Where it's at
Situated 45 mins drive from Inverness, Carbisdale
Castle is the most opulent youth hostel in the world.
It is located half a mile out of Culrain and overlooks
the Kyle of Sutherland. It costs 20 dollars a night
to stay here, but the ghost is free.
Spot the spooks
Yes, Carbisdale Castle is supposedly haunted and the ghost
in question is a nanny named Betty, who still roams the corridors
of this castle. A phantom bagpiper and organist are said to
have been heard in the former ballroom, and the ghostly figure
of a lady dressed in white. She is thought to be figure of
Duchess Blair who never lived to see her great castle
complete. The nearby Hill of Lamentation, site of a
1650 battleground is also said to be visited by a ghostly
swordsmen. You're most likely to spot a ghostie in the 'Spook
Room' (called this by Duchess Blair to scare children out
of her favourite room) which was the old school room where
crying, childrens voices and objects movings are often reported.
The castle has seen a king, a prince, a duchess, and countless
happy hostellers pass through its imposing gates, and it seems
to get more popular all the time. The King of Norway sought
refuge here during the Nazi occupation of his country. It
was turned into a youth hostel after the war, but it still
remains as regal as ever. Communal rooms are elegant and classic
of old Scottish style, from the Tartan fringed reading room,
to the velvet and floral sitting room. It's also become something
of a trendy spot for marriages since Madonna and film
director Guy Ritchie were wed here.
Other things to see and do
Other local attractions include walking to the Falls of
Shin where in season you can witness leaping salmon
or go trout fishing in Loch Shin and Migdale.
There's plenty to do in just the castle itself, with its ghost
stories, a statue gallery and art collection. You can even
take a trip along the Kyle on the first airboat in
Europe and look at this beautiful area from a different angle.
Nearby wildlife includes deer and badgers in
the forest by the castle, seals, otter and crabs
at Loch Fleet (20 miles away) and rare birds like
the oystercatchers, Icelandic greylag and pink footed