Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

Touring Scotland: Rent This Castle Please

touring scotland

Travelers touring Scotland are often drawn to Kirkwall, home to a variety of attractions including the famous great stone circles of Stenness and Brodgar, a UNESCO world heritage site. Also popular is Balfour Castle on the island of Shapinsay, which is available for rent.

A quick 25-minute ferry ride from Kirkwall, the principal city and capital of the 70 or so Orkney Islands, Balfour castle stands today much like it did centuries ago, dominating a great deal of the island.

Originally built as home to the Balfour family, once a big name in the trade of tea and spices, upkeep is an ongoing process and that costs money – a lot of money. Simply maintaining the structure is expensive. Adding features found in modern buildings like electrical wiring, heating and cooling has a price tag running in the £millions.
Now a part-time home to the Zawadski family, the castle offers tours, as renovations are underway to maintain and restore the structures and grounds to their original magnificence.

To fund those efforts, hunting parties come from around the world, landing their private jets at the Kirkwall airport, often reserving space years in advance. The idea is to keep the castle open to the public well into the future with self-financed activities and functions.

Available to rent when the family is not in residence for about $3500 per night, Balfour castle is also available for luncheons, dinners or a traditional Orkney farmhouse tea.

See Elodie Bady, House Manager for more information.

Scottish Giant Pandas

[Photo- Chris Owen]

Filed under: Hiking, Europe, United Kingdom

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport code
If different

Search Travel Deals

Gadling Features

Most Popular


Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News


FOXNews Travel


Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel