…and of course Nessie! Because what Scottish Highlands family holiday or vacation is complete without the famous but elusive Loch Ness Monster?
What do you think of when your hear the phrase ‘quality time’? Time to treasure at the time? Time to look back on with the fondest of memories? Time to look forward to for months beforehand? Maybe you think quality time is worthy of all three of these. But most importantly, we at Aldourie – Nessie included – think that its true meaning is when you can go somewhere special with those you love and completely be in the moment, escape from the everyday and enjoy the present, people and place, and be really contented. Some might also call this mindfulness.
Aldourie Castle is a magical place in the winter months, not just because its back garden is home to of one of the most famous mythical creatures in the world, but because it has housed endless house parties and elegantly dressed guests for hundreds of years, it has a unique and striking beauty, an ethereal setting and of course represents an important and immense history.
To choose to spend quality time with those closest to you whether at a special time of year, for Christmas or New Year celebrations or even the summer holidays, the place to spend that time must also be somewhere special. This is why groups of families and friends choose Aldourie Castle Estate to stay, celebrate, holiday or simply to relax.
The warm welcome guests receive at the Castle is beyond that which you would receive at a hotel. An exclusive holiday hire property is designed to be your own home for the duration of your stay and so the fact that you are relaxed and treated as if you were returning from a long time away when you first step foot through the Castle doors is something we offer unconditionally at Aldourie.
Once inside guests are immediately made to feel at home in this striking yet relaxing Castle setting. Whether you retire to your individually assigned bedroom to spend some quality bath time in your large en suite before dinner, find a window seat somewhere quiet to take some time out gazing across the incredibly scenic Loch Ness or simply head straight to the drawing room for champagne and the company of your closest family and friends, the choice of how to spend your time is all yours at Aldourie.
It’s approaching the end of the year; your staff are restless, targets have been hit and the budget has been spent (well, nearly – you still have some money left to treat your team to a fantastic Christmas Party!)
With so many reasons this year to reward and incentivise your staff, why not celebrate in the most stylish surroundings possible in the heart of Scotland? Don’t do what all the other big companies are doing and find a neat little venue close to the office for convenience. Go that extra mile – or six – out of Inverness and along the easy road to Aldourie. Pull into the grand gated driveway and let your work troubles drift away as you all slowly slope into Christmas mode among the comforting trees of the Scottish Highland’s most beautiful country Estate.
1. Your staff will thank you for years to come
Every member of your team will be grateful for the ‘treat’ they have been awarded for a long year’s hard work at the office. They will thank you, their boss, not just for the occasion but for the thought that went in to providing them with such a luxury Christmas party venue, 5 star service and the most delicious Scottish food. Make them feel special this Christmas and make December a month to look forward to and, most of all, be grateful for, for everyone in your company.
2. Joint wonderful memories boost staff morale for next year
Team spirit will thrive come January as you all recall the wonderful time spent in one of Scotland’s most historic house party Castles. Not everyone will admit it but they all want to live like a King or Queen, a Laird or Lady, just for a night in the year. Let your team remember the excitement, the luxury and the beauty or such a place as a private Castle overlooking Loch Ness waters. You can then all take that memory through to 2015 and shared memories will evoke teamwork and even friendships amongst your staff.
3. Last minute can mean a surprise event!
Send a memo letting each department know that there will be a surprise last minute Christmas Party to congratulate and reward them for all their hard work. The dress code can be black tie or smart / casual – you decide – but the venue will be something out of a dream. Lift their spirits even higher with a surprise venue and private transport, so they really will have no idea!
The advantages of booking to hire a castle for the weekend are many and in this blog we will give you a taste of what Aldourie Castle can offer. Below is the second part of our corporate hospitality blog showcasing even more of what a private hire corporate hospitality property in Scotland, such as Aldourie, has to offer business groups in the luxury group travel market.
Excellent Scottish Catering You’ve seen the setting; it’s undeniably beautiful. That will impress your team of staff in the first instance. But what is next on their list? We imagine we are close if we say “food”. Good home cooked food is what we specialise in at Aldourie; we offer luxury dishes using the freshest ingredients, including meat, game and vegetables. We have a variety of menus unique to the Castle that our in house chef has created to define this luxury Scottish venue.
Available for group hire When a company spends time and money choosing an ideal venue for their important business meetings or events, having a venue all to yourself is sometimes a necessity. As one of Scotland’s most impressive corporate hospitality properties, Aldourie is proud to offer only exclusive hire, allowing you to hire a castle for the weekend exclusively for your needs to any one business group. Private use of the Castle is what makes it special, more special we think than staying in a top hotel or spending the day in a modern specially designed conference centre.
Even though the Castle is historic in its look and feel it does feature contemporary aspects that make your stay here all the more enjoyable. But, for authenticity, we keep these as subtle as possible. The Castle’s main restrooms are a prime example; with marble tops and luxury interiors they are almost as comfortable as the bedrooms.
Uniqueness: The only habitable Castle on Loch Ness
If you as an event manager are looking for something different that your corporate group has not experienced before, there could be nothing more rewarding than seeing the reaction of your team to the first sight of Aldourie; be it the wooded entrance, the deer bouncing through the woodland or the tall turreted castle itself. Everything about the Scottish Estate is unique, from its glorious views to the atmosphere as you step inside to the fact that it features luxury bedrooms for overnight bookings.
Space for your team to enjoy The beautiful Castle is hidden away from view, near to the main roads and networks but from these roads it is nowhere to be seen. Despite this proximity to the local amenities and transport links Aldourie Castle is located well within a private 500 acre parkland, away from the noise of the busy traffic and instead surrounded by wildlife, nature and tranquillity. The peaceful and spacious environment at Aldourie makes it the ideal venue for important meetings, product launches and events and gives every one of our guests the chance to think and breathe. So why not call today and hire a castle for the weekend for your corporate event, or alternatively fill in our online form.
Are you searching for the best meeting and exclusive use venue Scotland? Aldourie Castle Estate features a versatile venue for corporate hospitality and is fully equipped to cater for any type of meeting or corporate event. The medieval Castle is located in the 500 acre Highland country Estate and ticks all the boxes for any type of midweek meeting hire need.
An impressive setting
Aldourie Castle has hosted events for numerous high profile companies since its renovation in the early 2000s. It is a perfect backdrop for your company event – reward staff with a celebratory Christmas lunch or impress your clients with a company charity dinner. Its regal interiors and private setting make the Castle the ideal exclusive use venue Scotland for hosting creative brainstorming meetings or BoD strategy meetings where peace and quiet are important.
Exclusive use venue Scotland
How important is it that your chosen corporate hospitality venue offers fully private meeting facilities, catering and grounds? In this competitive business world where progress is key to the survival and profit of a company, having a venue all to yourself is necessary. Not only do you and your guests receive a tailor made service but knowing you have the entire venue to yourselves makes the occasion even more personal to you and your company. The individually designed luxury guest bedrooms for 24 hour hire of the Castle make for an even more exclusive stay.
The beautiful Castle is hidden amongst a cluster of tall trees in the heart of a historic country Estate. Yet, the Castle’s location is deceiving. Just outside the Castle’s walls is the main road to Inverness where there is an airport with flights to London and Edinburgh, a train station and links to the main route networks to get to other parts of Scotland. Despite this proximity to the local amenities and transport links Aldourie Castle is situated in its own private countryside away from the noise of the bustling traffic and instead surrounded by wildlife, nature and utter beauty. The peace and calm at Aldourie makes it the ideal exclusive use venue Scotland for important meetings, product launches and events.
There is no doubt that Aldourie is one of the most unique and inspiring business meeting venues in Scotland. Too often are meetings held in bland, stuffy rooms without space to think and breathe. Aldourie is different. From the excellent hospitality on arrival through to the final cup of coffee, delicious food and drink, to the majestic setting designed to inspire all its visitors, the medieval Castle is hard to compare with any other venue. Each window has a mesmerising view of the deer-dotted Estate, the Highlands or the famous Loch Ness. There are few meeting venues that could compete with such an outlook.
Your business meeting or event will receive free wi-fi throughout the day and there is the added novelty of being out in the middle of the Scottish Highlands countryside with great connection to the Internet. Just minutes from the nearest town of Inverness with airport, train station and transport links, Aldourie sits in a world of its own but with all the mod cons you would expect from a contemporary meeting room venue.
Next time we reveal five even more great reasons to hire out Aldourie Castle exclusive use venue Scotland for your private meeting or event.
One of the most unique aspects of Aldourie Castle Estate is that it has its own private marina. Not only that but the marina is located on the southern shores of Loch Ness with unbeatable views across the Scottish Highlands. You would struggle to find anywhere more picturesque in and around the tourist trap Inverness especially during a sunrise or sunset where the hills are brought to life against the glorious backdrop of a hazy sky.
The marina at Aldourie is the ideal spot from which to admire the idyllic Scotland views and bask in the beauty of the calming waters that surround the scenic area. Peacefulness is all abound and you can hear a pin drop if there is no one boating in the near vicinity and no cooing birds flying overhead. Although, it is the boats and the Highland birds that make the Aldourie marina so captivating and which draw people to this special place. These and the fact that Castle guests can board a boat and shortly arrive at Moray Firth to see the dolphins and whales or take off on a speed boat and stop in secret wilderness to explore the pebbly, crystal clear shoreline as they take a walk along Dores Beach.
With the majestic loch situated on the edge of the pier that is literally on your doorstep, you can step straight into a canoe. Canoeing on Loch Ness is a rare opportunity to share a paddling adventure with family, friends or colleagues in the most famous water in the world. No previous experience is needed and non-swimmers are welcome. Expert canoe guides will take you, our Scottish Castle group of guests, on a journey across the endless waters as you float past the sights that have inspired writers, artists, explorers and historians for centuries.
Have you ever wondered how it feels to walk on water? Climb inside a giant inflatable sphere and once sealed in off you go at your own pace, exploring the Loch, moving in any direction and most probably upside down! This is great fun for adults and children alike and even better for spectators. Have fun trying a water sport you’ve never done before against a backdrop of Highland hills and surrounded by the largest expanse of fresh water on earth. Yes, that’s right. Loch Ness is not only beautiful but it has many factual credits to its name – not to mention the Loch Ness Monster Nessie who can often be seen in the far distance as you cruise along by boat or scour the vast water from your castle bedroom window.
The marina is conveniently located to the south of the Aldourie Castle Estate near one of the holiday cottages aptly named Pier Cottage, just a short walk through a woodland trail. It is an idyllic hideaway if you wish for some time alone during your stay on the Scottish Highlands estate as well as an adventure filled playground for families or a romantic spot for couples attending a luxury wedding at the Castle.
Of all the guests who take the castle over as their own home for a few days, a week or even longer, it is very rare that they don’t organise some sort of outdoor activity, especially in the summer months. Of course, because Aldourie offers the best in hospitality, it is our staff that does the organising of such events; our castle guests are welcome to state how they wish to spend their time at Aldourie and we in turn grant them their wishes and put in place the activities they request.
Aldourie prides itself on a service of excellence and so it goes without saying that we use only the most professional and quality local suppliers to deliver any event or activity for exclusive parties of guests at the castle. We have built relationships with key companies who we can rely on for all outdoor activities, however unusual they may be. In fact, because Aldourie is so unique and spectacular a place, the more outlandish the activity the better!
500 acres of private land secluded in its own picturesque country setting yet just a few miles from Inverness, main roads and the airport has quite an appeal for guests wanting to arrange outdoor activities. Why? Well, it could be because a group of corporate directors are staying at the castle and they require some downtime from their important meetings, so a little boat ride on Loch Ness is just the ticket. Or, a large company has opened a new division and is wanting to train up their newest recruits and build relationships amongst staff, so team building activities in the parkland are often a popular choice. On a completely different scale, a family reunion is taking place in the castle over the course of a weekend the parents wish to put on a host of child orientated park activities to give the children things to do during their stay. The parents will no doubt join in too.
It’s quite evident how versatile the Scottish Highland estate can be for different groups of guests who are staying at the unique baronial castle, but how varied can the castle parkland become to cater for an array of different types of outdoor activities and events?
To start with, Aldourie Castle is exceptionally place for a residential stay property and takes pride of place just metres from the southern shoreline of the infamous Loch Ness. This, to anyone looking to take over an historic castle with grounds in Scotland, is a key attribute of Aldourie. Boat trips on Loch Ness are a popular choice for exclusive stay guests who wish to experience the fabulous views across the Highlands and breathe in the fresh water’s air. Boat trips are also a must for any group stay at the castle hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie the notorious Loch Ness Monster, who only recently showed her face as she glided by Aldourie to take in the spectacular night time view of the medieval castle (we do have a photo to prove it). Boat trips on Loch Ness are available exclusively for our castle guests and they board directly from Aldourie Pier. We use the renowned company Cruise Loch Ness for the best boat rides of the famous water.
The woodland on the Scottish country estate is simply great for exploring; filled to the brim with mystery and adventure, it is the ideal playground for children and dogs. The tall woods cater for endless family fun time during Aldourie Castle stays and with Loch Ness Lizzie, (Aldourie’s very own Flatcoated Retriever), always around and ready to greet a fellow playmate, there is company even for your family pet! Here in nature’s wilderness guests are encouraged to make their own fun but for specific activities and requirements the Aldourie team can always call on the professionals.
The Highlands’ glorious and ethereal backdrop is yet another reason why guests choose Aldourie as their favoured location for both traditional and modern outdoor activities. The aptly named Boots & Paddles offer an array of water and land based activities; from the authentic Highland Games and the active Segway to Walk on Water Balls, Kayaking and Canoeing. All these activities take place on the Aldourie Estate itself and are available for the guests who take the castle for private hire for any length of stay. There are areas of the parkland that are quite flat and therefore ideal for Segway rides, tours and experience days;the personal transporter ride that is becoming increasingly popular for team building and team activity days. The entire atmosphere that is conjured from the combination of the deer dotted parkland and the magical backdrop of Aldourie Castle brings historic outdoor activities, such as archery, to life. Guests can imagine the battle fields of long ago as they aim and fire at their targets. The photograph opportunities for these types of activities are, needless to say, an added bonus.
There are plenty of things do outside on this incredible castle estate in Scotland. The estate walls and the woodland keep within them so much potential to explore and enjoy: from the giant tree house from which children can see the immediate shoreline, Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands beyond, to the gated family graveyard and beautiful formal gardens. Imagination and creativity run wild at Aldourie which is why so many of our guests return on a regular basis whether that is to stay in the castle, attend a celebration event or simply to enjoy a relaxing holiday in one of the four self-catering cottages on the Scottish estate.
The Aldourie team is proud of the quality of service it provides and therefore chooses only to work with suppliers of the same status and who are proven to provide exceptional service and deliver quality products and assistance for outdoor land and water based activities. We use the same trusted suppliers over again for various events, castle house parties and residential stays as we can be sure in the knowledge they are attending to our guests as attentively as we do at the castle. As a result their time in the great outdoors is as happy and relaxed as can be and can only add to what is always an incredible Aldourie experience.
The outdoor activities that can be arranged by the castle are available for guests staying exclusively at the castle only and cannot be arranged for holiday cottage guests or for members of the public.
We are pleased to work with the following trusted suppliers to deliver the activities detailed above:
Viewers have been presented with countless historic properties on their TV screens in recent years, which are being used as filming venues for period dramas, feature films as well as stately backdrops for outdoor cookery programmes, documentaries and roadshows. Aldourie Castle is the perfect corporate event location in Scotland and the ideal setting for a castle filming location. Just some of the features include ideal location with large spaces, acres of idyllic grounds, available for private use and featuring the most stunning interiors.
We have had a major filming session over the past few months, which we look forward to announcing very soon. In the meantime we are promoting our Castle filming location to agents as an ideal historic venue and grounds. We think Antiques Roadshow, for instance, would be very at home at Aldourie. Here are just some of the reasons why…
A helpful and supportive team
We shall start with the basics. A film crew is already scheduled with back to back tasks once on location so what is helpful to them is a friendly and supportive logistics team. As a popular corporate event location in Scotland we are especially great at hospitality; the team is only a phone call away to provide everything from lunch to photocopying anywhere on the estate. Our five star service ensures everything is done with efficiency and a genuine Scottish smile – helping the most stressful days.
Scenic surroundings Beautiful settings are surely sought after in a filming location, particularly a castle filming location. We only have to look outside the window of the Aldourie Estate office to see the striking and mesmerising Highlands’ landscape, complete with picture perfect mountains and endless wildlife. Spend a day, a week, a month or longer at Aldourie Castle and filming will not be a chore. It is a permanently peaceful place. Whether the film crew are on a tea break or filming the next outdoor scene the enchanting and atmospheric outside setting at Aldourie combines relaxation and inspiration with a striking backdrop.
Heritage and architecture Aldourie and its magic can offer a castle filming location completely different from the norm. Housing centuries of heritage in portraits, characterful features, high ceilings and heirlooms the atmosphere of the Castle’s rooms themselves lend it naturally as a perfect period setting for filming. The colours and interiors of the staterooms can apply themselves as a backdrop for royal weddings and society parties whilst the cosiness and intimacy of the bedrooms could showcase Aldourie as a private yet stately mansion house.
Expanse of land A family graveyard, a tree house and marina with its own pier, old derelict buildings and bridges can be found at Aldourie, located not far from Inverness but cocooned in a private setting. And that’s not all. Tree lined paths, green countryside, pretty formal gardens, spooky woodland, trickling streams, unspoiled parkland and four characterful cottages in their own Loch Ness wilderness are captured within 500 acres of land right on Aldourie’s doorstep. And all this versatile space is available for private hire at any time of the year.
Overnight accommodation and private space for actors
Aldourie Castle and the cottages combined sleep over 50 guests making the Aldourie Estate perfect for actors who would otherwise have to find accommodation elsewhere. This way, they can be as close to the castle filming location as possible and the spacious bedrooms and en suites give them private time away from filming to look over scripts and take a break between scenes. Perfect for private castle rental for film sets and production crews.
Variety and convenience of our corporate event location in Scotland
Choosing to film their next big TV drama, advert or feature film on such a varied location has all sorts of benefits for a production company. Private castle rental for film sets has multiple benefits for example; everything is within walking distance at Aldourie Castle. Parkland strolls for those creative thinking sessions, inspirational views and beauty spots to explore and healthy yet delicious food and drink available on request – ideal for tight filming schedules. Production teams can take a short break from filming to enjoy a stroll amongst the delightful formal gardens and orangery, allowing five minutes to themselves on a bench amongst the winding paths. There is endless car parking and flat outside solid ground space for setting up filming equipment and access to the Castle from the main road, air and rail links couldn’t be easier.
The best way to appreciate what this unique corporate event location in Scotland can offer is by visiting it. We are optimistic Aldourie’s next filming adventure is just around the corner; after all, as a Castle taken straight out of a fairytale, we’re sure when Disney finds our hidden location they’ll be knocking on our door. So, if you are looking for a private castle rental for film sets or corporate event location in Scotland, then why not get in touch with us via our easy to use online form or give us a call via our website?
Celebrate Burns Night with us and take Aldourie Castle as your own home for the weekend
Arrive at your private Castle for the weekend
Afternoon Tea in the library
Buffet Dinner in the Grand Hall or the Dining Room
Luxury night stay in beautiful bedrooms overlooking the Highland’s stunning Estate
A leisurely breakfast
Followed by a stroll in the 500 acre estate (take our lovely labrador Loch Ness Lizzie along – she loves an adventure!)
Another Afternoon Tea
On Saturday enjoy your second night staying in the luxury bedrooms at Aldourie Castle and depart on the Sunday.
Please download our flyer for further details. Min 2 nights stay exclusive use. Please view further details of the Aldourie Castle_Burns_Night here.