What’s better than sleeping in a castle in Scotland? Staying at a luxury bed and breakfast in the Scottish Highlands with a private castle as your nextdoor neighbor. An overnight stay in a castle is certainly an experience, but sometimes the rooms are drafty and dark and the plumbing is a bit dated. We recently stayed at Mill House B & B while we were touring the Scottish Highlands and enjoyed our time living on a Scottish estate.
Monzie Estate is a privately owned 4,000 acre property with sheep, cattle and yes, a castle. The family-owned properties range from self-catering, pet-friendly cottages to the 5 bedroom Mill House B & B. Each of the five bedrooms at Mill House is named after beautiful parts of the estate. All rooms are ensuite with modern conveniences like flatscreen TV’s and luxuriously comfortable beds.
We were enjoying a mid-week stay in April so we had the entire house to ourselves! Even if you are sharing the house, there is plenty of common space to spread out. The living room, pictured above, was lovingly decorated by co-owner Alexandra Crichton, as was the entire bed & breakfast. The great room had an open floor plan with sofas, chairs and cozy wood burning fireplace. Art from local Scottish artists graced the walls.
A glass door off the kitchen opened to the side yard and garden where Shaggy Burn stream showed signs of spring with yellow daffodils flanking the river banks. There was a picnic table out back if the weather cooperated and plenty of room to roam; especially if you were traveling with children. In fact, Alexandra’s husband, David, suggested we drive to nearby Loch Turret for a morning adventure hiking around the lake and counting sheep, before we dropped into Crieff Hydro Resort for a spa day.
We had plenty of things to do in the Scottish Highlands before we returned to our luxury lodgings for a restful evening and good night sleep. In the morning, we were greeted by the owner who prepared our breakfast of fresh juice and coffee, yogurt with fruit and homemade granola, an assortment of meats and cheeses. One of the highlights of the breakfast were the fresh baked pastries from a nearby bakery.
I’m hesitant to mention the homemade brownies and shortbread we found in our room, because I don’t want you to be disappointed if they are not there, but if they are, don’t pass them up. Alexandra made them for us; another example of a family run business with high personal touch. I took the shortbread with me on our daily outings and dearly miss this Scottish treat. I could get used to living the life of a foreigner abroad in the highlands!
Alexandra and her husband have put a lot of thought into the efficient layout and decoration of each room in the B&B, as well as the holiday cottages. The bathroom in Loch More had brightly colored tile on the floor and stylish subway tiles in the shower. Upscale bath amenities were neatly arranged on the bathroom counter and comfortable white robes hung in the closet. A window in the shower flooded the bathroom with natural light and who could resist the headed towel racks. Why don’t we have these wonderful towel warmers in the United States?
My only knock on Mill House B&B is that this delightful country estate is not easily found with a GPS. Do not rely on your navigation system to guide you to Monzie Estate. Instead, read the directions that are sent in advance from the innkeeper and plan to arrival before dark or you might be making friends with one of the many sheep and cows on the property!
Rates start at £85 per night off peak and £180 during peak times and weekends. Mill House may also be rented out as a self catering house, accommodating 10 people. Book through Trip Advisor or directly with the bed and breakfast.
Mill House Bed and Breakfast review and all photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer Nancy D. Brown. Her stay was hosted by Mill House B&B. As always, her thoughts and opinions are her own.