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Rothesay Castle

Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
+44 1700 502691
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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.
  • Excellent43%
  • Very good39%
  • Average15%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
+44 1700 502691
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Reviews (259)
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11 - 20 of 251 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2017

Who would have thought you could find a castle within a few minutes walk of down town city center. Worth the visit to find out about the history of the area. Liked the moat. Castle has been well preserved.

Thank Anne H
Reviewed 18 August 2017

An interesting way to spend an hour or two learning how this part of Scotland was once ruled by the Vikings!

Thank Bryan M
Reviewed 17 August 2017

I found out about the castle from the Tourist Office pavillion on the promenade. It was a surprise to find a castle almost hidden just a short distance from the seafront & ferry terminal. The castle is neither 100% ruin nor on the other hand...More

Thank observer2011
Reviewed 17 August 2017

Lovely old castle, full of history. Mind some f the steps a wee bit tricky. Great fun though. Lovely dungeon

Thank AlysonBradford
Reviewed 13 August 2017 via mobile

Rothesay castle is lovely ruin in the center of town. It is by no means the most spectacular castle in Scotland but picturesque nonetheless. There is a brief film that provides insight to the Viking threat the castle endured through the years. Small shop on...More

Thank HaveCarWillTravel67
Reviewed 10 August 2017 via mobile

We enjoyed this peaceful and interesting site in the center of town. The history of the castle and surrounding area is fascinating, we had no idea of the connection to Norway; the video and other information was really useful. It was lovely to walk around...More

Thank katie s
Reviewed 9 August 2017

We visited in the afternoon. Apart from a moat this ruin has little to offer exceept lots of stairs to the top of piles of stone. There are however very informative historical plaques dotted around the building.

Thank Whisky-Sandy
Reviewed 6 August 2017 via mobile

Took my five year old nephew and 24 year old daughter (who has been numerous times before) my nephew was in awe, a lovely semi ruined castle but still accessible, he loved going on the roof and looking across the town, would really recommend. Prices...More

Thank DMMadden1971
Reviewed 28 July 2017 via mobile

I had been in the castle previously when I was very young and later with my children , this time we took our grandson . The castle is in the middle of the town so access is easy . The entry price was reasonable and...More

Thank Brian K
Reviewed 25 July 2017

Well renovated small castle structurally but limited in what can now be achieved and whilst historically interesting not a fully fledged castle with walk on ramparts as can be seen in other locations. Concessional £4 entry and easy adjacent parking.

Thank regora186336
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Nearby Attractions
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.16 km away
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379 reviews
.22 km away
Bute Brew Co.
105 reviews
.25 km away
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Questions & Answers
23 October 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!
14 February 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.