Ayrshire Castles & Abbeys
that can be visited
This page lists the Castles and
Abbeys in Ayrshire that are popular
Click on PostCodes for maps and
Blairquhan Castle /
Mansion is situated
about 16 miles southeast of
Ayr next to the small
scenic village of Straiton.
Large Image .
The castle can be visited in summer
months when not booked for weddings,
holidays or film shoots.
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 Ganten
For information on visiting
Blairquhan, visit the website. The area
around Straiton has some of the
top hill walking in Ayrshire.
The castle and grounds are open all
year round from 09.00 till sunset with an
entrance fee to the castle and park about
£12 per adult.
James IV awarded Brodick Castle and
the Earldom of Arran to his cousin Lord
Hamilton in 1503. The Hamilton's extended
the castle over the centuries. The death
of the 12th Duke of Hamilton's daughter
in 1953, led to the castle being taken
over by the National Trust for
AS Page . Clan Hamilton Page
Abbey situated about one
and a half miles south of
Maybole, 10 miles south of Ayr
next to the A77.
Image from the Tower
The abbey and the adjacent Kennedy
Baltersan Tower have some connections
through history. Duncan the Earl of
Carrick founded Crossraguel around 1244
after he donated money to monks of Paisly
to build the abbey on this site.
Crossraguel is open to the public from
1st April – 30th September
09.00-18.30 with an entrance fee of about
AS Page .
House / Castle about 8
miles southeast of Ayr. Cassillis
House is a private home that can
only be viewed from the roadside.
Close Up View
This was the home of the Earls of
Cassillis (Kennedy's) until they sold
Cassillis House in 2009 to the
Confused.com founder Kate Armstrong. The
Kennedy's were the largest land owners in
the southwest of scotland since the
1200s, owning other castles such as
Culzean, Dunure, Baltersan, Greenan,
Kilhenzie, Maybole, Dalquharran and more.
To view Cassillis House, you have to
drive along the B742 road that leads
south of the village of Dalrymple, down
on the right hand side, you can see
Cassillis House, as seen above, although
they have now let the roadside hedge grow
high to prevent viewing.
The park is open all year round with
most of the castle open to the public
from 1st April - October 31st 10.30 -
17.00. There are also the Eisenhower
apartments in the castle that are
available for holidays.
Prices for entry to the castle &
park about £15 per adult, park only
£10. This was the main castle of the
Kennedy Clan for many years, until they
gifted the castle to the National Trust
for Scotland in 1945, and moved to their
older castle/house of Cassillis.
AS Page . Website .
Adam was also redesigning Culzean
Castle for David Kennedy at that time.
The completion of Dalquharran Castle
allowed the Kennedy's to move from the
Old Castle that is situated only 300
yards southeast, next to the River
Girvan, bottom left of the image
Work to convert this castle ruin to a
hotel and the estate into a championship
standard golf course is expected to begin
soon. The two castles at Dalquharran are
situated 16 miles southeast of Ayr next
to the small village of Dailly. You can
visit the castles by parking in Dailly
then walk through the field in front of
the castles (as seen above) then cross
the river by footbridge. View an image
with windows added in Photoshop to show
what it may have looked like with
Image . Website
& Country Park is
situated to the north side of
Kilmarnock. These lands were
awarded to the Boyd's in 1316 by
King Robert the Bruce for their
support at the Battle of
Bannockburn. Winter Image
The last owner, Lord Howard de Walden,
gifted the castle and estate to the
people of Kilmarnock in 1975.
Entrance to the park is free including
guided tours of the castle that are
available every day from 12.15 - 16.15
each hour April - September. The Visitor
Centre & Children's Corner are open
11.00 - 17.00 summer and 11.00 - 16.00
winter. There are a number of events held
in the park each year such as Classic Car
Photo Page . KA3
Castle was built for
Robert II (grandson of Robert the
Bruce) on his accession to the
throne of Scotland in 1371.
of Great Hall
The castle is situated on a hilltop in
the centre of the small village
There is a car park and visitor centre
below the castle 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 of inside the
castle can be arranged at the visitors
centre for a small fee, or you can take a
tour yourself. KA2
. Clan Bruce
Castle was built in the
1300s for the Kennedy’s
(Earls of Cassillis). Dunure was
one of the first seats of this
family that became the largest
landowners in South Ayrshire.
Large Image from the
Best Known as the place the Kennedy's
roasted the Commendator of Crossraguel
Abbey over a fire, in an attempt to have
him sign over Abbey land, setting off a
series of murders.
The castle is situated on the
outskirts of the small village of Dunure
about 6 miles south of Ayr on the A719
scenic coastal road. There is a car park
and play area next to the castle. There
is also a traditional Scottish pub and
cafe at the harbour for meals or
AS Page .
Country Park is situated
about one mile northeast of
Irvine. The park is open to the
public free of charge all year
Eglinton estate along with the town of
Ardrossan passed from the
Eglinton’s to the
Montgomery’s though marriage in the
1300s. The Montgomery’s were forced
to abandon Eglinton Castle and estate in
1929 after loosing all their money
building Ardrossan Harbour. The castle
soon fell into disrepair and was later
used as target practice for tanks during
World War Two.
Page . KA12
Castle was built for John
Kennedy of Baltersan in 1603. The
castle is situated on the south
side of Ayr Beach. Large
A large car park nearby makes this a
popular walk along the beach past the
castle towards the heads of Ayr Cliffs.
More information and photos for Greenan
can be found at: KA7
. Walk Page
Castle & Country Park
is situated about one mile south
of Largs with views over the
Firth of Clyde and island of
The castle is run separate from the
country centre as it is used for holiday
accommodation, banquets, weddings and
The earliest parts of Kelburn Castle
are from the 1200s, built by the Boyle's.
The castle has been vastly extended over
the centuries, and is still owned by
There are good views of the castle
from the country centre. The centre is
open from Easter to the end of October
with a charge of about £7 for adults
and £6 for children. A family ticket
is about £30.
Clan Boyle .
The Abbey is often connected to the
Knights Templar and the start of the
The Abbey Tower Heritage Centre is
open Mid May until Mid September,
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm -
3pm.. Access for visiting groups outwith
these times may be possible. Phone 01294
551 496 for details.
The abbey, situated in Kilwinning town
centre, can be easily found as it rises
high above the surrounding buildings.
More history and photos of the abbey can
be found at:
AS Page . Website .
Castle is situated in the
centre of Lochranza village, on
the north coast of the Island of
The earliest parts of the castle were
built in the mid 1200s for the MacSweens.
In 1262, it was granted by Alexander III
to Walter Stewart (Earl of Menteith).
It is believed Robert the Bruce landed
at this spot on his return from Ireland
in 1306, as he began his successful
campaign to become king of Scotland. The
castle was later owned by his grandson
when he became King Robert II of Scotland
in 1371. The following years saw it used
as a royal hunting lodge.
During the 1490s, Lochranza Castle was
used as a base from where James IV could
attack the MacDonalds (Lords of the
Isles). James VI took control of the
castle in 1614, and the English
Parliamentarian leader Cromwell took
control in the1650s. The last owners, the
Hamiltons, acquired the castle in
Page . KA27
Castle was built in the
1200s for Robert the Earl of
Carrick. Robert Bruce gained
control of Turnberry Castle in
1271 after marrying the widow
Marjorie (Countess of Carrick).
He then had this castle at Loch Doon
The castle was originally situated on
a small island in the middle of Loch
Doon. The ruins were rebuilt at the side
of the loch in the 1930s to allow the
loch to be used as a water reservoir. To
visit this scenic area, take the A713
east of Dalmellington and follow signs
for the hill road leading to Loch
Loch Doon Castle Page .
Turnberry Castle Page .
Castle & Country Park
is situated 5 miles northeast of
Kilmarnock next to the town of
An amusement park was opened in the
grounds in 1995 becoming one of
Ayrshire's top visitor attractions. The
park closed in 2010, it is unclear if it
will be used for any other visitor
The earliest parts of Loudoun Castle
were built by the Craufurds in the 1400s.
The castle was extended by the Campbell's
in the 1600s, and by Flora Mure-Campbell
in the early 1800s..
The Castle was severely damaged by
fire in 1941 with all that remains are
the walls. The walls are in excellent
condition so the castle could be restored
someday. See 2 photos, the first of what
the castle is like today, and the second
what it may look like restored.
Image 1 .
Page . KA4
Castle is situated next to
Maybole High Street. The earliest
parts of the castle were built as
a townhouse for the
Kennedy’s (Earls of
The main tower is dated to around 1560
and additions that give its present day
look to 1812.
Maybole Castle is now the headquarters
of a Community Council training company.
The castle can be visited with a tea room
and local heritage centre in the castle
expected to open soon. There is a car
park behind the shops opposite the
Castle (Tower) is built on
lands originally owned by the
Ross Clan. The Ross’s
supported John de Baliol in the
feuds with Robert the Bruce.
After Bruce defeated Baliol, he
awarded these lands to his loyal
supporters the Boyds of Kilmarnock.
Robert Boyd had this castle built in
the early 1400s to protect and make use
of the small harbour here. There is a
scenic seaside car park about one hundred
yards from the castle to allow visits to
the castle that has recently been
restored, and the popular walk along the
shore. Signposts on the A78 less than one
mile north of Seamill direct you to the
The earliest parts of this castle were
built in the early 1400s for the
Although Sorn is a sporting estate
most of the year, fishing /shooting, the
castle is open to the public for four
weeks each year, normally mid July - mid
August 1400 - 1600. The castle has
recently been made available for holidays
and weddings. For enquiries phone 01290