Killochan Castle, a former private estate in Scotland, is set to open this summer. It comes with a fascinating history, a warm welcoming atmosphere and has now found a new life as a one-of-a-kind luxury retreat for up to 44 guests.
This substantial grade A listed castle sits on 143 acres of private countryside just an hour from Glasgow and two hours from Edinburgh.
Interiors have been designed and furnished by Royal Warrant Holder Mikhail Pietranek, who led the refurbishment of Highgrove. At Killochan Castle, he has masterfully balanced modern comforts with luxury decor and authenticity. A suit of armour stands guard near the gothic entrance hall leading to the original stone spiral staircase and traditionally dressed wood paneled Great Hall. A two-metre-high crystal chandelier adorns the room, highlighting a magnificent ceiling mural depicting the Battle of Flodden, and above the original fireplace rests the owner’s family crest of arms, The Cathcarts of Carleton.
The estate is bisected by the Girvan Water and is near the seaside villages of Girvan and Troon on the Firth of Clyde. An upper pasture, currently home to local sheep and incredible pastoral views, holds The Barron’s Stone of Killochan, a former site where Cathcarts held court and dispensed justice in feudal times.
The estate features the Castle, Gatehouse, Bridge Cottage and Killochan Cottage, and includes pasture, forest, biking and walking trails, and a lush expansive lawn. A rooftop deck at the top of the castle is a perfect place to relax at the end of the day. The property also includes a firepit and outside seating, with further plans to add a gym, games room, tennis court and covered pavilion.
A total of 22 bedrooms and 143 acres offers guests a sensational private location for weddings, private events, reunions, family breaks, corporate and team building weekends, golf fishing and hunting getaways, yoga and wellness retreats, commercial and movie filming and more. The castle is also a wonderful “home base” to return to after exploring all Scotland has to offer.
The castle boasts a comfortable cinema room, separate dining and breakfast rooms, a casual TV lounge, a formal Great Hall and lots of small turret rooms and unique spaces to explore. There are fully modern kitchens, WIFI and well-appointed modern bathrooms throughout.
It is complete with a dungeon, a clock tower, and an ancient machicolation three stories above the main entrance. Once an important defensive feature used to drop boiling oil, hot sand, or rocks onto attackers or unwanted guests, the castle’s machicolation is now simply a unique architectural reminder of times past.
Killochan has full double bank fishing rights and has a stable of mountain bikes and e-bikes available on site to enjoy the property’s many wonderful trails. Activities in the area abound with multiple nearby golf courses including the championship courses of Turnberry, Royal Troon and Prestwick. There are also quality pheasant and hunting shoots nearby. Guests can also enjoy a nearby spa experience, equestrian activities, archery, falconry, mini-Highland games, cornhole, croquet, a stroll at the seaside, a boat excursion to Ailse Craig, and much more.
Guests will be able to take advantage of a menu of amenities which include full concierge and butler services, private chef, and housekeeping.
Except for a 70-year interruption, Killochan Castle has been in the Cathcart family since the 14th century. Rip Cathcart (a property developer and entrepreneur in the US) and his wife Millie, purchased the estate in 2021 and are excited to return the property to the family fold.
Millie Cathcart commented: “There is a lot to appreciate about South Ayrshire and Girvan, and we look forward to showcasing this beautiful area to guests and tourists staying at our property. We can’t wait for guests to discover the history, beauty and warmth of this place.
“We live on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The terrain and weather are very similar, as is the friendliness of the people. Add to that, all the activities that our family enjoys: biking, fishing, hiking, history, exploring the mountains and seaside and it feels like home from home.
“One of the best parts is that we are returning Killochan to the Cathcart Family. Rip has had a small pencil drawing of the castle ever since he was a boy, and it’s always been on the wall in our home. We never imagined that it would be ours and that we would be able to share it.”