An American family with a love of Scottish culture has bought a Grade A-listed hotel based in a Stirlingshire castle.
Culcreuch Castle hotel is at the foot of the Campsie Fells in the quiet hamlet of Fintry, with good links to Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, Loch Lomond and Trossochs National Park
Now a popular wedding venue, the hotel was originally built as the Clan Galbraith Castle in 1296 and the original structure remains intact with a number of later additions.
Period features include vaulted stone roofs, exposed stone walls, a Georgian staircase, the Bottle Dungeon (shaped to prevent prisoners from lying down), an Aumbry (a monastic cupboard for storing chalices and other vessels) and hand-painted oriental wallpaper from 1723 in the Chinese Bird Room.
Along with 14 letting bedrooms, the hotel offers the Dungeon dining room and bar; Arthur's Seat, the 25-seat fine dining restaurant; and the Drawing Room and Laird's Hall which are suitable for meetings of up to 20 delegates (or 60 theatre-style) or 44 formal diners.
Some 30 metres from the main building is the Galbraith Suite, a self-contained conference and function facility created from the old stables that can accommodate 140 conference delegates or 110 for a seated banquet.
The hotel was marketed off a guide price of £2.5m but the new owners additionally purchased part of the estate to end up with 300 acres of gardens, woodlands and riverside areas that include a beer garden, a children's play area, formal lawns and gardens, a pinetum, and a small loch.
Knight Frank's Northern Hotels Department sold the property on behalf of David Littlefair and Andrew Haslam, directors of Hideaway Country Holidays, who have owned the hotel for more than 20 years and will continue to act as directors.
By Angela Frewin