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Caerlaverock Castle


2024 Update - The castle is partially reopened, but some sections are cordoned off to permit masonry repairs (last updated on 29 January 2024)

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


£ 7.50 adult, £ 4.50 child, £ 6 senior (These are the full rates, but admission prices are lower than this whilst some areas of the castle are out of bounds)






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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