For our 2016/2017 Caribbean Princess group shore excursions from Invergordon we have decided to omit Cawdor Castle from our itinerary, and visit Brodie Castle instead. As we have included Cawdor for the last four years, we know that some of you are wondering why we have decided to switch…so we have written a blog to explain!
What our customers say: “I’ve never heard of Brodie Castle”
What we say: There are over 2000 castles in Scotland so, unfortunately, not all of them can be world-famous! Cawdor Castle is situated close to Inverness, so is very popular for visitors to the city, and also for those docking at the port of Invergordon, hence why you may have heard of it.
Brodie Castle is slightly further away, between the historic Moray towns of Nairn and Forres, so is perhaps not first on the castle list for the majority of visitors to the Highlands. That is a real shame (for them, not us!) as this sensitively restored 16th century castle is an absolute gem, where generations of the Brodie Clan have lived. The clan’s legacy is a fascinating history, a building which features a variety of impressive architectural and decorative styles, and “enough art and antiques to keep connoisseurs happy all day”.
What our customers say: “What’s special about Brodie Castle?”
What we say: Here at WOW Scotland we pride ourselves in offering fun, interactive and interesting tours which don’t just follow the well-trodden coach tour path. Brodie Castle is a perfect fit for us, as its annual visitor figures are considerably less than Cawdor’s (and a fraction of Urquhart Castle’s). In summary, we pretty much have the place to ourselves! And, if that’s not reason enough to visit;
- None of the ship’s own tours go there, and there are very seldomly any other visitors from the cruise ships there, so this makes for a much better overall experience.
- We will have two tour guides just for our group, and these guides are Brodie Castle experts (in contrast, Cawdor Castle is self-guided, so requires a bit more thought and attention!)
- For those with mobility problems, access to the castle is much easier, as the coach can collect us directly outside the castle doors
- For those who are fairly mobile but cannot walk long distances, there is also much less walking at this castle
In conclusion: Less people and a much more personalised experience (now who can argue with that?!)
What our customers say: “None of the ship’s tours go to Brodie Castle, so why do you?”
What we say: For us, the fact that no other coach tours frequent this castle is one of the best reasons for us to visit! On busy cruise ship days (e.g. Caribbean Princess) there are huge numbers of coaches visiting Cawdor Castle. Consequently, despite our best efforts to schedule our visit at the quietest possible time, this is simply not possible on every visit so, if we arrive at the same time as another large party, we do have to wait in line, and it can be very busy inside.
Our focus is on providing a world class tour experience – you only have one day in the Highlands, so we want to make absolutely sure that you make the most out of that time!
What our customers say; “Why don’t you go to Urquhart Castle?”
What we say: It’s undeniable that Urquhart Castle is one of the most popular and heavily-promoted tourist attractions in the area. However, as a consequence of this it attracts a LOT of visitors – sometimes they have 10 coaches scheduled to arrive at one time! In our opinion, this leads to a less than satisfactory visit with lines to get in and lots of people inside all trying to see and do the same thing at once. As there are no coach parties, and no queues/lines at Brodie, this ensures that we can spend as much time as possible enjoying the castle, and the fantastic guided tour.
Additionally, one of the main reasons that Urquhart Castle is popular is because it overlooks Loch Ness. We have that covered though; to ensure that you can see Loch Ness we will be driving to the village of Dores; a dramatically picturesque gateway to one of the most famous views of the loch, which can be admired from an uncrowded, windswept beach.
We hope that you will join us on a shore tour from Invergordon! For tour itineraries and pricing please click here.