It only seems like yesterday that we were waving a fond farewell to our last visitors as we closed for the winter in October last year. Now, here we are about to fling open our ancient doors again, let the spring air work its magic as it breathes new life into every corner of every room (maybe not the dungeon!), and Duart Castle is filled once more with visitors chatting and marvelling at the history within its thick walls.
Spring is a magical time of year to visit the Isle of Mull, crofts are busy with the arrival of calves and lambs and the hedgerows are alive with blossom on the trees and the newly emerging spring flowers. Here at Duart, we are putting together our new menus for the tearoom (which are guaranteed to contain more delicious dishes showcasing local produce and fantastic home-baked treats) and making sure everything is in place to welcome our first visitors on the 1st April.
Surely that’s ‘April Fools’ Day’ or sometimes ‘Huntigowk Day’ in Scotland. A time of playing practical jokes and creating hoaxes…
The origin of the widely practised custom is still unclear – it may have been the traditional celebrations held during the changing of the seasons (winter to spring) with their merrymaking and tomfoolery that eventually became what we recognise today as a day of harmless pranks. But whatever the reasons for April Fools’ Day, the custom of setting aside a day for the playing of jokes upon one’s neighbour has historically been relatively common throughout the world. But don’t worry you can visit us without the fear of any practical jokes…
If you have visited Duart Castle before or plan to make your first trip to see us this year, we look forward to welcoming you all – there’s always something new to discover or maybe something you didn’t have time for last time.
For over 700 years, Duart Castle, the seat of Clan Maclean, has dominated the view to the Sound of Mull and Loch Linnhe with its huge curtain walls and solid keep. Tour the Castle, explore the grounds and learn more about the Clan. Why not take a look around our Gift Shop where each item has been chosen by Sir Lachlan Maclean and his team – placing special emphasis on Clan Maclean.
During your day, pop into our Tearoom or if it’s sunny sit outside and take in the view. We pride ourselves on serving Isle of Mull produce – locally sourced or grown in our walled garden and polytunnel. We offer a lunch menu, our delicious home baking and Luxury Afternoon Teas.
But there’s so much more to see – perhaps the eerie site of the Cromwellian Shipwreck, the ‘not so’ secret beach or the Millenium Wood to name but a few…
Our event calendar is starting to fill up, so why not check if there is anything happening here during or around your visit to Duart Castle. Perhaps you’d like to join the expert staff from the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust on a guided walk around Duart Point and the Castle Grounds to explore the amazing natural history around Duart Castle and find out more about the local wildlife and maritime heritage of the area, or hear Scottish Highland tales and tales of the Clan Maclean regaled by Scot AnSgeulaiche who is a Seanachaidh– a tradition keeper and oral historian.
Duart Castle is also preparing for a number of exclusive weddings this year. We can’t wait to welcome the betrothed and their family and guests – a special day made even more memorable as they’ll Say “I Do” in a unique Scottish Castle steeped in history, with stunning grounds and spectacular sea views.