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Cardoness Castle

Overview

Cardoness Castle has a commanding elevated position overlooking the countryside near Gatehouse of Fleet. You cannot fail to see the castle when driving on the A75 between Dumfries and Stranraer.

Originally Cardoness Castle had a position by the sea, but land reclamation has now changed this.

The castle is linked with McCulloch Clan who were not a very lucky family. In the late 17th century, financial mismanagement led to their loss of the castle  to a family enemy. The McCulloch family were reluctant to leave their ancestral home and a dispute with the new legal owner resulted in one of the McCullochs being executed for murder.

Local legend also tells the story of the McCullochs being almost all wiped out in a freak accident. The McCullochs decided to celebrate the arrival of a long-awaited male heir by holding a party on a frozen pond. The ice broke and all the McCulloch family perished except for one daughter who was ill in bed.

The castle has a "basement" of vaulted chambers and there are several "floors" connected by a spiral staircase. The floors have all gone now, but you can still see the grand fireplaces where the rooms would have been.

The best feature of Cardoness Castle is the view from the rooftop platform. You need to climb up 80 steps (we maybe lost count of a few) and the staircase is not good for small children or those with mobility problems.

Cardoness Castle is an attraction that we would suggest visiting if you have an Explorer Pass. There are some information boards in the visitor centre explaining the history, but the views from the roof top are the main reason for stopping here.

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass

Address:

near Gatehouse of Fleet, DG7 2EH Tel: 01557 814427

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April - 30 September: Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm Last entry 30 mins before closing

Admission:

Adult £ 6.00, Child £3.60, Senior £ 4.80

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

English guidebooks and information boards

Accessibility:

No, a path and steps lead up to the castle and there is a steep spiral staircase inside the castle

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

No, but there are picnic tables behind the visitor centre. There is a cafe beside the main car park in nearby Gatehouse of Fleet.

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