Achnagairn Castle: 10 Reasons To Choose This Scottish Wedding Venue
Achnagairn Castle was recently awarded the best wedding venue in Britain, by Harper’s Bazaar.
They applauded its fairytale setting, complete privacy, and unrivalled vaulted ballroom.
Having taken a full tour of the property myself, and conducted some thorough research, I can see where they are coming from.
Achnagairn Castle has some truly unique features; but what would this fantastic place be like to host your celebration.
Let’s take a closer look at what a Achnagairn Castle wedding would be like.
Achnagairn Castle Location
The Achnagairn Estate’s location is quite simply breathtaking.
Scotlands countryside is beautiful where ever you go, but the Scottish Highlands has a charm that just needs to be experienced.
I spent quite a lot of time as a child in nearby Beauly, so I know just how picturesque and tranquil this part of the country really is.
Inverness is also only 7 miles away, which offers that extra bit of convenience in terms of transportation links and other facilities.
Loch Ness is close by too.
If you are considering wedding venues in the Highlands, then definitely put this one on the list.
Achnagairn Castle Setting
If the isolation of the Scottish Highlands isn’t quite enough, you can also take over the entire Achnagairn Estate exclusively.
This would include the castle, gardens, grounds, and 7 large luxury lodges.
You don’t need to take the lodges though, and packages can be tailored just for you.
Either way, you would be guaranteed complete freedom and privacy.
Sounds like absolute bliss.
It’s worth mentioning here that, even though Achnagairn Castle was originally an exclusive use venue only, it now operates as a hotel too.
This means firstly, get your booking in early to avoid disappointment, and secondly, you can go and stay the night to give it a trial run.
There has been a significant house on the land for nearly 400 years, with the library fireplace containing a date stone from 1663.
Achnagairn Castle however was built around 1812, and despite undergoing a major refurbishment, it still retains many period features.
These have been combined with more modern touches, to create an ambience of both opulence and luxury.
Originally opened in 2008 purely for exclusive use, Achnagairn Castle is now also a hotel, and occasionally a movie set.
For those of you who have been watching the Outlander series, parts of it were filmed on the estate.
Achnagairn Castle Accommodation
One of the disadvantages of exclusive use wedding venues, can be a lack of accommodation.
Not so at Achnagairn Castle.
The estate has 60 ensuite bedrooms and suites; 21 in the castle, and 39 in the lodges.
The rooms are all luxurious with a 5 star standard, and yet still retain a boutique feel.
Some are more traditional with wood panelling, antiques, and four poster beds.
Others are more contemporary and quirky, with unusual shapes, and baths in the room.
In fact every bedroom has its own name and theme, and can be matched to the personalities of your guests.
The 7 luxury lodges are only 200 meters from the castle, which will make keeping your guests together nice and easy.
Achnagairn Castle Ceremony
Some couples choose to have their ceremony under the stone victorian arch, at the bottom of the garden.
Whilst this is a great outdoor option, given the Scottish climate it’s also a risky one.
Inside the castle, the Reception Hall is a possibility, however the Vaulted Ballroom is the ‘piece de resistance’.
This quite simply jaw dropping room, with its minstrels gallery and stone carved fireplace, can be setup like a church.
Giving you an incredible ambience of grandeur and history.
Achnagairn Castle Reception
Your reception can also be hosted in the Vaulted Ballroom.
Tables and chairs are easily moved into position, creating a hall fit for a banquet.
You will find that the room is also very versatile, and decorating it to suit your style won’t be a problem.
In fact the Vaulted Ballroom was actually built in 1912, for the purposes of a celebration.
It was the then owners, daughters 21st birthday.
200 people can comfortably sit down for dinner, with up to 260 possible for drinks and dancing.
Trust me when I say, this is a very special location.
Achnagairn Castle Catering
Of course if you take over Achnagairn Castle for the weekend, there will be a lot of meals, and a lot of mouths to feed.
The Family Kitchen is a great place for your guests to relax and enjoy a quick bite.
The Dining Room is also perfect for informal dinners, seating up to 50 people at a time.
It’s a beautifully decorated room, with a huge fireplace, and antlers displayed on the walls.
A private chef can be brought in, to cater for you and your guests all day long; leaving everyone to relax and enjoy the celebrations.
Achnagairn Castle Grounds
No castle would be complete without beautiful grounds, and Achnagairn Castle does not disappoint.
Take a relaxing walk along the meandering stream, and admire the formal gardens.
It goes without saying that the landscape provides perfect backdrops for wedding photography.
You could also treat your guests to some outdoor activities, such as: archery; segways; or clay pigeon shooting.
In addition to this, fishing, white water rafting, and zorbing, are all available near by.
Achnagairn Castle Unique Feature
Just wait until you see this Master Suite.
It is absolutely massive, with stunning views, comfortable sofas, and even a bath in the room.
Whilst it’s obviously nice to have all this space on your wedding day, I also think it’s really important.
You are going to need to squeeze so many people into the bridal suite during preparation.
Having all that room is almost essential.
In addition to this there’s the Drawing Room, with its triple aspect views, beautiful fireplace, and armchairs and chandelier from the Savoy Hotel in London.
It’s a great place to get cosy in front of a log fire.
There’s also the Reception Hall, which harks back to an era of grand living, with its wood paneling, and two fireplaces.
And of course the Bar, which is an absolute must.
Achnagairn Castle Wedding Prices
For accurate Achnagairn Castle wedding prices, you should contact the venue directly.
Their wedding packages can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
However to give you an approximate Achnagairn Castle wedding cost:
- Exclusive use of Achnagairn Castle (sleeps 42), price £18,540.
- Lodges (sleep 10/12), price £820 per lodge.
The prices above are for a summer weekend.
Winter and midweek weddings could cost 65% less.
Achnagairn Castle Conclusion
So those are my 10 reasons you should consider Achnagairn Castle as your wedding venue.
Of course everybody has different tastes and opinions.
However if you are looking for an exclusive use, highland castle, with up to 60 bedrooms, and a ballroom without equal; then Achnagairn Castle just might be the place for you.
Whilst you are here, you should take a look at some of the other wedding venues in Scotland, featured on White Rose.
You can also find Achnagairn Castle’s website here.
Good luck with your wedding planning.