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Rothesay Castle

Castlehill Street, Rothesay PA20 0DA, Scotland
+44 1700 502691
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US$ 40.64*
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 (247)
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11 - 20 of 240 reviews

Reviewed 4 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
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Set in the town centre opposite the harbour. £5 entrance fee and you can get a guide book if you wish or just walk round and read the boards. There is a great hall where you can see models of how the castle used to...More

Thank GlasgowWinenut
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Not a huge amount to see but interesting with good information plaques and the grounds, most and remaining structure have been well maintained. Interesting local history and staff were knowledgeable about the castle and lila history.

Thank Sarah D
Reviewed 1 July 2017

The castle ruins are located right inside of the town. It is touted as one of the only round castles in Scotland. We did not have time to go inside, but you can circumnavigate the entire castle as you walk along the sidewalk. Some construction...More

Thank jer b
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Plaques are situated around the castle explaining the layout, and while I was there a video presentation was being installed in the great hall. Sadly I wasn't there when it was finished,

Thank eveeanne2017
Reviewed 19 June 2017

Visited while on a day trip to the island, really good view from the top, the video played in was a nice touch, very well kept moat, the surroundings and the wee souvenir shop

Thank Yoliana2013
Reviewed 16 June 2017

A beautiful ,well preserved and maintained castle with a history of both Scottish and Norwegian Kings

Thank Sandra W
Reviewed 12 June 2017

Worth the visit for the historical background about the Scots vs the Vikings. Just a pity that the custodian didn't seem to like visitors from south of the border...More

Thank BigAnnII
ByHistoricScotland, Marketing Executive at Rothesay Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2017

Thank you for getting in touch and we are sorry you felt unwelcome at Rothesay Castle. However, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed learning about the history of our fantastic castle. Thank you once again for your feedback and we will look into...More

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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