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Caerlaverock Castle


2023 Update - The castle is temporarily closed to permit masonry repairs (last updated on 19 July 2023)

The grounds are still open and access to these areas is free.

Caerlaverock Castle is an impressive and unusual triangular-shaped castle a few miles South of Dumfries on the Solway coast. With its moat, two-towered gatehouse, and imposing battlements, it is a fine example of a medieval stronghold. The castle's turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England which made it a strategic objective in Border conflicts.

After a history of frequently changing hands between English and Scottish forces, the castle's last battle was during 1640 when it came under siege from a force of Covenanters. The Covenanters were a Scottish movement that rebelled against the interference of King Charles I in the Scottish church. After holding out for 13 weeks, the garrison inside the castle surrendered to the Covenanters. 

After 1640, one of the castle's towers and a section of the outer wall were deliberately dismantled to prevent its further use as a fortress. The ruins are still very impressive and the castle has a surprisingly refined 17th century Renaissance house, called the "Nithsdale Apartments",  within its walls.

This is an attraction that is worth a detour from Dumfries as it ticks all the classic images of what a castle should be with its moat, drawbridge, and gun loops. There is also a replica catapult in the grounds for attacking the castle's inhabitants.

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass


Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 4RU

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April to 30 September, Daily 9.30am to 5.30pm
1 October to 31 March, Daily 10am to 4pm
Last tickets sold 30 mins before closing time
Closed 25th, 26th December and 1st, 2nd January


£ 6.00 adult, £ 3.60 child, £ 4.80 senior






There is a compacted gravel path leading up to the castle and a wide wooden bridge to cross to get into the castle, but surfaces are suitable for a wheelchair. Some steps within castle.







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