Ayr Castles & Abbeys that
can be visited
The castles and abbeys are
listed by closest to Ayr.
Click on PostCodes for maps
Castle on the south side of Ayr
Greenan Castle was built for John
Kennedy of Baltersan in 1603. There is
large car park by the castle that makes
this a popular walk along the beach
past the castle towards the heads of
Ayr Cliffs. You can also walk out along
the beach from Ayr centre.
www.maybole.org . Wiki
Page . Walking Page . Map.
Castle is situated about 7 miles
south of Ayr
Dunure Castle was built in the 1300s
for the Kennedy’s, one of the
first seats of this family that became
the largest landowners in Ayrshire.
Best Known as the place the Kennedy's
roasted the Commendator of Crossraguel
Abbey over a fire, an attempt to have
him sign over Abbey land.
There is a car park and play area
next to the castle, also a traditional
Scottish pub and cafe at the harbour
for meals or drinks.
www.maybole.org . UDS
Page . Map.
Castle 9 miles southeast of Ayr
in Maybole town. The earliest parts of
the castle were built as a townhouse
for the Kennedy’s. The main tower
is dated to around 1560 and additions
Maybole Castle is now the
headquarters of a Community Council
training company. The castle can be
visited with a car park behind the
shops opposite the castle.
Abbey 10 miles south of Ayr next
to the A77. The abbey and Kennedy
Baltersan Tower close by, have
connections through history. Duncan the
Earl of Carrick founded Crossraguel
around 1244 by donating money to monks
of Paisly to build the abbey.
Crossraguel is open from 1st April
– 30th September 09.00-18.30 with
an entrance fee of about Adult
Page . KA19
Castle is situated 11 miles
north of Ayr
Dundonald Castle was built for Robert
II (grandson of Robert the Bruce) when
he became king in 1371. The castle is
situated on a hill in the centre of the
small village of Dundonald.
There is a car park and visitor
centre 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 can be arranged at the
visitors centre for a small fee, or you
can explore yourself.
Page . Clan Bruce
Page . KA2
& Country Park 13 miles
south of Ayr.
The park is open all year round and the
castle open to the public from 1st
April - October 31st 10.30 - 17.00.
There are also apartments in the castle
available for holidays.
Prices for entry to the castle &
park are about £15 per adult, park
only £10. This was the top castle
of the Kennedy Clan for many years,
until they handed the castle over to
the National Trust for Scotland in
1945, and moved to their original
castle/house of Cassillis.
RS Photo Page . www.nts.org.uk . Postcode:
Castle/Mansion 15 miles
southeast of Ayr
Blairquhan is close to the small scenic
village of Straiton. The castle can be
visited in summer as long as it is not
booked for weddings, holidays or film
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
The area around Straiton has some of the best
hill walking in Ayrshire.
Page . KA19
is situated 15 miles northeast of
Sorn Castle is situated 1 mile west of
the vallage of Sorn with views over the
River Ayr, about 4 miles northeast of
Mauchline. The earliest parts of this
castle were built in the early 1400s
for the Hamilton’s.
Although Sorn is a sporting estate
most of the year with fishing and
shooting, the castle is open to the
public for a few weeks each year,
normally mid July - mid August 1400 -
1600. The castle is also now available
for holidays and weddings. For
enquiries phone 01290 551 476.
Dean Castle &
Country Park 16 miles northeast
Dean Castle is situated to the north
side of Kilmarnock. The lands here were
given to the Boyd's in 1316 by King
Robert the Bruce for their support at
the Battle of Bannockburn. The last
owner, Lord Howard de Walden, gave the
castle and estate to the people of
Kilmarnock in 1975 for a leisure
Entrance to the park is free with
guided tours of the castle available
every day from 12.15 - 16.15 each hour
April - September. The Visitor Centre
& Children's Corner are open from
11.00 - 17.00 in summer and 11.00 -
16.00 in winter. There are many events
held in the park each year such as
Classic Car Rallies.
AS Photo Page
Website . Postcode: KA3
Castle 16 miles southeast of
Dalquharran was built by Robert Adam
for Thomas Kennedy 1785 - 1790. Adam
was also rebuilding Culzean Castle for
David Kennedy at that time. The
completion of Dalquharran Castle
allowed the Kennedy's to move from the
Old Castle situated only 300 yards
southeast, by the River Girvan, bottom
left of the image right.
Work to convert this castle ruin to
a hotel and the estate into a
championship standard golf course is
awaiting funding. The two castles at
Dalquharran are situated 16 miles
southeast of Ayr by the small village
of Dailly. You can visit the castles by
parking in the village, then walk
through the field in front of the
castles, then cross the river by
Park 15 miles north of Ayr
Eglinton is situated about one mile
northeast of Irvine town. The park is
open to the public free all year
Eglinton estate and the town of
Ardrossan passed from the
Eglinton’s to the
Montgomery’s though marriage in
the 1300s. The Montgomery’s had
to abandon Eglinton Castle and estate
in 1929 after hitting financial
difficulties whilst building Ardrossan
Harbour. The castle fell into disrepair
and was used as target practice for
tanks during World War Two.
Page . Website
Abbey situated about 16 miles
north of Ayr
The Abbey was built for Huge de
Morville in the 1100s, and the tower
was added in 1816.
The Abbey is said to have
connections to the Knights Templar and
the beginning of the Masonic Lodge.
The Abbey Tower Heritage Centre is
open Mid May to Mid September, Fridays,
Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm - 3pm..
Access for visiting groups at other
times may be possible. Phone 01294 551
496 for details.
The abbey is situated in Kilwinning
town centre, easily found as it rises
high above the surrounding
Page . Map .
Castle is situated 21 miles east
Loch Doon Castle was constructed in the
1200s for Robert the Earl of Carrick.
Robert the Bruce’s father gained
control of this castle and Turnberry
Castle in 1271 through marriage to the
widow Marjorie (Countess of
The castle was originally on a small
island in Loch Doon. The ruins were
rebuilt by the loch in the 1930s to
allow the loch to be used as a water
reservoir. To visit this Castle, take
the A713 east of Dalmellington and
follow signs for the hill road leading
to Loch Doon.
Loch Doon Page . History
Page . Turnberry
(Tower) 23 miles north of
Portencross Castle is built on lands
originally of the Ross Clan. The
Ross’s supported John de Baliol
in the disputes with Robert the Bruce.
After Bruce defeated Baliol, he awarded
the lands of Portencross to his
supporters the Boyds of Kilmarnock.
Robert Boyd built the castle here in
the early 1400s to protect and make use
of the small harbour. There is a car
park about one hundred yards from the
castle that allows visits to the
recently restored castle, and the
popular walk along the shore. Signposts
on the A78 less than one mile north of
Seamill direct you to the castle.
Page . Map.
& Country Park 30 miles
north of Ayr
Kelburn is situated one mile south of
Largs with sea views to the island of
Great Cumbrae. The castle is used for
holiday accommodation, banquets,
weddings and conferences.
The earliest parts of Kelburn Castle
date from the 1200s, built for the
Boyle's. The castle has been extended
over the centuries, and is still owned
There are good views around the
castle from the country centre. The
centre is open Easter to the end of
October with a charge of about £7
for adults and £6 for children. A
family ticket is about £25.
Page . Map.