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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 12 March, 2024
Expert travel writer: Lucy Gillmore

Originally built for George, the 4th Earl of Caithness, this graceful turreted 16th-century castle was the traditional seat of the Earls of Caithness. Looking out towards the Orkney islands on the wild north coast – it’s the most northerly castle in Britain.

It was purchased by the late Queen Mother in 1952. She summered here for fifty years, restoring the castle to its former glory, and creating a beautiful walled rose garden, before bequeathing it to the Castle of Mey Trust upon her death. Listening to the personal anecdotes from her old staff as you wander around brings the place to life.

Today, Prince Charles works closely with the trust to continue the castle’s preservation. He’s an annual visitor, renting the castle for two weeks in summer.

Logistics

Price from: £3
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The castle is situated on the north coast of Caithness, a 2.5-hour drive north of Inverness, on the far northern tip of Britain.

Tickets should be booked in advance on the website. The Castle Tearoom serves snacks, scones and more hearty meals, including the likes of poached salmon and Aberdeen Angus roast beef.

When to do it

The castle is open from June to September, Wednesday to Sunday, apart from a ten-day period in late July/early August when Prince Charles usually stays.

Destination guides

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