Dalhousie Castle and Aqueous Spa

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Bonnyrigg, Scotland

Dalhousie Castle and Aqueous Spa Bonnyrigg Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
648 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.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
Or the meeting strangers whilst wearing a swim suit part, since I passed thirty! Perhaps we should stick to falconry? ;)
Posted on: Sep 22, 2010
fransglobal says:
Sounds perfect for a small Travbuddy meet-up though I can't see the one drink limit going down well in certain quarters...
Posted on: Sep 21, 2010
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photo by: sarahelaine