The Queen Mother's Castle of Mey & Gardens

  • Port

    Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • Activity Level

    Moderate

  • Excursion Type

    Local Sightseeing, All

  • Wheelchair Accessible

    NO

  • Cost

    USD USD USD

    Price between $101-$150
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    4 Hours

  • Meals Included

    No

The Castle of Mey stands in a magnificent setting on the Caithness coast, with glorious views across the Pentland Firth towards Orkney. A short drive from the pier will bring you to its doors.

Mey is the northernmost castle on the UK mainland and it has stood on this site since the late 16th century, when George, the fourth Earl of Caithness, established his seat here. When the castle left the possession of the Sinclairs in 1889, the most colorful era in the castle's history came to an end -- it had been an era of both dark deeds and amicable eccentricities. The 14th Earl introduced the first steam car to Caithness. The castle entered a period of decline until, in 1952, it was saved by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who lovingly restored the castle and gardens to much of their former glory. The castle today is kept as it was when the Queen Mother was in residence and, with the help of knowledgeable guides, the visitor gains an irresistible picture of her personality, her interests and her love of life. This is one royal residence that never feels grand or intimidating. It is first and foremost a home, and the tone is set as soon as you step inside the entrance hall where you will encounter the dog bowls from which the Queen Mother fed her corgis every evening.

Your castle tour takes in not just the rooms where the Queen Mother received visitors and entertained family and friends, but also more private rooms such as the library where she dealt with her correspondence, played after-dinner games and watched television. Certain bedrooms, including the Queen Mother's, are also open.

Step outside to explore the walled garden that was so dear to her heart -- a real triumph over the neglect of time and the onslaught of the elements. Within the shelter of the Great Wall of Mey, a traditional Scots kitchen garden has been lovingly created. The Queen Mother's personal touch is apparent everywhere, from the magnificent floral displays in the greenhouse to her much-loved shrub roses in the Shell Garden, which remained her favorite spot until the end of her life.

After your visit to Mey, you will return to the ship.

Notes:

Wear comfortable walking shoes.