Cawdor Castle has been home to the Cawdor Family since the 14th century and its links to Shakespeare's MacBeth make it a popular stop for passing tourists. In reality it has far wider appeal than the literary connection alone: the house tour is extensive and reveals a variety of rooms with loads of character. One of the quirks of the house is the Hawthorn Room: a cellar with a tree rising up through the centre of it. The story goes that the site for the castle was chosen when the donkey belonging to William, Thane of Cawdor chose to rest in the shade of this very tree over six hundred years ago. The tree's no longer alive but the surrounding gardens are full of life and colour, even on a grey day such as on our visit. Exploring the wider, wooded grounds around the Cawdor Burn is also worthwhile: a dark and lush oasis of calm even when the castle's crowded.
|[Cawdor Castle Gardens]|
Name: Cawdor Castle ★★★★☆
Location: Off minor road just south of Cawdor, G.R.: NH 847499 / titles regal stance
Open (2017): May to early October
Cost (2017): £11.50 (adults), £7 (children)
|[Red squirrel in the castle grounds]|