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Skibo Castle: Andrew Carnegie’s Scottish Retreat
by Doug White

Skibo Castle takes its guests back in time in a way few places can. In the late 19th century Andrew Carnegie saved the the 800-year-old estate from almost certain ruin. Today, the nearly thousand year old estate is home to the Carnegie Club, one of the most exclusive of its kind in the world. Basking in its unique old-world charm, guests are treated to a lifestyle that even today’s wealthiest wish to duplicate. Skibo’s magic isn’t derived simply from its huge but cozy digs or its elite golf course and horseback riding opportunities; the site’s essence is a combination of all those things along with a special sense of place that exists beyond its geography, far from the madding crowd of Scottish Highlands.

The club’s founder, Peter de Savary, who bought the castle in 1982 directly from the Carnegie family, has said that coming “upon [it], with all its majesty, gives a glimpse of what it was like to live and be a house guest a hundred years ago. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have in this world, it’s pretty hard to repeat what you find at Skibo Castle.”

The experience comes as close as anything could—even in the most pleasant of imaginations—to the response Carnegie once provided when he was asked if he feared death: “Why should I fear death, for I here at Skibo have a foretaste of the heaven to come.”

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