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Glasgow’s rich history is packed with grand castles. While some of them may have seen better days or perhaps aren’t the typical picture of a fairy tale castle, they still offer a chance to soak up the storied past of some noble families.
So, we’ve rounded up the top castles in Glasgow just for you! From the Bothwell Castle to the enchanting grounds of Finlaystone Estate, each spot on our list has a tale to tell.
Address: 170 Brockburn Rd, Glasgow G53 5RY, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 141 883 9606
- Monday to Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM
Crookston Castle, perched atop a hill in the southwest of Glasgow, is the only of its kind in Scotland to be surrounded by a moat. Yep, you heard that right—a bona fide moat!
This castle oozes history from every one of its ancient stones and offers brilliant views over the city and the surrounding countryside. Inside, you can soak in a unique piece of Scotland’s past as you explore its various floors and up to the parapets.
The castle is managed by Historic Scotland and is free to visit, but check the opening times before you head out. After your castle adventure, treat yourself to some tasty food at The James Watt—we promise their fish and chips are a winner!
Address: Milngavie, Mugdock, Glasgow G62 8EL, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 141 956 6100
- Open 24 hours
Located within Mugdock Country Park, this 14th-century castle is surrounded by gorgeous woodland trails, so weave in a hike if you fancy.
Despite the castle now in ruins, you can’t help but be swept up in the tales of the past. And if you’re up for a wee bit of a scare, the castle’s eerie dungeons are not to be missed!
Mugdock Country Park is open all year round; keep in mind, though, that public transport options are limited, so driving there is your best bet.
Address: Lennoxtown, Glasgow G66 7LP, United Kingdom
- Open 24 hours
Here’s a real hidden gem for you: a fairytale-esque backdrop and a chilling backstory—Lennox Castle has it all. Built in the 1830s, it was later turned into a psychiatric hospital before being abandoned and falling into ruin.
The castle may seem a little sad, but it still exudes character and a unique, eerie beauty that’s worth a quick venture. Its eerie and hauntingly beautiful ruins are often dusted with snow in the winter, creating a mesmerising sight.
Pro tip: The castle is about a 30-minute drive from Glasgow city centre. Unfortunately, the castle is situated on private land, so public access isn't permitted, but you can catch glimpses of it from the nearby Campsie Fells.
Sherbrooke Castle Hotel
Address: 11 Sherbrooke Ave, Pollokshields, Glasgow G41 4PG, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 141 427 4227
- Open 24 hours
The Sherbrooke Castle Hotel is the perfect mix of elegance and history. A stone’s throw from the city centre, this baronial-style hotel from the late 19th century will make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into a period drama!
The hotel exudes old-world luxury, from the ornate woodwork to the plush furnishings, making your castle stay a truly immersive experience. And let’s not forget to mention the delightful on-site restaurant that serves up a mean Scottish breakfast.
The hotel is located in Pollokshaw’s residential area, with plenty of free parking. Then, you can wrap up your fairytale stay with a drink at the Waverley Tea Room, just a short walk away!
Address: Glasgow G63 0HX, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1355 243437
It’s time to head to Buchanan Castle. Originally built in the early 19th century and later converted into a hospital during World War II, the castle now lies in ruin, reclaimed by nature but still worthy of visiting.
Now, the castle may be off the beaten path, but the journey is well worth it. As you explore the crumbling walls and overgrown greenery, you’ll find yourself stepping back in time, piecing together the castle’s storied past.
Don’t forget to check out the nearby village of Drymen. You’ll find a few pubs that serve an excellent selection of local whiskies—because nothing wraps up a castle tour like a dram of Scotland’s finest, eh?
Address: Castle Rd, Dumbarton G82 1JJ, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1389 732167
- Monday to Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM
Dumbarton Castle is a cracker of a spot that’s steeped in over 2000 years of history. This castle witnessed some serious action back in the day, from Viking raids to sieges.
The castle walls are also literally echoing with tales from Scotland’s past. As you climb up the White Tower Crag, brace yourself for a panoramic vista over the Clyde estuary and, on a clear day, even the mountains of Loch Lomond.
Make sure you have a wee bit of energy saved for the 557-step climb to the top—it’s a bit of a workout, but the breathtaking views are well worth it.
Finlaystone Country Park (Finlaystone House)
Address: Langbank, Port Glasgow PA14 6TJ, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1475 540505
- Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM
Now let’s stop by Finlaystone Country Park, home to Finlaystone House. This 18th-century manor might not be a castle in the classic sense, but the grandeur and elegance of the estate are sure to transport you back in time.
It’s got acres of gardens, woodlands, and even a couple of playgrounds for the little ones. The main house isn’t usually open to the public, but there are special events and heritage tours throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those.
The parking is free, and the park is open every day; plus, the Wee Cafe nearby offers a selection of freshly ground coffee, sandwiches, and cakes, so don’t miss out!
Address: Castle Ave, Uddingston, Bothwell, Glasgow G71 8BL, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1698 816894
- Temporarily closed due to safety issues
Time for a wee detour to Bothwell Castle. An impressive 13th-century fortress, this red sandstone behemoth was a hot commodity during the Wars of Scottish Independence.
Now it stands regally on a steep bank above the River Clyde, offering a glimpse into Scotland’s turbulent past. Also, the surrounding woodland adds an extra layer of charm to a visit.
Remember to take a leisurely stroll to the Castle Quay footbridge for spectacular views of the castle from across the Clyde.
- Temporarily closed due to conservation being done
Next up, we’ve got Pollok House—a beautiful Georgian mansion nestled within Pollok Country Park. Home to an impressive collection of Spanish art and period furniture, it offers a fascinating glimpse into upstairs and downstairs life in the 1930s.
Whether you’re keen on exploring the elegant rooms filled with priceless artefacts, or simply fancy a stroll through the lush estate, Pollok House offers a time capsule to an age of elegance.
Parking is free, and also, make sure you don’t miss out on the Highland cattle roaming the park—they’re a unique sight!
Address: Castle Rd, Port Glasgow PA14 5NH, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1475 741858
Overlooking the Clyde estuary, Newark Castle is a well-preserved castle that was built in the 15th century and is one of the finest examples of a fully accessible Scottish tower house. With its riverside location and stunning architecture, it’s a definite must-see.
On a guided tour, you have the chance to delve into the castle’s rich heritage, from its noble beginnings to its use as a shipyard in the late 19th century.
Be sure to check the opening hours before heading out, as the castle operates on seasonal hours. If you get hungry after exploring, you can head into nearby Port Glasgow for a selection of pubs and eateries.
Craigend Castle has seen better days, but let me tell you, its crumbling facade and moss-covered stones just add to its unique charm! Once a grand country house built in the early 19th century, it’s now a gorgeous ruin nestled in Mugdock Country Park.
I tell you, Craigend Castle might be a ruin, but it’s worth a wee visit. Its historical significance and picturesque surroundings create an atmosphere that’s both peaceful and slightly eerie—a compelling combination if you ask me.
Even though the castle itself is closed to visitors for safety reasons, it’s well worth a look from the outside. Plus, Mugdock Country Park has plenty of walking trails around.
Next up, we’re heading slightly off the beaten track to visit Gilbertfield Castle. This hidden gem, nestled within the city limits of Glasgow, has stood tall since the 16th century, albeit now as a shell of its former glory.
While it’s not the typical castle grandeur you’d expect, there’s still a certain appeal to its eerie aura. The beautiful walk up to the site and the views across Glasgow from Gilbertfield Woods make it a worthy stop.
There aren’t many amenities nearby, so grab a cuppa and a scone from the nearby Morrisons before heading up the hill. Take note, though, that public transportation options are limited, so a car is your best bet!
Address: Blackness, Linlithgow EH49 7NH, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1506 834807
- Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM
Standing on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, Blackness Castle, a 15th-century castle, has been coined ‘the ship that never sailed’ because of its ship-like shape. Now, that’s a castle with a twist, huh?
From a garrison fortress to a prison to a film set, this castle has a whole list of former lives. So, if you fancy a stroll through Scotland’s history—with a side of stunning ocean views—Blackness Castle should be on your list!
Make sure to keep an eye on the closing times—this castle plays by its own rules! After your visit, pop into the Bo’ness Motor Museum—it’s a short drive away and a cracking stop for motor enthusiasts.
Address: Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1786 450000
- Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 5 PM
Now, there’s no visiting Scotland without a stop at Stirling Castle. Sitting atop a craggy hill, this castle offers a royal feast of history. From its stunning Great Hall to the opulent Royal Palace, every corner of this castle oozes historical charm that’s hard to resist!
With roots dating back to the 12th century, Stirling Castle was a key strategic site during Scotland’s Wars of Independence and became a favourite royal residence. So, if you’re up for a historical deep dive along with breathtaking highland views, this is the spot.
The castle is pretty popular, so buy tickets online to avoid lines. After your visit, hit up The Portcullis for some tasty traditional pub grub—you won’t regret it!
Address: Blackwood, Lesmahagow, Lanark ML11 9PL, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1555 860364
We’re wrapping up our castle tour with the beautiful Craignethan Castle. Nestled in the peaceful countryside of South Lanarkshire, this fortress from the 16th century might be a bit of a drive from Glasgow, but it’s worth every mile!
Once forecast as too strong to take, it now lies in romantic ruins. Its most intriguing feature is its unique caponier—a stone-vaulted artillery chamber, one of the first in Britain.
Don’t forget to check the seasonal opening hours before you set off. After a day of exploring, you can drop by The Tillietudlem Inn for a hearty meal and a wee drink—you’ve earned it!