Today I am thrilled to spotlight on the beautiful Blair Castle and Atholl Estates in the heart of Highland Perthshire.
From the moment you drive into the estate through woodland and a stunning tree lined drive your heart will be captured.
We as a family were recently privileged to stay and I would love to tell you all about how absolutely glorious it is..
Set against the magnificent landscape of 145,000-acres, the Atholl estate offers beautifully scenic vistas of rolling farmland and wild open hills across Perthshire.
At the heart of the estate sits the magnificent Blair Castle, steeped in oodles of history and quintessentially Scottish.
It was built in 1269 and has an amazing collection of furniture, arms, china, lace and artwork.
Sitting at the end of that gorgeous long tree-lined drive, its white baronial turrets and crenelated towers overlook beautiful 18th century landscaped gardens, creating a stunning setting few venues can match as well as the perfect backdrop for photography.
There’s Diana’s Grove with its tall exotic conifers, the walled Hercules Garden and even the ruins of St Bride’s Kirk, which dates back to the 13th century.
It really is quite impactful sight especially amidst Autumns splendour with the golden light of the rising and setting sun, and the incredible seasonal tones and the leaves crackling beneath your feet.
There is wildlife too with deer, and sheep and gorgeous red squirrels, its really wonderful to get that close to so much nature.
For Weddings Blair Castle and Atholl Estates offers a fascinating range of historic interiors, contemporary spaces and spectacular gardens providing an ideal venue for your special day.
Whilst the Venue is very traditionally Scottish in design each couple is encouraged to bring their own personal flair to create a bespoke and individual experience
Whether you’re planning a civil or religious wedding ceremony, a large wedding or intimate gathering, Blair Castle has a wide selection of rooms and spaces from which to choose.
From the intimacy of the historic Library to the State Dining Room, to the grandeur of the Scots-Baronial Victorian Ballroom to the stunning gardens, the rooms are evocative of Victorian romance, love affairs and highland celebrations.
The historic Library is not open to visitors to the castle so this intimate room can be used to use as part of your special day or as a stand-alone option, and is suitable for smaller weddings for up to 40 people for a ceremony or a drinks and canapé reception.
With delicate Georgian plasterwork, ceiling roundels and picturesque views across the hills of Perthshire, the elegant Dining Room is one of the most romantic rooms in the castle, and I personally think its utterly gorgeous.
It can accommodate wedding ceremonies and drinks receptions for up to 120 guests or up to 50 seated for a wedding breakfast.
Designed by the Scottish architect David Bryce, the Grand Ballroom was completed in 1876 and is Scottish in style and setting and gives a sense of scale, elegance and grandeur for a wedding for up to 220 guests.
Created for the 7th Duke of Atholl to host lavish events, the ballroom has excellent acoustics, a large stage, a fine dance floor and an atmospheric lighting system; all the ingredients for an amazing day.
Adjoining the Ballroom and accessible via a ‘secret’ door, the Banvie Hall is a contemporary option within the castle for a ceremony or reception, and can provide an extension to the Ballroom for your welcome reception, a bar or location for cutting your cake.
The glass wall frontage provides a view of the magnificent grounds of the castle and of the surrounding hills, and they are truly a beautiful sight to see.
The outdoor spaces allow you to design a wedding that is memorable for your family and guests.
If you’re looking to have your wedding outdoors there are several options.
The ruin of St Bride’s Kirk dates back to Celtic times and its ancient walls and open roof give it a historic and romantic atmosphere in which to exchange your wedding vows.
Its a quirky alternative to a traditional church wedding in good weather and can hold up to 70 guests.
The private West Lawn is exclusively accessible to couples and their guests, and boasts unrivalled views across Highland Perthshire making it an ideal venue for an outdoor wedding ceremony or drinks reception.
With a dedicated team to help plan every individual occasion, Blair Castle can accommodate both civil and religious wedding ceremonies, large and intimate gatherings, inside and out.
However, the truly outstanding feature of all their accommodation is the view.
We stayed in an outstanding 3 bedroom self catering woodland lodge surrounded by lush woodland with mountains to be seen for miles which made for a pretty glorious outlook to wake up to.
Early morning mist and low cloud gave it a an air of seclusion, but it was similarly impressive in beautiful September sunshine which we were blessed with.
There were two twin bedrooms, and a master bedroom with en-suite, alongside a large family bathroom, an open plan kitchen, dining space and living room with comfy couches.
Outside there was a lovely balcony area with table and chairs should you wish to dine outside.
Whilst we were there we were also very lucky to have a dining experience by one of the castles recommended caterers Ballintaggart.
Ballintaggart believe that good food created and shared generously should be at the heart of any celebration with thoughtfully prepared food having a powerful ability to bring people together.
Their menus are ingredient led, seasonal and packed with incredible flavours.
They love to get to know you, hear what you like, your favourite tastes and ingredients, and create a completely bespoke menu for each event they cater for so it is tailored to suit you and your budget whether that is a banquet, a post wedding picnic for 2, or a pre or post wedding celebration.
We were treated to a tasting platter which came with cold meats, olives, flavourful condiments such as a beetroot relish, differing cheeses, homemade crackers and a lovely bread loaf.
To follow there was the most incredible brownies with lovely berries and edible flowers to garnish, we were very spoiled.
All in all I could not recommend it more, whether you are in Perthshire for a lovely break, or touring the Scottish Highlands, its an amazing pace to stay with incredible hospitality.
Due to the growing increase in staycations, and with the Castle and the surrounding Atholl Estates being one of Scotland’s most famous visitor destinations they have decided to extend its opening season to December, rather than stick to its traditional closing date in October.
Subject to ongoing government guidance the Castle will remain open for guided tours until mid-December, and touring pitches within the caravan park will now also be available to book until the end of the year.
Its also amazing to consider Blair Castle as a Venue for your Big Day, from the huge Scottish Wedding ( hopefully soon) to an intimate celebration or a romantic elopement just for two.
Why not indulge yourself, savour all the nearby sights, breathe in the wonderful countryside air, experience nature and just enjoy a really wonderful and magical place that will steal your heart.
To see more of the Castle also tune into Susan Calmans Secret Scotland at 8pm on 16th October…
To Contact Blair Castle / Atholl Estates
Image Credits : Image 1/3/8 and 9 – Alison Tinlin / Image 2 – Drawing Room, Image 4 – Ballroom and Image 10 – Antler Corridor – Eilidh Robertson / Image 5 – Ballroom and Image 7 – West Lawn – Nick Mailer