Blair Castle and Gardens
roots in the 13th century, Blair
Castle is the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of
Atholl. Its history extends over some 740 years, like many
Scottish castles, Blair Castle has a long and illustrious history,
today attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. Blair Castle is one of the most accessible Scottish
castles, family friendly and with plenty to see and do.
Blair Castle is the home of the Atholl
Highlanders - Europe's only private army, harking back to
the days when every Highland Chief had his own army (made up of his
tenents and locals) to defend their clan territory from the other
Gardens and Grounds, most of which was laid out in the
18th century and features a magnificent walled garden, a peaceful
wooded grove, a ruined kirk, a red deer park and a whimsical gothic
folly. Colourful peacocks roam the grounds, Highland cattle graze
in fields nearby and the native red squirrel can often be spotted
amongst the branches. Children will also enjoy the castle's
woodland adventure playground.
Hercules Garden originated when the second Duke
transformed the medieval Blair Castle into a grand Georgian
mansion. Hercules Garden is today a stunning 9 acre walled garden
recently restored to its original Georgian design. It is named
after the life-sized statue of Hercules which overlooks the
Grove, a tranquil wooded area adjacent to the castle
affords a unique opportunity to enjoy some of the county's finest
and tallest trees in a space of just two acres. It is also the home
of a Grand Fir, the UK's second tallest tree at 62.70 metres.
The woodland adventure playground at
Blair Castle is just within Diana's Grove and
offers children a marvellous opportunity for fun both on the
equipment and within the wooded setting.
Grounds has the Banvie Burn running through the Grove and
is crossed by two attractive 18th century bridges which give access
to the ruins of St Bride's Kirk which has its ancient origins in
Celtic times. After the nearby Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, the
Kirk became the resting place for the remains of Viscount Dundee,
(John Graham of Claverhouse, known as Bonnie Dundee).
Gardens Sculpture Trail, visitors can now enjoy
following the new Sculpture Trail through the castle gardens and
Blair Castle's unique heritage makes it an unforgettable venue
for all kinds of functions, from corporate events and team-building
activities to weddings and other family celebrations.