegant castles in Scotland and a perfect place for families or groups of friends in need of a luxurious holiday home. It is a magnificent property and a complete haven for those looking to get away to a secluded spot in this unique part of the world.
As a castle with eight bedrooms, it lends itself well to large groups of extended family or friends looking to reconnect and celebrate in a really stylish and romantic setting.
A little bit of history
Clan Leslie acquired this castle all the way back in the 12th century and if you are familiar with the clans of Scotland, you will know this was one of the largest and most powerful. The families in this Aberdeenshire clan all owned different big houses, castles and estates but Wardhill is special in that it is the only remaining property within the same family today.
Wardhill Castle was passed down to the son of the Chieftain of Clan Leslie who ran the castle for many years. His son William and wife Sarah moved up from London shortly after getting married and decided that it was time to take the reins and run the estate. With fresh new eyes and a bundle of passion, they took up this new responsibility and have been looking at ways to diversify this wonderful castle for the 21st century.
Plans to modernise the ancient castle have involved replacing bathrooms, updating the kitchen, putting in an enormous biomass boiler system and a mains water supply transforming this building into a truly luxurious and contemporary holiday property. The couple now live in the rear wing of this beautiful castle with their son, Harry.
The oldest bit of the castle was built about 800 years ago and has been extended and extended, with it being at its largest in Victorian times. However, it was so large that it could not be sustained economically by future generations and so Will’s grandfather made the difficult decision to pull down an enormous wing of the castle (32 rooms!) to make it smaller and more manageable for his children and grandchildren to come.
It will come as no surprise that future plans for the castle include continuing to make it an ever-more exclusive venue serviced with catering, housekeeping and butler service. They want to be able to offer arranged outings, activities and even events, making this a truly luxurious place to stay!
Now, let’s take a peek inside…
Entering the ancient Scottish castle
On the ground floor, there is a grand hall, kitchen, dining room, living room, snug/library and games room.
As you step inside, you will be blown away by the sheer size of the rooms - the grand hall being the first you see when you walk through the great double doors.
Light blue walls greet you and invite you in to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of this castle. Can we just point out here that some of the wallpaper throughout the house is actually original to the castle? It’s over 100 years old and still looks incredible!
From the grand hall, the beautiful big double doors lead onto the living room which may very well become the main social hub during your stay. The sunny yellow walls keep the room quirky and interesting, a real contrast with the stunning historic architecture, and the gorgeous full-length windows flood the room with light while allowing guests to gaze out on scenic views.
The furniture is complemented with luxury textiles and fittings, with a clever mix of antique and modern decoration adding to the stylish atmosphere in this one-of-a-kind stay. Paintings, a grand mirror above the fireplace, hand-painted vases, a rocking horse and grand piano are placed throughout the room. With plenty of seating, you can all enjoy long fun sociable evenings in here around a crackling fire.
The dining room can seat your whole party with ease, boasting a lovely large table fit for the most delicious feasts. The red walls create a merry atmosphere and as you all sit round together by candlelight you will get that sense of occasion we all desire for a special time with friends and family. More oil paintings bedeck the walls, candelabras line the table and the mahogany cabinets hold all you will need to complete the feast.
The entertainment in Wardhill Castle
Snuggle up in the library or play in the games room - the snug/library and games room offer that bit of extra space and activity for your group during your stay.
The snug is one of our favourite rooms with its cosy open fire and unusual printed wallpaper. This is the perfect place for the adults of the party to come and sit after dinner with a dram of whisky or an evening coffee, with a roaring open fire keeping you toasty and warm.
Once again, the mix of old and new furnishings coupled with subtle colours and old paintings create a stylish traditional environment where you and your group can pass the time.
Ping pong is a great game to have handy when you want to keep the kids occupied whilst dinner is cooking or if you want to start a tournament amongst the adults of your party - making this games room an awesome addition to this already wonderful castle!
Cooking up a feast
The kitchen is beautiful and bright and has been fully equipped with the best of everything including a double AGA which will surely excite those keen chefs out there. The island in the middle is a great place for guests to gather while the pots and pans bubble away, and the minty green walls, cream cupboards and lovely big window makes everything feel clean and fresh. You have a fridge/freezer, oven, toaster and kettle for that all-important morning coffee.
The castle bedrooms
Climb the stairs and you’ll soon uncover more stunning décor; large paintings hang on the walls all the way up the iron staircase and the carpeted stairs take you up to a delightful landing. There are eight bedrooms in Wardhill made up of six king-sized bedrooms (four of which are en-suite), one family bedroom and one twin.
Each of these bedrooms is spacious and bright, and although some have been modernised, they still retain all the original charm of the older castle. Large windows present you with breathtaking views which can be enjoyed with a lazy morning coffee from the moment you wake up.
Individual colour schemes and themes have been used for each bedroom ensuring every one has its own unique charm, while those with en-suites enjoy the added luxury of a free-standing roll-top bath.
Exploring the landscape
The castle is set on private land amongst miles of meadows, fields and woodland. The vast space around the house offers fantastic freedom to get out and about walking and exploring.
Aberdeenshire is renowned for its distilleries and historic buildings, so you are ideally placed for exploring the wonderful malt whisky and castle trails. There are numerous pubs, restaurants and golf courses in the vicinity, including Royal Aberdeen, Trump and Oldmeldrum, not to mention plentiful walking trails and sandy beaches for those who are keen to explore Scotland and all of its natural beauty.
All in all, we think this is a fantastic place to visit.
It’s a truly remarkable castle hidden in the lowlands of Aberdeenshire - stay at Wardhill Castle on your next big group getaway to Scotland.
Here’s an extra bit of trivia about this wonderful castle: Will’s younger sister Rose Leslie grew up here. She is now a well-known actress, having been in Game of Thrones with Kit Harrington!
A special thanks to Sarah Leslie at Wardhill for providing us with a little history!