Dalhousie Castle and Aqueous Spa
Dalhousie Castle and Aqueous Spa Bonnyrigg Reviews
Dalhousie Castle and Spa Sep 18, 2010
Dalhousie castle, in the central belt of Scotland, offers a range of facilities
including a hotel, wedding chapel, spa and falconry centre. I went to the spa
and the restaurant and I’m only reviewing the bits I saw.
The first thing you notice is the castle grounds. When we arrived, the birds
from the falconry centre were perching outside and a huge owl was giving a
display. Even if you aren’t learning archery or falconry, it lends a pretty
interesting start to your trip. You certainly don’t get that in Bath! There is
a small river running through the grounds (slightly too large to be a burn), and
lots of space and trees. And a castle, of course.
I can’t tell you much about the history of the castle. It looks to me as if it
has been remodelled out of all recognition over the centuries – authentic
castles don’t tend to have conservatories – but a quick look on the internet
reveals that the current castle has parts dating to the 15th century with most
of the castle being 17th century. Made of red sandstone and coated with ivy, it
is a really lovely building. If you are taking someone for a treat, that’s a
pretty good start.
The spa is quite small, and numbers are limited to 12 or so people at any one
time. There is a very nice pool with a spa bed, a great steam room and
something that says it is a sauna, but never really gets very hot. Despite this
small flaw, it is a lovely little spa and the fact that there are only a few
people there makes it quite cosy and relaxed. It’s probably a good place to
take any friends you have who feel self conscious in a swimming costume because
it isn’t as big or as bustling as, for example, Bath spa. I think that makes up
for the fact there isn’t an outdoor pool, myself.
The other nice thing about the spa is that you don’t have to get dressed
properly to go to the restaurant. There are two restaurants at the castle, but
the one you can go to from the spa is the Orangery. I was impressed by the
quality of the food and by how good the service was, considering they also had a
table of about 20 to serve at the same time. The sandwiches are really
impressive and a meal in their own right. Bear in mind that if you are there in
a dressing gown, they’ll only serve you one alcoholic drink (because of health
and safety). I can especially recommend the asparagus in pink grapefruit
The spa cost £30, making it a little more expensive than some spas I’ve been
to. That includes the dressing gown and slippers, and towels. Dinner (two
courses and wine) came to about £30, which again, is expensive but not
ridiculously so. I think it is nice value for the quality and the
surroundings. Disabled access isn’t great – this is a castle, after all – but I
think there might be a back way with fewer stairs. And the views over the
grounds were lovely.
Part of the 2010 - random weekends and things travel blog
Part of the list Things I have done in Scotland
Part of the list Edinburgh with Sarah Elaine
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