Kilmartin Castle


Argyll, Scotland

A gorgeously eclectic and magnificent rental for 10, on Scotland's wild Northwest Coast

5 Bedrooms

5 Bathrooms

Child friendly

Dog friendly

Eco conscious


Private chef on request

Private garden

Swimming pool



Space & setting.

Take over this 16thC Scottish castle and play Monarch of the Glen with 9 friends. With 5 brilliantly original bedrooms, the space on Scotland’s west coast was built for a right royal knees-up with its glasshouse dining room and private chef. On arrival, guests are welcomed by a wee dram to get the party started, and with heaps of space for chatting over nightcaps or boogying to the classic rock LPs, you won’t want to sleep lest you miss out.

Between Klaus Haapaniemi’s pheasant and rhubarb wallpaper, cosy tartan throws, Skyeskyns sheepskin rugs and antlers on the wall, the owners have taken the codes of a classic Scottish castle and shaken it up. Not only is there a subtle scent of stone, beeswax, linen and wood you’ll want to bottle, but the place is filled with quirky contemporary pieces that will send you home with a camera reel of interiors ideas: a vintage neon sign from a bingo hall in Newcastle; angular Swiss furniture; Kast concrete sinks in the ensuites. Our favourite is the portrait of a bearded lady – she used to hang in a Parisian nightclub called Castile – but all of it plays up to the backdrop of original features, such as walls deeper than the lake outside and flagstone slabs that were painstakingly pulled up and put back with underfloor heating.

Mornings after the night before can be spent wallowing in William Holland copper bathtubs and convalescing by a cosy log-burner, or you can blast away the cobwebs with a dip in the wild-swimming pond or a windswept walk. The surrounding glen hums with history – it’s scattered with around 350 ancient monuments, some of which date back to the Stone Age. What’s more, the coastal area of Argyll brims with natural beauty spots such as lochs, canals, caves and beaches.

Getting here: you’ll need to drive.

Two people dipping feet into water

“This story starts a long time ago, towards the end of the last Ice age, when the valley of Kilmartin was carved as the ice from the glaciers melted. The castle – built in the 16thC – sits overlooking the ancient riverbed. We spotted it advertised for sale whilst 3,700 miles away, working in Dubai. We had just returned from a 2-week trip exploring Scotland and fell hard for the rugged hillsides, lochs, history, island hopping, seafood and friendly humans. So we packed in our jobs and up our lives and spent a year living in a campervan on site and working as apprentice builders. We paid a lot of attention to detail and material choices to ensure that the rustic magic of the castle remains intact. Finally, we added a mix of antique paintings and more modern original pieces to the walls. There is nothing here that we do not love. This is not your typical holiday home.” Owners Simon and Stef

My Kip favourites

They love
“Candlelit meals in the grand dining room, which has surely witnessed some memorable get-togethers over the last 500 years.”

We love
The inspiring blend of 16th and 21stC, best displayed in the Snug bedroom with its original stone barrel-vaulted ceiling and arrow-slit windows, teamed with underfloor heating and luxury linens.

You may not love
Super popular; you’ll need to book well in advance. Beds cannot be twinned. You’ll need to drive to pubs and restaurants.

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  • "We hired the castle for a very special family occasion, with a couple of kids and a couple of dogs. From start to finish, the whole experience was just amazing. The renovation of the castle is ridiculously impressive - there’s no way a 16th century castle should feel so snug and warm at every turn. The interiors of each room are brilliant, designed to feel like their own spaces yet really work together as a whole. All the facilities, from the bathrooms and showers to the kitchenware, are absolutely top notch - I’m a bit particular about coffee, and was really pleased to see they had their own castle coffee blend and the same bean grinder we use at home! The garden with outdoor kitchen, glass house dining area, fire pit and wild swimming pool, just added another brilliant dimension to our stay. We booked the private chef for our final night’s meal together - scallops, followed by amazingly tender slow-cooked lamb, finished off with a brilliant (requested) Tarte Tatin. For any special celebration, we can thoroughly recommend booking the castle."


The owners are passionate about sustainability. All food and products are from local producers or ethical companies. There’s an organic kitchen garden guests can help themselves from, and the castle is run off 100% green electricity. The garden and wild-swimming pond were designed and planted to support nature and biodiversity, and full recycling is in place.


  • Two people standing next to a lake
  • Oban - Riley Currie @ Unsplash
    Oban - Riley Currie @ Unsplash
  • Person looking out over a lake and mountains
  • Misty fields
  • Highland cow
  • Two people in a garden
  • Aerial shot of fields and river
  • Only accessible at low tide, Davaar Island’s coastal cave paintings are amazing – park in Campbeltown and check tide times before you set out.
  • Go island hopping around Islay, Jura and lesser-known Gigha via ferries. You’ll find local distilleries, sandy beaches and rocky reefs (see if you can spot Skervuile lighthouse).
  • After a day bouncing around the coast, book the castle’s private chef for dinner – produce is sourced within a 5-mile radius and the glass-house dining room is a table-scaper’s dream
  • Head to The Modern Croft in Oban for antiques and vintage knick-knacks – it’s where Stef found the ceramic pots used in the bathrooms.
  • Stay for lunch. Oban is Scotland’s seafood capital, so head to the harbour for fish cooked every which way in fine-dining kitchens and humble waterfront stalls. The hand-dived scallops are insanely delicious.


  • 500-year-old castle
  • 5 double bedrooms (1 suite with four-poster bed, free-standing tub and woodburner, 2 kingsize with freestanding tubs, 2 doubles)
  • All have ensuite bathrooms with walk-in showers and bathrobes
  • Indoor kitchen with 2 Bosch ovens, a large induction hob, fridge, freezer, drinks fridge, dishwasher and basic supplies
  • Dining booth
  • Grand dining hall
  • Outdoor dining area with glass roof, seating, woodburner, pizza oven, a Kamado Joe and BBQ
  • Enormous lounge with open fire and a projector screen
  • Whisky snug
  • Private chef on request
  • Organic kitchen garden
  • Alfresco dining table under a pergola
  • Sunken firepit
  • Wild-swimming pond and changing rooms (14 year olds only)
  • 2 well-behaved dogs per group
  • House rules: no fireworks, no dogs on furniture
  • Booking conditions: 3-night minimum stay
  • Security deposit: £1,000
  • Remember to pack: swimming costumes, slippers

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50% deposit, with the balance due 4 weeks prior to stay.

Cancellation permitted prior to Balance Due Date with loss of Deposit.

Cancellation not permitted after that time and any cancellation or no-show remains liable for full Booking Fees, with no refund given.


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