Ayrshire Castles & Abbeys
that can be visited
This page lists the Castles and
Abbeys in Ayrshire that are popular
Click on PostCodes for maps and
Blairquhan Castle /
southeast of Ayr next to
the small scenic village of
The Castle can be visited in summer
months when not booked for weddings,
holidays or film shoots.
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
For information on visiting
Blairquhan, visit the website. The area
around Straiton has some of the
top hill walking in Ayrshire.
The Castle and grounds are open all
year round from 09.00 till sunset with an
entrance fee to the castle and park about
£15 per adult.
James IV awarded Brodick Castle and
the Earldom of Arran to his cousin Lord
Hamilton in 1503. The Hamilton's extended
the Castle over the centuries. The death
of the 12th Duke of Hamilton's daughter
in 1953, led to the Castle being taken
over by the National Trust for
AS Page . Website .
One and a half miles south of
Maybole, 10 miles south of Ayr
next to the A77.
Image from Tower
The Abbey and the adjacent Kennedy
Baltersan Tower have some connections
through history. Duncan the Earl of
Carrick founded Crossraguel around 1244
after he donated money to monks of Paisly
to build the Abbey on this site.
Crossraguel is open to the public from
1st April – 30th September
09.00-18.30 with an entrance fee of about
AS Page .
This was the home of the Earls of
Cassillis (Kennedy's) until they sold
Cassillis House in 2009 to the
Confused.com founder Kate Armstrong. The
Kennedy's were the largest land owners in
the southwest of Scotland since the
1200s, owning other Castles such as
Culzean, Dunure, Baltersan, Greenan,
Kilhenzie, Maybole, Dalquharran and more.
To view Cassillis House, you have to
drive along the B742 road that leads
south of the village of Dalrymple, down
on the right hand side, you can see
Cassillis House, as seen above, although
they have now let the roadside hedge grow
high to prevent viewing.
The park is open all year round with
most of the Castle open to the public
from 1st April - October 31st 10.30 -
17.00. There are also the Eisenhower
apartments in the Castle that are
available for holidays.
Prices for entry to the castle &
park about £18 per adult, park only
£13. This was the main Castle of the
Kennedy Clan for many years, until they
gifted the Castle to the National Trust
for Scotland in 1945, then moved to their
older Castle/House of Cassillis.
AS Page . Website .
Adam was also redesigning Culzean
Castle for David Kennedy at that time.
The completion of Dalquharran Castle
allowed the Kennedy's to move from the
Old Castle that is only 300 yards
southeast, next to the River Girvan,
bottom left of the image here.
Work to convert this Castle ruin to a
Hotel and the Estate into a championship
standard Golf Course was expected to
begin in the early 2000s, this is
unlikely to happen now.
The two Castles at Dalquharran are 16
miles southeast of Ayr next to the small
village of Dailly. You can visit the
Castles by parking in Dailly then walk
through the field in front of the castles
(as seen above) then cross the river by
footbridge. View an image with windows
added in a Photo Editor to show what it
may have looked like with windows.
Image . Website
& Country Park
On the north side of Kilmarnock.
These lands were awarded to the
Boyd's in 1316 by King Robert the
Bruce for their support at the
Battle of Bannockburn. Winter Image
The last owner, Lord Howard de Walden,
gifted the Castle and Estate to the
people of Kilmarnock in 1975.
Entrance to the Park is free including
guided tours of the Castle that are
available every day from 12.15 - 16.15
each hour April - September. The Visitor
Centre & Children's Corner are open
11.00 - 17.00 summer and 11.00 - 16.00
winter. There are a number of events held
in the Park each year such as Classic Car
Photo Page . Website .
Built for Robert II (grandson of
Robert the Bruce) on his
accession to the throne of
Scotland in 1371. Large
of Great Hall
The Castle is on a hilltop in the
centre of the small village of
There is a car park and visitor centre
below the Castle 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. Guided tours of inside the
Castle can be arranged at the visitors
centre for a small fee, or you can take a
tour yourself. KA2
AS Page . Website
Built in the 1300s for the
Kennedy’s (Earls of
Cassillis). Dunure was one of the
first seats of this family that
became the largest landowners in
Large Image from the
Best known as the place the Kennedy's
roasted the Commendator of Crossraguel
Abbey over a fire, in an attempt to have
him sign over Abbey land, setting off a
series of murders.
The Castle is on the outskirts of the
small village of Dunure, 6 miles south of
Ayr on the A719 scenic coastal road.
There is a car park and play area next to
the Castle. There is also a traditional
Scottish pub and cafe at the harbour for
meals or drinks.
AS Page .
Two miles northeast of Irvine
centre. The park is open to the
public free of charge all year
Eglinton estate along with the town of
Ardrossan passed from the
Eglinton’s to the
Montgomery’s though marriage in the
1300s. The Montgomery’s were forced
to abandon Eglinton Castle and estate in
1929 after losing all their money
building Ardrossan Harbour. The Castle
soon fell into disrepair, later used as
target practice for Tanks during World
Page . KA12
A large car park nearby makes this a
popular walk along the beach past the
Castle towards the heads of Ayr Cliffs.
More information and photos for Greenan
can be found at:
AS Page . Walk
Castle & Country
One mile south of Largs with
views over the Firth of Clyde and
Island of Great Cumbrae.Large
The Castle is run separate from the
Country Centre as it is used for holiday
accommodation, banquets, weddings and
conferences, Castle Tours are availble
certain dates through the summer via the
The earliest parts of Kelburn Castle
are from the 1200s, built by the Boyle's.
The Castle has been vastly extended over
the centuries, still owned by
There are good views of the Castle
from the Country Centre. The Centre is
open from Easter to the end of October
with a small parking charge.
Clan Boyle .
The Abbey is often connected to the
Knights Templar and the start of the
The Abbey Tower Heritage Centre is
open Mid May until Mid September,
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm -
3pm. Access for visiting groups outwith
these times may be possible. Phone 01294
551 496 for details.
The Abbey, in Kilwinning town centre,
can be easily found as it rises high
above the surrounding buildings. More
history and photos of the abbey can be
AS Page . Website .
The earliest parts of the Castle were
built in the mid 1200s for the MacSweens.
In 1262, it was granted by Alexander III
to Walter Stewart (Earl of Menteith).
It is believed Robert the Bruce landed
at this spot on his return from Ireland
in 1306, as he began his successful
campaign to become King of Scotland. The
Castle was later owned by his grandson
when he became King Robert II of Scotland
in 1371. The following years saw it used
as a Royal Hunting Lodge.
During the 1490s, Lochranza Castle was
used as a base from where James IV could
attack the MacDonalds (Lords of the
Isles). James VI took control of the
Castle in 1614, and the English
Parliamentarian leader Cromwell took
control in the1650s. The last owners, the
Hamiltons, acquired the Castle in 1705.
Free to visit.
Page . Website
Built in the 1200s for Robert the
Earl of Carrick. Robert Bruce
gained control of Turnberry
Castle in 1271 after marrying the
widow Marjorie (Countess of
He then had this Castle at Loch Doon
built, with his son being Robert the
Bruce that became King of Scotland.
The Castle was originally on a small
Island in the middle of Loch Doon. The
ruins were rebuilt at the side of the
Loch in the 1930s to allow the Loch to be
used as a Water Reservoir. To visit this
scenic area, take the A713 east of
Dalmellington and follow signs for the
hill road leading to Loch Doon.
Loch Doon Castle Page .
Turnberry Castle Page .
Castle & Country
5 miles northeast of Kilmarnock
next to the town of Galston.
An Amusement Park was opened in the
grounds in 1995, becoming one of
Ayrshire's top visitor attractions. The
Park closed in 2010, it is unclear if it
will be used for any other visitor
The earliest parts of Loudoun Castle
were built by the Craufurds in the 1400s.
The Castle was extended by the Campbell's
in the 1600s, and by Flora Mure-Campbell
in the early 1800s.
The Castle was severely damaged by
fire in 1941, with all that remains are
the walls. The walls are in excellent
condition, so the Castle could be
restored some time. See 2 photos, the
first of what the castle is like today,
and the second what it may look like
The Postcode gives reviews and
information about visiting now.
Image 1 .
Page . KA4
Next to Maybole High Street. The
earliest parts of the Castle were
built as a Townhouse for the
Kennedy’s (Earls of
The main Tower is dated to around 1560
and additions that give its present day
look to 1812.
Maybole Castle is now the headquarters
of a Community Council training company.
The Castle can be visited with a local
Heritage Centre in the Castle expected to
open soon. There is a car park behind the
shops opposite the Castle.
. Large Image
Built on lands originally owned
by the Ross Clan. The
Ross’s here seem to have
supported John de Baliol in the
feuds with Robert the Bruce.
After Bruce defeated Baliol, he
awarded these Lands to his loyal
supporters the Boyds of Kilmarnock.
Robert Boyd had this Castle built in
the early 1400s to protect and make use
of the small Harbour here. There is a
scenic seaside car park about one hundred
yards from the Castle to allow visits to
the Castle that has recently been
restored, and the popular walk along the
shore. Signposts on the A78 less than one
mile north of Seamill direct you to the
AS Page . Website .
The earliest parts of this Castle were
built in the early 1400s for the
Although Sorn is a Sporting Estate
most of the year, fishing /shooting, the
Castle is open to the public certain days
for four weeks each year, normally mid
July - mid August 1400 - 1600.
The Castle has recently been made
available for Holidays and Weddings. For
enquiries phone 01290 551 476.