Stepping inside Dairsie Castle is like stepping back in time. Once the site of secret Scottish parliaments, military sieges and even the hiding place of James VI from his Ruthven captors in 1583, the property has a colourful history. Today, the six-bedroom castle with six-acres of grounds – including a walled garden, orchard and parkland – is the perfect place for a weekend retreat. While many of the original features remain, the modern amenities discerning guests have come to expect from rental properties are in place. There are quirky touches throughout, such as the Hokusai-esque mural found on a bath, the compass room’s floor which tilts north and the washroom which takes inspiration from the old ducat that once occupied it. Hole yourself up with supplies – or bring a cook – and you won’t feel the need to leave. But if you do, Edinburgh is a 70-minute drive away and St Andrews, with its golf courses, spas and cute cafés, is just a few miles down the road.
CLAIM TO FAME
On 27 June 1583, a 17-year-old King James VI stayed at Dairsie to escape his Ruthven captors by pretending to go hawking.
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