Alicja McCarthy

Balfour Castle

with Alicja McCarthy
  • Where:Orkney Islands

  • Why:A visit to the Highland Park distillery.

  • When:July 2014

  • Who:Whiskey lovers unite.

Highs & Lows

  • Balfour Castle can be described as a museum of curiosities steeped in history thanks to a collection of meticulously restored paintings, furniture, taxidermy and tapestries.

  • The castle is managed by chef Jean-Baptise and his wife Elodie Bady, their level of service and attention to detail is unrivaled.

  • The scenery that surrounds the castle is gorgeous. Glorious skies, the ocean and happy cows all paint a beautiful picture.

  • The food served here is fantastic and locally sourced. Traditional yet inventive…you really won’t want to leave.

    The Barometer

    • Design

    • Website

    • Life Changing

    • Environmental Consciousness

    • Overall Value

    • Night's Sleep

    • Service

    • Amenities

    • Stealable Stuff

    • Refer a Friend

    Total: 48/50

    Important Bits

    • Type

      Luxury (exclusive stay) castle and dining retreat.

    • Vibe

      Elegant and regal with magical grandeur.

    • Location

      On the small Scottish island of Shapinsay, which is wonderfully remote.

    • Rooms


    • Music

      You’d expect a bit of Grieg or Elgar but actually, silence is golden here.

    • Year Opened

      Re-opened in 2010 for exclusive use.

    • Designed By

      Originally designed by David Bryce in 1845 it is now a family owned castle with a collection of antiques accumulated over years.

    • Pool/Gym

      A restored Bothy houses a pool with sauna & hot-tub.

    • Restaurant

      Award winning chef Jean-Baptiste Bady looks after the seasonal and local kitchen.

    • Bar

      Each of the many sitting rooms has a table full of local whisky and other spirits. The wine cellar can be explored on request.

    • Minibar

      Help yourself to a wee dram from one of the many corner tables full of booze and take it to your room.

    • Wifi

      Included in the exclusive stay.

    • Children

      Perfect for small parties of friends or family.

    • Price

      Very reasonable for the brand of unique luxury.

    Just on the mainland...a mere boat ride away.

    Highland Park Distillery

    Highland Park Distillery, Holm Road, Kirkwall KW15 1SU, United Kingdom

    Just on the mainland...a mere boat ride away.

    Discover one of the many unspoilt beaches.



    Discover one of the many unspoilt beaches.

    Get your hands on hand-made artisan wares and accessories from pottery to knitwear.

    Go on the Orkney Craft Trail


    Get your hands on hand-made artisan wares and accessories from pottery to knitwear.

    Balfour Castle

    Unnamed Road, Orkney KW17 2DX, UK

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