Below is a list of reviews that we have had from various reviewers from all over the UK. . .
Amanda Brawn, LuxuriaLifestyle:
Shieldhill Castle hotel is a 4 star hotel set in the beautiful upper Clyde valley conveniently located just 30 minutes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Independently owned and run, the castle offers first rate accommodation and hospitality to all the guests, as well as providing wedding and conference facilities. The Castle dates back to 1199 and offers great character and charm amongst elegant surroundings.
Prior to becoming a hotel in 1959, Shieldhill Castle was the seat of the Chancellor family for over 750 years. The family came from France at the time of the Norman Conquests. They left the castle but in 1568, following the Battle of Langside, in which William Chancellor fought, the Chancellor’s new home was burnt to the ground. The family was forced to return to Shieldhill Castle to re-roof and render habitable the old tower that now forms the core of the present building.
During the 19th century, Shieldhill was further added to and modernized. There are traces of the Chancellor family however, still apparent now, including an original door to the castle above which is an engraved stone with shields, letters and a pinnacle shaped carving. Fascinating!
You should also look out for a tree planted by Nelson Mandela to commemorate his stay at the hotel in October of 2007, almost opposite the ancient door. The tree is marked with a plaque for easy recognition.
Other intriguing things to see include a secret staircase, situated behind the main entrance in reception, which dates back to 1199. This staircase led to the original chapel which is now a conference room. The Chapel is now situated behind the restaurant and was added in the 16th century. It provides an idyllic setting for weddings, christenings and other family celebrations.
In an adjoining field guests will notice the ruins of what is believed to have been an old pigeon loft. Those at the castle believe that this is where William Wallace would meet his chiefs to plan battle strategies. In the grounds, there is also a plethora of wild life to be observed. All these little treats provide, not only glimpses into historical events, but also an interesting afternoon of walking and nature spotting. In addition to all of the above, in the grounds of the Castle and in the surrounding areas, there are plenty of activities that can be organised for individuals or groups, including falconry, paintball, game shooting, clay pigeon shooting, helicopter flights, hot air balloon rides, fishing and golf. If being pampered is more your thing, there are also various in-room spa treatments available. There really is something for everyone here including the 2 main Scottish cities at only a stone’s throw away for some serious shopping if that is to your liking instead.
The principal building has 16 en suite bedrooms, and the newly refurbished stable block has created a courtyard setting for an extra 10 en suite rooms. All rooms are spacious, comfortable and elegantly furnished to soothe and revive every guest. There are also luxury honeymoon suites available with super king size beds and a double Jacuzzi with stunning views over the Clyde valley. Chancellor’s restaurant, set within the Castle itself, uses only the best locally sourced fresh ingredients, including carefully selected fish, meat, game and vegetables to ensure quality and taste and boasts an award winning and carefully developed wine list. From fine dining to light snacks, Shieldhill caters for every occasion with a selection of menu options, and also offers afternoon tea in the Oak Room lounge where you can enjoy the elegant surroundings and views over the countryside.
You constantly discover new things walking around the castle: the main castle rooms are all named after Scottish battles, our bedroom being called Bonnymuir which took place on the 5th of April 1820 and the rooms in the courtyard are all named after whiskeys. These whiskeys are all available to sample in the bar. The hotel is full of quirky charm with an original Edwardian wedding dress on a first floor landing with the mud still preserved in the train. Of course, guests are asked not to touch this but just to read the information on display in front of it.
You can touch either of the 2 cats living on site though. They are particularly friendly and follow you around if you pay them any attention. They can often be seen curled up on a landing sofa or on the lap of a guest in the bar! The bar has a huge TV to watch whilst relaxing with a drink or the adjacent lounge is TV free but is an equally salubrious place to relax with a book. This is also where you are greeted for dinner. The restaurant was full when we entered with much laughter emanating from the room. We enjoyed Gallia melon with raspberries, raspberry sorbet and coulis and Scottish smoked salmon and prawns to begin our evening. We both then decided upon beef and finished with honeycomb parfait and sticky toffee pudding. We left contented as the food was beautifully cooked, beautifully presented and in the perfect proportion sizes.
After dinner, many of the residents headed towards the bar for coffee and to watch the television or read. It was a very jovial and friendly place to be before certain of the guests then went outside to walk off some of the calories consumed at dinner. At 10pm on the lawns, it was like mid-afternoon back in London and a gardener happily continued mowing the grass on his tractor as if he had all the time in the world. The light is truly astounding here.
Breakfast was delightful and with the possibility of eating a Scottish breakfast, containing everything I could possibly imagine being available to eat for breakfast, there were even more ingredients added to the list. The good news was that you could choose just 2 or 3 of the ingredients too! The service was superb and we left the dining room full, prepared and ready to check out for the long drive home. With great facilities and beautiful surroundings, enhanced even further when the sun shines, Shieldhill Castle is perfect for every occasion and well worth a visit. I can strongly recommend this hotel!
Aranda Rahbarkouhi, The Journal/Evening Chronicle… click here
Peter Ranscombe, The Scotsman… click here
Bill McRae, The Daily Record… click here
Helen Bushnell, Highland News… click here
S. Wilson, Bite Magazine… click here
Sue Cooke, Hodge Hill Gazette… click here