Castles and Historic Sites

Culzean Castle & Country Park

Culzean Castle, AyrshireOne of the most magnificent country parks in Britain. The castle is regarded as Robert Adam’s final masterpiece and has been restored to it’s former glory. The castle is associated with the turbulant history of the Clan Kennedy.

There are guided tours of the castle, guided walks, events , a walled garden, swan pond and deer park.

> Nation Trust for Scotland
> Culzean Castle

Other Castles

  • Blairquhan Castle – Open certain days in the summer
  • Dundonald Castle – First home of the Stewart kings
  • Dunure Castle – ruin on coast near Ayr
  • Castle of St. John (Stranraer) – life of a covenanter
  • Dunskey Castle – ruin on cliff top near Portpatrick
  • Sorn Castle – Covenanters ruins and graves
  • Castle Kennedy – magnificent gardens; see Gardens Page
  • Ardstinchar Castle – now a ruin, visited by Mary Queen of Scots
  • Dumfries House – magnificent Stately Home

Historic Sites

South West Scotland is littered with Historic Sites of Great Battles, Ancient Castles and Scottish heroes such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

Scottish Heroes – William Wallace & Robert the Bruce

Glen Trool & Bruce's StoneOutside Darvel stands the strangely shaped Loudoun Hill, core of an extinct volcano. Here in 1297 William Wallace, the proclaimed ‘Guardian of Scotland’, delivered a seismic shock to a heavy English force. In 1307 the site erupted again, when Robert the Bruce repeated the victory.

In the same year the king vanquished the English at Clatteringshaws Loch in the Galloway Forest Park. The scene is marked by a granite boulder. A stone also commemorates the area in Glen Trool where he won another battle.

If you want to see where Robert the Bruce was born, you have a choice of two spots. Lochmaben Castle and Turnberry have both been claimed as his birthplace and the cave in which he was reputedly inspired by the tenacity of a spider is located either on Arran or at Kirkpatrick Flemming.

There’s no disagreement, though, over where his heart was buried: Melrose Abbey.

Historic Places of Interest

The area is steeped in history from the first Christian missionaries. The local name Kilantringan means Kirk of St. Ninian

  • Castles – See castles above
  • Robert Burns – See Robert Burns page
  • Isle of Whithorn priory – museum is the site of the first Christian church in Scotland
  • St. Ninian’s Cave
  • Standing Stones – Cairnholy, relics from 2000BC
  • Glenluce Abbey
  • Crossraguel Abbey – 1244 Cluniac settlement
  • Sawney Bean – Last known cannibal in Scotland, lived in a cave just north of Ballantrae
  • Kennedy Clan – family seats at Culzean and Bargany