The surrounding landscape is wildly atmospheric, quiet with not a soul in sight. Only the faint cries of sea eagles echoing around the hill break the silence. There’s fishing on the loch, soul-stirring hikes with commanding views and tumbling waterfalls with runs of salmon. The Corryvreckan whirlpools are nearby and the holy isle of Iona is a ferry ride away.
“Having been cooped up for so long, people are desperate to get out, explore, be outside and enjoy the fresh air – we have all that,” says Torquhil.
When it comes to the future, any renovation plans are on hold. Eleanor explains: “At the end of the day, it’s about keeping the house going so we will try our hand at anything. If we can hand over the house to the next generation in a better state, then we’ve done what we’ve had to do.” Long may Inveraray Castle last.
Inverarary Castle can be hired through Loyd & Townsend Rose (01835 824642; ltrcastles.com)
Five dynasties with castle rooms for hire
Known as the most down-to-earth duke and duchess, David and Caroline Fife run a delightfully relaxed ship at Kinnaird Castle in Angus. “I feel fun comes above everything,” says Caroline. “The castle comes alive when people are here.” After being burnt down, Kinnaird was rescued by David’s grandfather who had just married Princess Maud (granddaughter of the future King Edward VII). However, they only had the funds to rebuild half. But you wouldn’t know it. Kinnaird’s two guest apartments are elegant, linking up to form eight bedrooms.
David who “loves history”, does tours of the house. The two-storey library has been transformed into a games hall – including three-a-side hockey. “It’s fantastically fast and furious. I have yet to find anyone who won’t join in.” Otherwise, there are picnics by the lake, an ancient temple and a “Hansel and Gretel” lake cottage. Off the estate, explore this undiscovered part of Aberdeenshire with its beautiful glens, unspoilt towns and heavenly coastline. 01674 810240; kinnairdcastle.co.uk
The House of Hackney
It’s myriad different worlds,” says Frieda Gormley of Trematon Castle, the Cornish family home she shares with her husband Javvy M Royale, and their two children. Built in 1068, it has been owned by the Duchy of Cornwall since 1387 and was used by Sir Francis Drake to hide treasure. In the 1800s, part of the castle was knocked down to give better views and the bricks were used to create a handsome Georgian building, now known as Trematon Castle.
After spending the past three years restoring the house and creating a “muse” for their House of Hackney collections, the couple are opening their six-bedroom home for hire this summer to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary. “It’s about checking into a slower, more meaningful world, with nature at its heart.” This means a holistic chef, yoga and wild swimming in the River Lyhner plus the Indian pool, described as the most beautiful in Cornwall. 020 7062 6122; houseofhackney.com