Ardverikie Estate – Home of “Monarch of the Glen”

A number of years ago, I discovered the British television show “Monarch of the Glen”. Have you seen it? The comedy/drama comprised seven seasons that aired from 2000-2005. I immediately fell in love with the premise and the quirkiness of the characters and storylines. If you’re not familiar with it, the first five seasons revolve around the story of Archie MacDonald, a young restauranteur in London, who reluctantly moves back to his family’s home in the Scottish Highlands (after being bamboozled by his mother), to assume his role as laird of the severely cash-strapped Glenbogle Estate. In his quest to save Glenbogle, Archie seems to constantly face a barrage of obstacles and disappointments, and his strained relationship with his eccentric father (played brilliantly by Richard Briers) makes things even more complicated. It is because of the teamwork and dedication of the family’s loyal and offbeat estate staff, that Glenbogle slowly begins to emerge from the ashes. Archie even finds love.

Like all good shows, they come to an end, and unfortunately, by the sixth season, several of the main characters had left the show, including Alastair Mackenzie (Archie – such a shame). In my opinion, the series was never the same again. But, even so, if you ever have the chance to watch it, do, because the first five seasons are so charming. I own the series on DVD and I still get it out to watch it from time to time.

On our last trip to Scotland (not long before the world turned into a dumpster fire), Mr. C and I captured some photos of Ardverikie, the home that was used for Glenbogle House on the show. In fact, the “Monarch of the Glen” series was filmed almost exclusively on the Ardverikie Estate. You may also recall that Ardverikie stood in for Balmoral Castle in the fourth season of “The Crown”.

Ardverikie Estate is located near Kinloch Laggan, Newtonmore, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, and the house sits along the banks of Loch Laggan. You can see the home clearly from the A86. Though Mr. C and I only viewed it from a distance, we were thrilled to catch a glimpse of this grand property.

Ardverikie House on the banks of Loch Laggan in the Scottish Highlands
Ardverikie on the banks of Loch Laggan. Queen Victoria stayed at Ardverikie for three weeks in the summer of 1847.

The current home was completed in 1877 in the Scots Baronial style; however, this is not how the house originally looked. When first built, the building was a much simpler design, without the towers, embellishments, and frills. (Click here to visit Ardverikie’s web page, and you can see a photo of the house that was taken in 1869, as well as read a more detailed history of the estate.) It was only after a fire in 1873 that Ardverikie was rebuilt as we see it today.

Gatelodge, a small castle looking house on the Ardverikie Estate in Scotland.
Gatelodge, one of several small homes available as a vacation rental on the Ardverikie Estate. Gatelodge is located right off of the A86.

The Ardverikie Estate, which encompasses some 38,000 acres of land, is privately owned and managed by a board of directors comprised mostly of family members. This governing body has taken on a number of endeavors to not only keep the estate running but to also play a larger role within the local community. Some of the activities they are involved in include hydro-electric generation, forestry, deer management, farming, tourism, and filming.

The property has a number of self-catering options, one of which is the cute Gatelodge house pictured above, and offers a number of leisure activities that take advantage of the beautiful Highland nature and scenery. It looks like a lovely place, and one day I hope to see and experience it closer.

Well, friends, that’s about it for today. All this talk of Ardverikie has me wanting to dig out my “Monarch of the Glen” videos, so I think I’ll go and do that right now! Hope you all have a pleasant and productive week ahead. Stay safe.


Corse Castle-Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Today’s castle might not be considered a showstopper by some, but this ruin is one of my favorites. This is Corse Castle.

Corse Castle behind an embankment of overgrowth.
Corse Castle in Scotland.

Corse Castle sits alongside a minor road (well, less than a minor road, really), off of the B9119, near the village of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In fact, if you didn’t know it was there, you might well miss it! Formerly a medieval tower house, this sixteenth-century castle is now a lonely roofless ruin, surrounded by deep overgrowth.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

For this week’s challenge, Amy is looking for our photo interpretations of ‘old and new.’ I immediately thought about these photos that Mr. C and I took last year, of the Royal Air Force practicing touch-and-go maneuvers at RAF Lossiemouth, the military airfield located just four and a half miles from Duffus Castle. To see and hear the sleek, loud, fast jets flying past the 14-century castle ruin was quite an extraordinary sight!

Royal Air Force Lossiemouth is one of the largest and busiest military air stations in Scotland. The base is located in the northeast part of the country, on the western edge of the town of Lossiemouth, along the Moray Firth coast.

A RAF fighter jet flying past Duffus Castle.
A RAF fighter jet flying past Duffus Castle.
A RAF fighter jet flying past Duffus Castle.

Fordyce, Scotland and Its Fairy Tale Castle

Hey, everyone. How are you today? I hope you all are staying well.

What sorts of things have been occupying your days? I have been teaching myself how to bake bread – along with the rest of the world, it seems -ha! I’m getting pretty good at it if I may say so myself!

Today, I’d like to give you a quick peek at Fordyce, Scotland, and the fairy tale castle that graces the center of the village. This utterly charming and (as locals would say) “chocolate box” town is located in Aberdeenshire, in the northeast section of the country, set among scenic rolling hills and only about a mile from the sea.

Google Maps image of Scotland.

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Culloden House and the Bonnie Prince Charlie Connection

Hello, friends! I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and healthy during this crazy pandemic. How is everyone weathering the quarantine? Has the place where you live begun to reopen?

Today I would like to show you Culloden House, a stately Georgian-style mansion set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Last year, Mr. C and I visited for afternoon tea, before exploring the house and grounds and then heading over to see nearby Clava Cairns.

Front view of Culloden House. Green Virginia Creeper growing all over the  front of the mansion.

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Ballindalloch Castle: Scotland’s “Pearl of the North”

It’s cold. It’s gloomy. It’s the time of year when cabin fever starts to become a very real thing; although, I just realized the official start to spring is only 31 days away! Woop! Anyway, to cheer myself up on this gray Monday (well, this, and maybe watching a few episodes of “The Great British Baking Show”), I am going to take you guys to Scotland’s “Pearl of the North”; the BEAUTIFUL, the GORGEOUS, the OH-SO-STUNNING Ballindalloch Castle.

A tree lined gravel path leading to Ballindalloch Castle.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Hello, all! I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday.

This week’s photo challenge comes from Tina. She has encouraged us to depict something that evokes nostalgia. For my offering, I have chosen to highlight a few photos taken at Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Exterior view of Lauriston Castle in sepia.

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