12 Aug Cawdor & Brodie Castle, Inverness
The 14th century home of the Thanes of Cawdor, Cawdor Castle is reputedly the castle of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and was the scene of Duncan’s murder in the play – a bit of poetic licence from the bard, since the central tower dates from the 14th century (the wings were 17th century additions) and Macbeth died in 1057. The castle is 5 miles southwest of Nairn.
Set in 70 hectares of parkland, Brodie Castle has several highlights, including a library with more than 6000 peeling, dusty volumes. There are wonderful clocks, a huge Victorian kitchen and a 17th century dining room with wildly extravagant moulded plaster ceilings depicting mythological scenes. The Brodies have been living here since 1160, but the present structure dates mostly from 1567, with many additions over the years.
These are real hidden gems and worth a visit on your Scotland tours.