Scottish Castles: Recession Proof?
Almost all sectors of the luxury market have been adversely affected by the global financial crisis, but castle rentals in Scotland seem to be immune. Harriet Filewood, managing partner of Scotts Castle Holidays, which represents more than 100 castles and country houses across Scotland, tells the London Guardian that business has never been better. "We thought all the talk about a recession would impact on demand for luxury properties this year," Filewood says, "but so far we have seen a 36% increase in sales. All our castles are fully booked for this New Year's Eve and we are even taking bookings for December 2009. Our average spend for a castle that sleeps around 10 people is £2,500 [about $3,600] a week and as far as we can see the demand for those is increasing."
Sue Bourne, manager of CKD Galbraith's Cottages and Castles rental agency, which has more than 500 Scottish properties on its books, concurs. "This year is just as strong, if not stronger, than any other year," she tells the paper. "We have not seen any decrease in demand and we have not had to discount any properties. This New Year's Eve, out of 50 castles, we only have one at the standard £3,000 to £4,000 a week [about $4,400 - $5,800] left, but we're still getting inquiries and may still let it. Compared with last year we are renting more properties. Some people are even booking now for 2010." Perhaps its simply a matter of solidity; what could be more comforting than a castle in these troubled times?