3rd May 2015
Another rainy day in Scotland, in fact tipping it down and our chosen destination is hosting a half marathon. Are they mad! We drove past many wet, vibrantly dressed people, up the long driveway to Invararay Castle. Inhabited by the Chief of the Clan of Campbell and his Cadbury wife. They won’t go short on soup or chocolate! The good thing about working castles on days like these is that the heating is on and there are no chilly drafts. In fact a roaring fire in the armoury room, with people sat all around drying themselves off.
The castle is a grand building on the shores of Loch Fyne, it also has impressive gardens but we didn’t visit these in the rain. The ground floor has a large number of rooms open to the public, the most impressive being the armoury. Upstairs, there are only a few rooms to visit as the rest of the first floor is lived in by the Campbells. There are photos of the family throughout the open rooms. The current Chief Campbell notably captained the Scotland team in the World Elephant Polo Championships, I can only imagine they have much longer mallets.
The armoury room is double height, forming the first floor gallery. It has a fireplace on each side and is formally decorated using the armour of the castle. Circular displays of shotguns, arcs of spears and criss-cross swords. Even the knights armour makes a lighting effect. The whole room is stunning.
The cafe had an amazing menu, much more adventurous than the normal tea room. We had locally sourced venison and chutney and locally caught smoked salmon and dill sandwiches. Also very spacious with high chairs and large toilet facilities across the courtyard. Also downstairs is the Old Kitchen to visit and the gift shop.
Baby friendly info:
There is a ramp to the front entrance and the ground floor rooms are accessible with a pushchair. For the first floor and cafe, a baby carrier is advisable. There is space to leave a pushchair near the front door.
The cafe in the basement has high chairs and the toilets outside have a huge baby changing room.