The Castle of Mey is located on the northern coast of Scotland between Thurso and John O'Groats. It looks out to sea across the Pentland Firth.
Built as a Z-plan castle between 1566 and 1572 by the fourth Earl of Caithness, it was bought from Captain Imbert-Terry by the Queen Mother in 1952 (after her husband died). The castle was then in a state of disrepair and renovation work was required.
In September 1996 she handed the castle, its 2000 acre estate and her prize-winning herd of
Aberdeen Angus over to a charitable trust to make their future secure.
The gardens were one of her favourite places and it is said that she often used to head straight to them on arrival during her annual August and October visits.
For 2020, due to Covid restrictions, the Gardens are open from 13 August 2020 to 30 September, but tickets must be pre-booked tickets online.
The Castle, Visitor Centre and Animal Centre remain closed for the foreseeable future.
To book your garden tickets, visit the official web site.
Pre-Covid, the Castle and Gardens were usually open to visitors daily from 1 May to 30 September with a summer closure when HRH the Prince of Wales would visit.
Several of the guides in the castle can tell you personal stories of their time with the Queen Mother.
Visitor centre with tearoom, toilets and gift shop.
Links to additional info: