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Welcome to Glenapp Castle, a true hidden gem. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group of friends, you’ll feel right at home here. This five-star luxury hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland has won awards for its exquisite attention to detail and luxurious period furnishings and interiors. The castle is surrounded by breathtaking gardens, forests and seascapes – the perfect place to escape, reflect, recharge and reconnect.

Ayrshire | Scotland

Glenapp Castle

Fairytale Scottish Castle

ABOUT  |  HISTORY  |  Rooms |  Facilities  |  Booking  |  Contact

Originally Built In

Associated Family Names
Hunter, Bryce, Mackay

Number of Rooms

Type of Architecture
Scottish Baronial

Famous Guests
Sir Winston Churchill, Gertrude Jekyll, Gordon Ramsay, Gok Wan, Alison Hammond

Seen in (tv/movies)
Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Future Food Stars’ 

Ayrshire, Scotland

Perfect for
Couples, Weddings, Family Gatherings

Property type


About Glenapp Castle

Located in Ballantrae along the beautiful coast of southwest Scotland, sits Glenapp Castle. This luxurious 5-star castle hotel is set amid 110 acres of gardens and woodland. Known for its majestic views of the Irish Sea and Ailsa Craig, Glenapp is surrounded by seascapes from every direction. The Scottish baronial-style hotel has a rich history dating back to 1870, making it an impressive and grand retreat. Under its charming towers and turrets, there are expansive rooms adorned with old-world antiques, period furnishings, and lavish interiors. For the perfect escape in an iconic Scottish castle, Glenapp Castle offers award-winning cuisine, stunning scenery, and luxurious accommodation.

Our history

Origins of P&O

When the industrialist, James Hunter (later to become the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire), acquired the Glenapp Estate in 1870, it was already well established under the ownership of the Earl of Orkney. David Bryce, the celebrated Edinburgh architect, was commissioned to design him a magnificent residence. Known as the Scottish Baronial style, Bryce combined elements of Gothic and Renaissance design to create the grandiose appearance we are familiar with today. In 1917 the castle passed to James Lyle Mackay, the son of a wealthy shipmaster. James later became the first Earl of Inchcape after a successful business career. He became Chairman of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P&O) and was credited with solving the Indian currency crisis just after the turn of the century. Even with all his success, it is suggested that he was upstaged by his daughter Elsie. Elsie Mackay was not only a well known actress (under the name Poppy Wyndham), and an interior designer for P&O, she was also a skilled aviatrix famed for her aerial stunts. In 1928 she set out to cross the Atlantic in a single engine monoplane, from an airfield in Lincoln. Tragically, Elsie and her co-pilot Captain Hinchcliffe, a World War One flying ace, did not arrive and were never seen again.

Our Gallery

Events & Activities


A fairytale venue for a perfect wedding. Hidden away in 110 acres of private estate and local woodland, the magical towers, turrets, and crenellations of Glenapp Castle greet you as you sweep up the tree-lined drive telling you this is a magnificent place for your special day. The hotel will provide you with your own wedding organiser and our team are completely dedicated to making sure every detail of your big day goes according to plan. Whether you are planning an intimate gathering, or a more lavish reception you can be assured that you and your guests will have a memorable and hugely enjoyable experience in a truly beautiful setting.
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Take time to fully enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents of 110 acres of private estate and local woodland, strolling the carefully tended lawns and pathways, surrounded by a vast array of exotic plants that have been collected since Victorian days. The castle even has its own wooded glen to follow. Visit the stunning walled garden, and of course our Italian garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Gertrude Jekyll is considered by many to be the pre-eminent garden designer of the early 20th century. She is perhaps best known for her work with Edwin Luytens, taking inspiration from the wider Arts and Crafts movement, she brought an air of freshness and science to garden designs. After exploring the grounds you can relax over afternoon tea, a freshly prepared salad or savoury dish from our famous kitchens in the newly restored Azalea Glasshouse Restaurant.

Outdoor Pursuits

Many visitors to Glenapp don’t even feel the need to venture out of the castle grounds! As well as many walks to explore, the 110 acres of private estate and local woodland also boast herb, fruit, and flower gardens, a 150 foot Victorian glasshouse, and an all-weather tennis court and croquet lawn. The grounds are bounded on all sides by yet more woodland and open countryside to explore. Guests staying at the castle can enjoy a range of country sports from shooting, high pheasant and partridge shooting, deer stalking as well as salmon fishing on the River Stinchar, or trout fishing on a nearby loch.


Glenapp Castle is a leading destination for delicious cuisine, with its fine dining and 3 AA Rosettes. And, with the introduction of the newly launched Azalea (the new restaurant situated in the Victorian Glasshouse & Bothy) offering a unique informal dining setting, Glenapp offers the perfect blend of dining experiences. Choose from the gracious surroundings of the Castle’s elegant dining rooms to the almost 200-year-old Victorian Mackenzie and Moncur Victorian Glasshouse, two impressive and distinctive venues.


Booking Request

Glenapp Castle Hotel
Ballantrae, Ayrshire, Scotland KA26 0NZ