It’s all yours!

Scotland has a wealth of cosy country houses, luxurious lodges and magical castles available for you and you alone. So if you reckon you would prefer to hold your wedding celebrations in complete privacy, take a look at our favourite exclusive-use venues across the country.

Words by Holly Jones

The scenery around The Cruin at Loch Lomond is enough to guarantee stunning photographs.

The scenery around The Cruin at Loch Lomond is enough to guarantee stunning photographs.

Harmony House, Borders

Harmony House is a Regency town house in the historic town of Melrose, with Melrose Abbey and the Eildon hills as a truly stunning backdrop.

Harmony House in Melrose is perfect for an intimate gathering – don’t be surprised if you want to move in permanently!

Harmony House in Melrose is perfect for an intimate gathering – don’t be surprised if you want to move in permanently!

It has seven bedrooms, sleeping up to 12 guests, as well as two other properties within its grounds: Harmony Cottage (sleeping four) and Pear Cottage (sleeping two). It is perfectly suited to intimate weddings of up to 40 guests, and its walled garden could provide a secluded location for a marquee.  493 2100, www.nts.org.uk

Mar Lodge, Aberdeenshire

Rich wooden panelling and a fine array of stags’ heads all add to the atmosphere at Mar Lodge, a famous former hunting lodge in Royal Deeside

Rich wooden panelling and a fine array of stags’ heads all add to the atmosphere at Mar Lodge, a famous former hunting lodge in Royal Deeside

Set in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Mar Lodge is a Highland retreat that can be hired for your exclusive use. The spectacular scenery of Royal Deeside and the magical location make it a thoroughly special venue for weddings of up to 160 people. Mar Lodge also has lots of room for guests wishing to stay for a weekend of celebrations. The lodge house can accommodate 31 guests, the Bunkhouse can take a further 12, and there are two cottages commanding uninterrupted views across the River Dee and Glen Ey, which can accommodate a total of 18 guests. 493 2100, www.nts.org.uk

Ackergill Tower, CAITHNESS

Ackergill Tower in the far north of Scotland offers drama, romance and a unique Highland setting

Ackergill Tower in the far north of Scotland offers drama, romance and a unique Highland setting

This dramatic, luxurious and inspiring venue on the northernmost tip of Scotland is steeped in 500 years of history. It offers incredible architecture, wonderful photo opportunities and spectacular views across its own private beach – a truly special place for your special day. Up to 72 people can be comfortably accommodated in the Tower and in the other luxurious cottages in the stunning grounds.  603556, www.amazingvenues.co.uk

Kinnettles Castle, Angus

Kinnettles, just to the north of Dundee, has the look of a fairytale castle about its turrets and gardens – ideal for a knight in shining armour and his beloved!

Kinnettles, just to the north of Dundee, has the look of a fairytale castle about its turrets and gardens – ideal for a knight in shining armour and his beloved!

With its fairytale turrets, grand gardens and lush parklands, Kinnettles Castle looks like something from the pages of a classic medieval romance – a spectacular setting for a wedding. Inside is just as good: you’ll find grand fireplaces, ornate fixtures and a sweeping staircase, along with 13 sumptuous bedrooms and a luxurious bridal suite. The castle’s dining room offers a wonderful space for parties of up to 30 guests, while a marquee can accommodate up to 200.  01307 820354, www.kinnettlescastle.com

Argrennan Manor House, Dumfries

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Drive through Argrennan’s wrought-iron gates and you’ll find a secluded Georgian mansion in 50 acres of pristine grounds, walled gardens and woodland. This beautiful house specialises in intimate weddings, providing couples with a bespoke service. It can play host to up to 85 guests, and offers overnight accommodation for 30. The house has recently been refurbished to the highest standards, and now boasts beautiful antiques, four-poster beds and designer fabrics. 01556 680204, www.argrennanmanorhouse.co.uk

Blairquhan, Ayrshire

Blairquhan Castle, at Maybole in Ayrshire, will transport you back to a more elegant era, thanks to its stunning interiors

Blairquhan Castle, at Maybole in Ayrshire, will transport you back to a more elegant era, thanks to its stunning interiors

Set in over 200 acres of private land and gardens, Blairquhan Castle is a fantastic venue for a romantic wedding – in fact, it was number 14 in The Independent newspaper’s list of the 50 best places to get married in the world. The magnificent 19th-century baronial castle has four stunning function rooms, seating up to 90 guests, and 15 individually designed bedrooms. There are also eight holiday cottages on the estate, accommodating a further 46 people. 01655 770239, www.blairquhan.co.uk

Enterkine Country House, Ayrshire

The gardens at Enterkine Country House – complete with a woodland lodge that newlyweds can spend their first night in – are justly famed as a fine setting for a wedding

The gardens at Enterkine Country House – complete with a woodland lodge that newlyweds can spend their first night in – are justly famed as a fine setting for a wedding

Offering easy access to Prestwick Airport and only 40 minutes from Glasgow, Enterkine House is a luxurious, privately owned four-star country-house hotel. Every wedding here is unique – you can take your marriage vows in the Garden Room, in the Library or even outside (weather permitting!) in the beautiful estate gardens. These areas can all accommodate up to 70 guests, while Enterkine’s marquee can cater for larger weddings (a minimum of 80 guests and up to 220 during the day). 01292 520580, www.enterkine.com

Glenfinnan House Hotel, Highlands

Glenfinnan House Hotel, in a historic corner of the Highlands, offers amazing views of Ben Nevis

Glenfinnan House Hotel, in a historic corner of the Highlands, offers amazing views of Ben Nevis

This 18th-century Victorian mansion has a dramatic location on the shores of Loch Shiel, with awe-inspiring views over the Glenfinnan Monument and towards Ben Nevis. The hotel offers individually tailored wedding packages to their happy couples. Hold your reception in the main dining room, which can seat up to 50 guests, with stunning views over the loch – the perfect backdrop for wedding photographs to cherish forever. For larger weddings, of up to 180 guests, Glenfinnan can arrange to have a marquee erected on the beautifully manicured lawns. 01397 722235, www.glenfinnanhouse.com

The Parsonage at Dunmore Park, stirlingshire

The Parsonage is a glamorous private home, a fabulous fusion of Victorian grandeur and contemporary design, and a fairytale location for a magical wedding. It combines the privacy and exclusivity of a stately home with all the services of a five-star hotel. Suitable for smaller gatherings of around 80 guests but just as perfect for a showstopping extravaganza of up to 400, the venue can adapt to weddings of all shapes and sizes. Twelve luxurious bedrooms offer accommodation for up to 24 people, so your guests can stay and enjoy your entire wedding weekend. 01324 831393, www.parsonage-dunmore.com

Ardtornish Estate, Argyll

It’s hard to beat the house at the Ardtornish Estate in Argyll for glamour and old-world charm

It’s hard to beat the house at the Ardtornish Estate in Argyll for glamour and old-world charm

Set in 28 acres of landscaped gardens on the shores of Loch Aline, overlooking the Sound of Mull on Scotland’s west coast, Ardtornish will provide a stunning backdrop to your photographs, whether it’s the splendid grandeur of the main hall or the natural surroundings of the beautiful grounds. Receptions are held in the old billiards room, the dining room or the Great Hall, while a marquee can be erected on the lawn or the drive for larger weddings. The main house can sleep 46 guests, with additional accommodation in the estate cottages for a further 44 people. 01967 421288, www.ardtornish.co.uk

Raemoir House, Aberdeen

Raemoir House in Aberdeenshire is an elegant mansion that offers style, exclusivity and a tranquil setting for your wedding

Raemoir House in Aberdeenshire is an elegant mansion that offers style, exclusivity and a tranquil setting for your wedding

Raemoir House was built in an era when compact and quaint was not in the designer’s remit! Rooms and hallways are spacious, yet the house itself is not sprawling and impersonal. This means that Raemoir retains the feel of a house rather than a hotel and, as such, is very popular for exclusive-use weddings as it allows complete privacy – helped by its secluded position and grounds. The Panelled Lounge, Big Fish Bar and three dining rooms provide variety and space for you and your entourage, and the rural location offers guests the opportunity to swap the hustle and bustle of Aberdeen for the tranquillity of famous Royal Deeside. 01330 824884, www.raemoir.com

Harburn House, w.Lothian

When it comes to taking your vows, Harburn House has an amazing choice of unique locations. Be at one with nature and tie the knot in the house’s extensive grounds – it has a colossal 3000 acres of manicured gardens and parklands – or head inside the beautiful Georgian mansion and get married amid the treasured antiques and beautiful interiors of this very special venue. Join the long list of extra-special Harburn House guests, including King Charles X of France, Mary Queen of Scots and members of the current British and European royal families, and choose a place full of magical charm for your big day. 01506 461818, www.harburnhouse.com

High Wards, Loch Lomond

High Wards makes the most of its location on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond by hosting weddings in its glass-walled Garden Pavilion

High Wards makes the most of its location on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond by hosting weddings in its glass-walled Garden Pavilion

If seclusion and superior accommodation rate highly on your venue wish-list, make tracks to High Wards. It’s set in 98 acres with access to the shores of Loch Lomond and stunning views of the islands and Ben Lomond, yet is just 40 minutes drive from Glasgow city centre. It offers exclusive use of the venue for between 50 and 150 guests and can offer two night’s accommodation for up to 27 guests in the main house and nearby Wards Cottage. Ceremonies may be held on the beautiful Wards Estate grounds in the Grand Gazebo, or within the Garden Pavilion. All mod cons are taken care of, from a heated swimming pool through to an American-style gas barbecue. 07923 462347, www.wardsestate.com