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Rothesay Castle

Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
+44 1700 502691
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Review Highlights
A lovely piece of history!

Enjoyed wandering around the ruins of this castle. Interesting for all age groups. Good rainy day... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Agnes N
,
Blairgowrie, United Kingdom
via mobile
Amongst modernity lies History

A true, original moated Scottish castle,2 mins walk from the ferry port. Entrance is very... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Dennis S
,
Glasgow, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 276 reviews
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Situated on the Isle of Bute, Rothesay Castles dates back to the early 13th century and is remarkably well preserved in spite of its age. Built by the Stewart family to defend against invading Norwegian fleets, Rothesay’s immense circular curtain wall makes it unique in Scotland. In 1230 it survived a three-day siege by King Haakon IV of Norway which precipitated the castle’s fortification with four round towers. It became a royal residence soon after and was later occupied by Robert the Bruce during the Wars of Scottish Independence and served as a base for Cromwell’s troops in the late 17th century. The grandiose great hall in the gatehouse was restored by a Marquess of Bute in 1900 which now contains informative interpretive display which illuminate the history of the castle and its inhabitants. The 15th century St Michael’s Chapel in the courtyard is another of the castle’s impressive surviving features.
  • Excellent44%
  • Very good39%
  • Average14%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“video room” (9 reviews)
“centre of town” (10 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
LOCATION
Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
CONTACT
Website
+44 1700 502691
Write a ReviewReviews (276)
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All reviews
"video room"
in 9 reviews
"video presentation"
in 7 reviews
"centre of town"
in 10 reviews
"climb down"
in 5 reviews
"information boards"
in 8 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 19 reviews
"scottish history"
in 5 reviews
"short video"
in 3 reviews
"run by historic scotland"
in 3 reviews
"ferry terminal"
in 9 reviews
"member of staff"
in 4 reviews
"entry fee"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 4 reviews
"moat"
in 70 reviews
"ruin"
in 28 reviews
"pit"
in 14 reviews
"dungeon"
in 13 reviews
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1 - 10 of 265 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Enjoyed wandering around the ruins of this castle. Interesting for all age groups. Good rainy day activity.

Thank Agnes N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A true, original moated Scottish castle,2 mins walk from the ferry port. Entrance is very reasonable at £4 and £3 for us oldies. A photographer's paradise, the castle boasts 900 years of history. A short 15 min video presentation by Dougie Vipond reveals all. It...More

Thank Dennis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Although the castle appears to be the centre point of the old town of Rothesay, it's condition is still surprising. Restoration undertaken by the instruction of the old Marquess clearly shows a pride for this historical gem. One particular highlight involves descending a ladder into...More

Thank D0n_Guerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The views alone are terrific and the site has good descriptions which helps on self guided tour. I do wish more sites offered downloads for visits, these are pretty standard elsewhere. Also the gulls were nesting on the top parts of the castle, pretty big...More

Thank Marcella B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Growing up in England, I had to rely on the stories by dad and grandads told me of Scottish history. This small ruined castle has made me aware of some of the history of the island and the viking/gaelic invasions of the island.

Thank Baron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

It’s not a big one, and compared to its original state, very little of it remains. It’s only £5 per person and took about half an hour to go through everything. The part I enjoyed the most is the dining hall. Tapestries, information, and models...More

Thank Kim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 15, 2018 via mobile

Didn’t know what to expect but there was quite a bit to see. Watched an audio video telling the history of the castle. It even has a filled moat!

Thank Shirley May S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 26, 2018

Visited today with a friend from Buenos Aires. Well presented grounds and very clean. We were greeted by a fascinating and well-informed steward, who gave us lots of insight into various aspects. Now to the castle, being a very small unique castle and the only...More

Thank Heritageguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 24, 2018

Visited the castle in the morning the steward was busy doing chores so said he would catch us on the way out and apologized for not being at the entrance to greet us. Had a good wander round, be warned steep stairs. Plenty of interesting...More

Thank patronxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2018

There's more history here than you might think. The castle has seen some action and it shows. The modern part houses a selection of local history guides. See the old well and look to your left for the Bloody Stairs by the Chapel. Not much...More

1  Thank WolverhamptonVideo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
diddydavejen
October 23, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Lesley H | Reviewed this property |
Rothesay Castle is a visitor attraction, a ruined castle! So definitely no hairdryers anywhere!
1
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SLM382
February 14, 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from JacqFromDunfie | Reviewed this property |
Hi. I also have interest in McKirdys and their associated spelling variants on Bute. However when I toured Rothesay Castle there was no mention of McKirdys in the displays. Best wishes. Jacqueline Hunter.
1
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