Lucky James carves out a castle stay

Competition winner James Hibbert arrives outside Barcaldine Castle to enjoy a night away fit for a king.

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Barcaldine Primary School pupil James Hibbert, 8, won a night’s stay in a castle after carving out a winning pumpkin.

The youngster’s pumpkin was voted the best by visitors to luxury B&B Barcaldine Castle.

The competition was organised by the castle’s owners for pupils at James’ school nearby.

As part of his prize, lucky James got to stay in the room of his choice – he went for the Airds Suite in the turret – and took his dad Iain along for company.

Iain said: ‘Wow! What an experience, following all covid recommendations we checked into the castle and our fantastic room. It was huge with a small office area off to the side in a turret.’

The pair had time to go exploring down to the dungeon and found one of the secret staircases up into the Great Hall.

‘The atmosphere was brilliant. Real fires, fantastic artwork and lovely and quiet apart from the creaky doors!’

James and his dad tucked in to a tasty breakfast of porridge and berries, smoked haddock and poached eggs the next morning.

‘Abbie and Daniel at the castle have been fantastic supporting our wee school. Last year they allowed the school to hold the nativity play there. The pupils had also been learning scottish dancing and we had a wee ceilidh with the children leading the dances in the Great Hall. It was a very memorable evening,’ added Iain.