Ayr Castles & Abbeys that can be visited

Ayr Home

The Castles and Abbeys are listed by closest to Ayr.

Click on PostCodes for maps and reviews.

Greenan Castle on the south side of Ayr Beach
Greenan Castle was built for John Kennedy of Baltersan in 1603.

Greenan Castle image

There is large Car Park by the Castle that makes this a popular walk along the beach past the Castle towards the heads of Ayr Cliffs. You can also walk out along the beach from Ayr centre.
AS Page . Walk . KA7 4HX

Dunure Castle is situated about 7 miles south of Ayr. Dunure Castle was built in the 1300s for the Kennedy’s, one of the first seats of this family that became the largest landowners in Ayrshire.

Dunure Castle image

Best known as the place the Kennedy's roasted the Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey over a fire, an attempt to have him sign over Abbey land.

There is a Car Park and play area next to the Castle, also a traditional Scottish Pub and Cafe at the Harbour for meals or drinks.
AS Page . Website . KA7 4LW

Maybole Castle 9 miles southeast of Ayr in Maybole Town. The earliest parts of the Castle were built as a Townhouse for the Kennedy’s.

Maybole Castle image

The main Tower is dated to around 1560 and additions to 1812.

Maybole Castle is now the Headquarters of a Community Council training company. The Castle can be visited at times with a car park behind the shops opposite the Castle.
Website . KA19 8YG

Crossraguel Abbey 10 miles south of Ayr next to the A77. The Abbey and Kennedy Baltersan Tower close by, have connections through history.

Crossraguel Abbey image

Duncan the Earl of Carrick founded Crossraguel around 1244 by donating money to Monks of Paisly to build the Abbey.

Crossraguel is open from 1st April – 30th September 09.00-18.30 with an entrance fee of about Adult £6.
AS Page . Website . KA19 5HQ

Dundonald Castle is situated 11 miles north of Ayr. Dundonald Castle was built for Robert II (grandson of Robert the Bruce) when he became king in 1371.

Dundonald Castle image

The Castle is situated on a hill in the centre of the small Village of Dundonald.

There is a Car Park and Visitor Centre that provides information and snacks. The Centre and grounds around the Castle are open free of charge 10.00-17.00 1st April-31st October. Entry about £9 per adult. Clan Bruce Page

AS Page . Website . KA2 9HD

Culzean Castle & Country Park 13 miles south of Ayr. The Park is open all year round and the Castle open to the public from 1st April - October 31st 10.30 - 17.00.

Culzean Castle

There are also Apartments in the Castle available for holidays.

Prices for entry to the castle & park are about £20 per adult. This was the top Castle of the Kennedy Clan for many years, until they handed the Castle over to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945, and moved to their original Castle/House of Cassillis.
AS Page . Website . KA19 8LE

Blairquhan Castle / Mansion 15 miles southeast of Ayr. Blairquhan is close to the small scenic village of Straiton.

Blairquhan Castle/Mansion image

The Castle can be visited in summer at times when it is not booked for weddings, holidays or film shoots, check the website for visits.

The original Tower House/Castle was built for the McWhirter's, passed to the Kennedy's through marriage, was acquired by the Whiteford's, then sold to Sir David Hunter Blair in 1798. The Hunter Blair's had the new Castellated Mansion built in the 1820s. The Hunter Blair's sold Blairquhan in 2012 to Ganten Scotland.

The area around Straiton has some of the best hill walking in Ayrshire.
Website . Clan Hunter Page . KA19 7LY

Sorn Castle is situated 15 miles northeast of Ayr. Sorn Castle is situated 1 mile west of the Village of Sorn with views over the River Ayr, about 4 miles northeast of Mauchline.

Sorn Castle image

The earliest parts of this Castle were built in the early 1400s for the Hamilton’s.

Although Sorn is a Sporting Estate most of the year with fishing and shooting, the Castle is open to the public for a few weeks each year, normally mid July - mid August 1400 - 1600. The Castle is also now available for Holidays and Weddings. For enquiries phone 01290 551 476.
sorncastle.com . KA5 6HR

Dean Castle & Country Park 16 miles northeast of Ayr. Dean Castle is situated to the north side of Kilmarnock.

Dean Castle

The lands here were given to the Boyd's in 1316 by King Robert the Bruce for their support at the Battle of Bannockburn. The last owner, Lord Howard de Walden, gifted the Castle and Estate to the people of Kilmarnock in 1975 for a leisure area.

Entrance to the park is free with guided tours of the Castle available every day from 12.15 - 16.15 each hour April - September. The Visitor Centre & Children's Corner are open from 11.00 - 17.00 in summer and 11.00 - 16.00 in winter. There are many events held in the Park each year such as Classic Car Rallies.
AS Page . Website . KA3 1XB

Dalquharran Castle 16 miles southeast of Ayr.
Dalquharran was built by Robert Adam for Thomas Kennedy 1785 - 1790.

Dalquharran Castle image

Adam was also rebuilding Culzean Castle for David Kennedy at that time. The completion of Dalquharran Castle allowed the Kennedy's to move from the Old Castle situated only 300 yards southeast, by the River Girvan, bottom left of this image.

Work to convert this Castle ruin to a Hotel and the Estate into a championship standard Golf Course is awaiting funding. The two Castles at Dalquharran are situated 16 miles southeast of Ayr by the small village of Dailly. You can visit the castles by parking in the village, then walk through the field in front of the Castles, then cross the River by footbridge.
Website . KA26 9SW

Eglinton Country Park 15 miles north of Ayr.
Eglinton is situated about one mile northeast of Irvine town.

Eglinton Castle

The Park is open to the public free all year round.

Eglinton Estate and the town of Ardrossan passed from the Eglinton’s to the Montgomery’s though marriage in the 1300s. The Montgomery’s had to abandon Eglinton Castle and Estate in 1929 after hitting financial difficulties whilst building Ardrossan Harbour. The Castle fell into disrepair from that time, with the ruin being partially demolished when used as target practice for Tanks during World War Two.
AS Page . KA12 8TA

Kilwinning Abbey situated about 16 miles north of Ayr. The Abbey was built for Huge de Morville in the 1100s, with the Tower added in 1816.

Kilwinning Abbey image

The Abbey is said to have connections to the Knights Templar, and the beginning of the Masonic Lodge, people from around the world visit looking for the Holy Grail.

The Abbey Tower Heritage Centre is open Mid May to Mid September, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm - 3pm. Access for visiting groups at other times may be possible. Phone 01294 551 496 for details.

The Abbey is situated in Kilwinning town centre, easily found as it rises high above the surrounding buildings.
AS Page . Website . KA13 6AN

Loch Doon Castle is situated 21 miles east of Ayr. Loch Doon Castle was constructed in the 1200s for Robert the Earl of Carrick.

Loch Doon Castle image

Robert the Bruce’s father gained control of this Castle and Turnberry Castle in 1271 through marriage to the widow Marjorie (Countess of Carrick).

The Castle was originally on a small island in Loch Doon. The ruins were rebuilt by the Loch in the 1930s to allow the Loch to be used as a Water Reservoir. To visit this Castle, take the A713 east of Dalmellington and follow signs for the hill road leading to Loch Doon.
AS Page . Loch Doon Page . Map.

Turnberry Castle Page . Website

Portencross Castle (Tower) 23 miles north of Ayr. Portencross Castle is built on lands originally of the Ross Clan.

Portencross Castle image

The Ross’s supported John de Baliol in the disputes with Robert the Bruce. After Bruce defeated Baliol, he awarded the lands of Portencross to his supporters the Boyd's of Kilmarnock.

Robert Boyd built the Castle here in the early 1400s to protect and make use of the small Harbour. There is a Car Park about one hundred yards from the Castle that allows visits to the recently restored Castle, and the popular walk along the shore. Signposts on the A78 less than one mile north of Seamill direct you to the Castle.
AS Page . Website . KA23 9QA

Kelburn Castle & Country Park 30 miles north of Ayr. Kelburn is situated one mile south of Largs with sea views to the Island of Cumbrae.

Kelburn Castle

The Castle is used for holiday accommodation, banquets, weddings and conferences.

The earliest parts of Kelburn Castle date from the 1200s, built for the Boyle's. The Castle has been extended over the centuries, still owned by Boyle's.

There are good views around the Castle from the Country Centre. The Centre is open Easter to the end of October with a charge of about £10 for adults and £7 for children.
Website . Clan Boyle Page . KA29 0BE

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