Ayrshire's Top Castles
Think craggy coastlines, windswept hills and majestic parkland. These are just some of the spectacularly scenic locations where you’ll find Ayrshire’s historic castles! When you visit Ayrshire, history enthusiasts will love discovering the stories behind these ancient strongholds. While some castles are little more than ruined relics of ancient times, many have now been restored to their former glory!
Hidden 3 miles outside Kilmarnock in the countryside is Rowallan Castle. This Ayrshire castle which dates back to the 16th Century, was originally owned by the Muirs family who were known composers, historians and writers. Today the castle has been transformed into a golf course and country club. If you’d like to discover more about the history of Rowallan Castle, why not take a tour of the castle before unwinding in the Glasshouse restaurant.
A trip to Kelburn Castle is a fantastic day out for families. This 13th century castle has recently been transformed into colourful work of art that kids will love. During the summer, the home of the Earl of Glasgow is open to the public for castle tours but, even when the castle is closed there are still plenty of fun activities for families to do! On the grounds surrounding the castle you’ll find a secret forest for children to explore and plenty of scenic nature walks for adults. There are also guided tours of the grounds for nature lovers and horse riding for children of all ages and abilities.
No tour of Ayrshire’s castles would be complete without seeing the majestic Culzean Castle! From its cliff top location, Culzean Castle is a striking vision of elegant turrets, lush gardens and windswept battlements. This ancient 18th century castle has been restored to its former glory so you can relive history on a castle tour. In this historic castle, you can also discover the links between the castle and the former American presidents, Kennedy and Eisenhower. After exploring the castle, take some time to venture onto the sandy beach or take a walk around the 600 acres of stunning Ayrshire countryside that surround the castle.
For a fantastic free day out, head to Dean Castle! Children and adults alike will love discovering more about what life was like for the castle’s former residents at one of the castle’s many exhibits. Inside the castle, you can discover what it was like to wear real armour or have a shot at playing a replica traditional instrument. After learning about the castle’s fascinating past, treat children to a relaxed afternoon at the Pets Corner or let them unleash their energy on the adventure playground. There’s even a tearoom if you need to recharge before exploring one of the castle’s tranquil woodland walks. If you’d like to discover more about Dean Castle’s abundance of wildlife, take a trip to the Discovery Room in the Visitor Centre to find out more about the Ayrshire countryside.
If you’re planning to take a tour around Ayrshire’s castles, visit LHH Scotland’s fantastic selection of holiday cottages and houses in Ayrshire.