We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rothesay Castle

Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
+44 1700 502691
Website
Share
Save
Review Highlights
Worth a visit

Didn’t know what to expect but there was quite a bit to see. Watched an audio video telling the... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Shirley May S
,
Lancaster, United Kingdom
via mobile
Fascinating but intriguing small gem.

Visited today with a friend from Buenos Aires. Well presented grounds and very clean. We were... read more

Reviewed 27 February 2018
Heritageguy
,
Thornton Cleveleys, United Kingdom
Read all 269 reviews
Get 10% off your next tour or activity booking.Valid for new TripAdvisor sign-ups only.
Join TripAdvisor
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Overview
More
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%
Travellers talk about
“video room” (9 reviews)
“centre of town” (10 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
LOCATION
Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
CONTACT
Website
+44 1700 502691
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
50
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (269)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages
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 18 reviews
"short video"
in 3 reviews
"scottish history"
in 4 reviews
"quiz sheet"
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 69 reviews
"ruin"
in 28 reviews
"pit"
in 14 reviews
Filter

1 - 10 of 259 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago 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 27 February 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 24 February 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
See more reviews
Reviewed 22 February 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
Reviewed 20 February 2018

This castle is a spectacular site in the middle of the town - well worth a visit ...the surroundings grounds and moat are fabulous so well kept ......

1  Thank Susan Ann N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2018

Turn the corner on the High Street and there it is Rothesay Castle. Yes it has seen better days but oozes history from every brick. Climb up onto the battlements where you can have a great view of Rothesay. The huge fire Place in the...More

Thank zumpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2017 via mobile

Visited around 2pm and paid a fiver for entry. The man working at reception was very friendly and informative. The castle itself is mostly a ruin with construction work being done to restore parts of it, however I'd recommend traversing down the ladders inside and...More

Thank traveller201777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2017 via mobile

Really enjoyed our visit to the castle.Five pounds entry fee and we'll worth it.You can spend as long as you like looking round very well kept and a real moat around it.The castle also has a dungeon you can climb down and visit.Would recommend the...More

Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2017

Having free entry due to being English Heritage members, we visited Rothesay Castle on a quiet, showery day whilst on holiday on the Isle of Bute. So very glad we did, as although the castle can't claim to be as impressive as other historical attractions...More

2  Thank 77,18,532
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2017

Viewed the castle recently and found it very small on the inside. There is steps leading up to the first floor with one large room and a smaller room which has the history of the castle playing on screen. There is more to see outside...More

Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all 5 hotels in Isle of Bute
The Victoria Hotel
267 reviews
.33 km away
Cannon House Hotel
114 reviews
.39 km away
The Glenburn Hotel Ltd
1,045 reviews
.87 km away
Chandlers Hotel
315 reviews
1.85 km away
Nearby Restaurants
Musicker Cafe
145 reviews
.17 km away
Harry Haw's
569 reviews
.12 km away
Victoria's Restaurant
146 reviews
.30 km away
Brechin's on Bridgend Street
113 reviews
.35 km away
Nearby Attractions
Rothesay VisitScotland iCentre
198 reviews
.29 km away
Rothesay's Victorian Toilets
392 reviews
1.45 km away
Bute Brew Co.
109 reviews
.38 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
diddydavejen
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!
1
Vote
SLM382
15 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.
1
Vote
;