Duke reveals impressive Inveraray Castle footfall

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Colin Cameron

Coming up fast on last week’s announcement of a new classic vehicle festival next June at Inveraray Castle, yet more positive news has been revealed for the ancestral home of the Dukes of Argyll.

At the traditional soiree in the castle marking the end of another tourist season, His Grace the Duke of Argyll thanked staff for their hard work – and revealed some impressive attendance figures.

The October 27 gathering, which also marked the retirement of long-serving Argyll estates secretary Margaret Mather – covered in the November 3 edition of the Advertiser – saw castle and estate staff join the duke and his family for drinks and nibbles in the castle gun room.

Inveraray Castle first opened to the public in 1953, the duke explained, and many people had since passed through its doors.

He added: ‘If we look back to 1974, three special paddle steamers ran up loch Fyne for the summer season, and in that year the castle saw 120,000 visitors.

‘During 2017, however, without the benefit of steamers and in what has been a very testing year of weather, the castle has had 117,000 visitors, which is excellent.

‘I want to thank and congratulate everyone, whether in the kiosk, the castle guides, the tearoom, estate staff and everyone else who contributed.’

The new Argyll Festival of Performance will run over two days from June 2 next year at Inveraray Castle, with big names set to attend, including Sir Chris Hoy, Ewan McGregor, Amy Macdonald and Sir Billy Connolly.

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His Grace addresses the end-of-season reception – and reveals some impressive visitor numbers. 06_a44Margaretbe