A RUINED castle that was left in a state of disrepair for over 50 years is undergoing renovations that will transform it into a new luxury venue, giving future guests the chance to holiday, wine and dine.
Culdees Castle Estate, designed and built in 1810 for Charles Drummond, whose clan was rewarded for fighting with Robert the Bruce, has not been lived in since 1968, the new owners said. After gaining extensive experience in renovating properties and stumbling across the castle on a family holiday, Tracey Horton and Rob Beaton bought Culdees in the summer of 2019 and are “determined to restore the site to its former glory”.
Ms Horton has extensive experience in property development and events management, and the pair have a long-term plan of restoring the whole castle.
Following the purchase, the venture accessed a suite of Business Gateway’s start-up support services including advice on their business plan, marketing, and funding.
A dedicated adviser also provided guidance through regular virtual meetings and was able to signpost the couple to a business loan, helping them secure enough funding to turn their vision of turning the castle into a fully functioning venue into a reality.
After receiving Business Gateway’s support, the first phase of renovations is “making significant progress, and the estate now boasts a luxury glamping site with three cosy cabins, each named after previous custodians of the castle”.
Visitors to the site can enjoy hot tubs, fire pits and BBQs with direct views of the backlit castle. The couple hope to continue renovating the main body of the castle next year, and future plans include revamping the commercial kitchen and chapel, as well as designing a cosy whisky bothy. Ms Horton also hopes to develop a luxury champagne bar where guests can enjoy afternoon teas.
Ms Horton, managing director, Culdees Castle Estate, said: “We knew renovating Culdees Castle would be a big project, but we really appreciated the beauty of the building and were determined to transform it into something special. Perthshire has a great reputation for tourism, so we really needed to make Culdees stand out from the crowd.
“I have no doubt that the castle will give people something to look forward to as restrictions ease further, and I’m confident the venue will make a beautiful backdrop for the weddings that have been booked for later this year. We will continue to support Tracey and Rob as they continue their renovations and I look forward to seeing what they do next.”
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