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Rothesay Castle

Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
+44 1700 502691
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US$ 40.60*
and up
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
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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 (244)
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1 - 10 of 237 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago 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 1 week ago 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 1 week ago

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 1 week ago 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 2 weeks ago 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 3 weeks ago

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
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

An interesting place. Mostly a ruin but a lot of restoration is being done. Good views if you climb to the top of the main part. The moat is attractive and the castle is very close to the centre of Rothesay

Thank Dorothy M
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

There is a good video explaining the significance of the castle. They did charge a bit too much but since we were there, we decided to see it.

Thank Janet K
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Visited in July at around 14:00 hours - brilliant sunshine and brilliant photos of the castle and landscape - Work is in progress to re-structure its stability - We found our visit worthwhile and value for money at only £5 pp

Thank Graham D
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Rothesay Castle is right in the centre of town, so it's very accessible. It's a small castle with a moat. The grounds are well maintained and scenic. It's run by Historic Scotland so there is a charge for entry. We didn't go in, but we...More

Thank SuzieS57
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Nearby Attractions
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.21 km away
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.15 km away
Bute Brew Co.
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.25 km away
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Questions & Answers
24 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!
15 February 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from MMTWillowBeach_ON | Reviewed this property |
I did visit the castle last June but I cannot answer your question. Maybe you could ask at the museum. You might try sending an e-mail to the librarian at the Bute Museum. Good luck! Mary Margaret