The Earl & Countess, Thirlestane Castle
Formerly the private quarters of the 14th Earl and Countess of Lauderdale, this three-bedroom apartment is a perfect sanctuary in the heart of Border country.
An indulgent treat in a fantastic castle setting
Accessed from the south wing of the castle, this elegant apartment forms part of a careful restoration project at Thirlestane which is sympathetic to the ancestry and provenance of the Maitland family and 400 years of Scottish history.
Enter into a dramatic black and white hallway with statement lighting and antiques offering a hint to the refined look of the wider interior. This leads into a main reception room with an open plan configuration, contrasted with rich heritage colours and sumptuous velvets which are timeless classics.
The fireplace with the original crest of the 14th Earl and Countess is framed by an ornate gilt mirror from the state drawing room along with two original artworks from the castle collections, including one from fine portraiture artist John Scougall.
Wall panels create a dramatic impact using an intricate wallpaper reproduced from an antique tapestry while high ceilings and vast windows amplify the sense of space and light with glorious views across the sweeping castle parklands.
The bold colour choices of the bedrooms are perfectly suited to the heritage of this property, each stamped with a different feel and personality.
The fired red earth of the master bedroom is beautifully complemented by the draped canopy above the bedsteads which date back to the First World War when the castle was used as a recuperation hospital for army officers. This leads into an impressive en-suite bathroom in wedgewood blue which is warmed with underfloor heating.
The second bedroom displays confident use of colour in a stunning emerald green balanced with an intricate Schumacher ‘Chiang Mei Dragon’ fabric which is an artful salute to the castle’s links with Asia – the 15th Countess’s father was J.J. Bell-Irving, a successful Hong Kong banker and merchant whose influence can be seen throughout the castle. This leads into an en-suite shower room with heritage detailing.
The four-poster bed in limed oak in the third bedroom adds a final flourish, framed by soft linens and warming tweeds as well as those picture-perfect views.
Access into large hallway with hanging space.
Open plan sitting room/dining room and kitchen comprising:
Sitting room with double sofa, armchairs, dining space with seating for six, decorative fireplace, Smart TV. Windows overlooking the castle parklands.
Kitchen with integrated units, electric oven, induction hob, dishwasher, large fridge/freezer, microwave, selection of cookbooks.
Bedroom one with zip and link beds which can be adapted to 6' super king or 3' twin beds, side tables, large wardrobe with drawers, dressing table.
En-suite bathroom with bath and shower over (rainforest head) with separate hand held mixer, heated towel rail, double basins, heated towel rail, WC. Underfloor heating.
Bedroom two with 5'2" king size four-poster bed, side tables, in-built wardrobe with hanging space and drawers, dressing table, Roberts radio.
Family bathroom with bath and shower over (rainforest head) with separate mixer, heated towel rail, double basins and WC. Underfloor heating.
Bedroom three with 5'2" king size bed, side tables, small wardrobe, chest of drawers.
En-suite bathroom with shower, heated towel rail, basin and WC. Underfloor heating.
Guests have use of the magnificent castle grounds (with the exception of the family's private garden) and the wider estate grounds including fabulous woodland and parkland walks.
During the periods that the castle is closed to the public, guests also have use of the courtyard area which is shared with all apartments. There is bench seating in the courtyard area and picnic benches in the play park area, woodlands and wider grounds.
There is private parking to the front of the castle.
Babies & Children
A travel cot and highchair are available on request.
Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £15 per dog. Dogs must be clean and dry before access into the wider property, should be kept off the furniture and are not permitted in the bedrooms. It is important to note that there is no private enclosed garden space and dogs must be kept on a lead in the immediate grounds and across wider farmland.
The bedrooms feature high quality bed linen. A hairdryer is supplied in each bedroom. Towels, robes and guest toiletries are provided.
Wi-Fi & Mobile Coverage
Wi-Fi is available. Mobile signal is best on the 02 and EE network. This improves outside in the grounds.
Heating throughout the property which is thermostatically controlled.
Thirlestane Castle - Guest Privacy
Thirlestane Castle is open to the public Sunday - Thursday from the beginning of May to the end September. This includes a number of key events where the wider grounds do get busy. Guests looking for complete privacy during the day would therefore be advised to book outside the castle opening periods. Please contact us should you require further information.
For guests looking to holiday together, The Earl & Countess can be booked alongside The Maitland Apartment sleeping 4, The Lauderdale sleeping 2, The Sculleries sleeping 2 and Glenburnie sleeping 2. The South Wing is available for guests looking to book all five apartments. All apartments are located within Thirlestane Castle.
In nearby Lauder guests will find a good range of amenities including the Flat Cat Gallery & Coffee shop or the Spotty Dog Deli and Café in Market Place. The Firebrick Bakery is wonderful with a selection of breads, cakes and pastries. There's also a butchers shop and a bakery, along with a small Co-op supermarket on the edge of the village.
For eating out, the Fire Brick Brasserie has a fantastic reputation winning the Best New Restaurant in the Scottish Borders Award 2015. Alternatively try the Black Bull Hotel or the Lauderdale Hotel for pub lunches or nearby Carfraemill Hotel for a juicy steak from local producers.
For gifts and lovely things, the Flat Cat Gallery, Made in Grey Britain and Powder Grey are both super stops for a browse.
A stay in the ancient grandeur of Thirlestane Castle, one of the seven ‘Great Houses of Scotland’, is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression but its location in the heart of lowland Scotland - an area steeped in heritage, culture and outstanding scenery will ensure your visit is truly memorable. Our region has an incredibly rich and turbulent history and its legacy is a landscape of magnificent castles, grand stately homes and the fragments of ruined abbeys and fortifications scattered right across the area.
Spend time in our castles and walk the paths and corridors of noble aristocracy and heads of state, explore the legend of King Arthur and Merlin, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots; or retrace your ancestors at the Heritage Hub and possibly even discover distant connections to eminent clans and peerage!
Admire the exquisite architecture, decorative detailing and superb art collection of nearby Mellerstain; explore the sumptuous state rooms and incredible silver staircase of Manderston; or marvel at the splendour of Floors Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe with its priceless collection of fine art, porcelain and tapestries. Abbotsford sits at the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and writings of Sir Walter Scott, while the outstanding monastic ruins of the nearby Abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso will give you an insight into the area’s tumultuous past.
For lovers of Scottish cashmere and knitwear, the ‘Textile Trail’ is an absolute must, offering a fascinating insight into our industrial heritage, but encompassing visitor centres and retail outlets where you can pick-up some wonderful garments and unique sample pieces - everything from exceptional tweeds to finest cashmere. For something truly exclusive you can even design your own tartan at Lochcarron of Scotland and take home a very special reminder of your Scottish connections.
The magnificent city of Edinburgh is but a thirty minute drive from Thirlestane where you can explore the fascinating architecture of the old town and soak-up the culture and heritage of this beautiful vibrant city. Wander the cobbled closes and narrow stairwells of the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, or take a candle-lit tour of the underground vaults of the old city and uncover sinister tales of Edinburgh’s darker past!
On a lighter note, why not partake in a wee dram at the Scotch Whisky Centre or perhaps join an expert-led whisky tasting session where you will learn more about the intricate flavours of this most distinguished of drinks. Learn how to look, swirl, nose and taste fine whisky and to appreciate the distinct differences between single malts, blended and grain.
Finally, a visit to iconic Edinburgh Castle which sits majestically over the city and houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, 15th Century gun Mons Meg, and the National War Museum of Scotland. And if you’re lucky enough to be in the city in August, don’t miss the Edinburgh Military Tattoo ending with a poignant lone piper lament high on the castle ramparts. Truly spectacular!
Historic houses and castles
With more stately homes, castles and historic sites here than you can shake a proverbial stick at, visitors are quite simply spoilt for choice.Find Out More
From the lush green uplands to shimmering sea, the area boasts a hugely diverse and enticing landscape that is perfect for exploring on foot. From gentle rambles to long-distance hikes, there are a vast array of trails and waymarked routes for newbie walkers or experienced alike.Find Out More
Shopping, arts and crafts
We are extremely fortunate to have a region where independent shops are king, and to have an area flowing with creativity through its talents in arts, crafts and textiles.Find Out More
Our region is home to outstanding scenery which boasts emerald forests, pristine lochs and rivers, heathery hillsides, sweeping moorlands as well as a picture perfect coastline.Find Out More
There are 40 golf courses in Northumberland, and another 21 in the Scottish Borders offering visitors an incredibly wide and varied range of golfing options.Find Out More
If your passion is beautiful gardens a visit to our area will not disappoint. Spend a little time here and discover some spectacular gardens through the ever changing vista of the seasons.Find Out More
Welcome to the realm of the king of fish, the mighty River Tweed. Every year thousands of Atlantic Salmon make their way up river, an annual odyssey that is one of nature's miracles.Find Out More
For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.Find Out More
Cycling & mountain biking
Whether you ride fast or slow, on-road or off-road, there is something uniquely special about enjoying some outdoor time on two wheels. Here in the region we have something for everyone from high-energy mountain biking blasts to gentle forest paths the whole family can enjoy.Find Out More
Horse riding is intrinsically linked to the history and heritage of the area and goes right back to the 13th and 14th centuries where townspeople would ride the clan’s boundaries to protect their common lands. Thankfully our riding pursuits today are not quite so dramatic!Find Out More
Museums, galleries and culture
Our museums tell the story of Borders people and provide a unique insight into our region’s heritage and culture, such as the turbulent past of the Border Reivers or the tragic tale of exiled Mary Queen of Scots.Find Out More
Children and families
Here at Crabtree & Crabtree, we like to think we’ve pulled together some rather nifty ideas to keep tots to teens happy and entertained during your stay.Find Out More
Classes at your holiday home
Enjoy art, cookery, photography, flower or chocolate classes or whisky tasting in the comfort of your own holiday home...Find Out More
Ancestral history research
Crabtree & Crabtree know that tracing the history of your family can be a wonderful journey of discovery. Here are our top tips for starting your family tree.Find Out More
Spas and beauty treatments
Everyone needs a little time-out to relax and for many that may involve a little pampering, the chance to experience new therapies, or simply some dedicated ‘me time’ to enjoy or practise disciplines which bring a sense of well-being and good health.Find Out More
If you love a challenge or just crave a little excitement away from the day-to-day bustle of working life, we have lots to offer - whether it be watery pursuits, muddy blasts or thrill seeking, adrenaline-charged adventures.Find Out More
Cooks and chefs
Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cookFind Out More
Beauty and spa treatments
Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.Find Out More
Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.Find Out More
Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.Find Out More
Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.Find Out More
Crabtree & Crabtree have teamed up with Corney & Barrow one of the longest established independent Wine Merchants in the UK to offer a bespoke service.Find Out More
Babysitting and nannies
Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring one of our fully qualified registered and experienced nannies or babysitters to come to your house.Find Out More
Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.Find Out More
- Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £15 per dog.
- Typical arrival day: Friday during high season, flexible out of high season.
- Arrival time: 6pm-9pm
- Departure time: 9am
"The dramatic wall panels in the sitting room add a touch of grandeur."Julie, Crabtree & Crabtree