Located near the border with England, the Caerlaverock Castle Scotland is quite a unique place to visit and one of my favorites. Its particularity is to be triangular which makes it visually appealing from every angle. Let me show you its beauty in photos and guide you to plan your visit...
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About the Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock is one of the most unique castles in Scotland, and one of my favorite (see my list).
Just have a look... it has so much character!
It is away from many of the major Scottish Attractions, but I think it is worth the detour.
Caerlaverock Castle Facts
- Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle
- Built in the 13th Century to control trade, but it was preceded by several fortifications
- Abandoned in the 17th Century after yet another time it was besieged
- It was the stronghold of the Maxwell family who built a new housing was built inside with a Renaissance facade (ambitious for the era) just before it was abandond
- Rare animals and plants live in the castle ground and in the Caerlaverock Nature Reserve
More photos after the the information to plan your visit to the Caerlaverock Castle.
PLANNING TIPS - Visit the Caerlaverock Castle Scotland
How to get to Caerlaverock Castle Scotland
- South West of Scotland - Just 20 min drive south of Dumfries via B725
- Dumfries to Caerlaverock - 11km drive
- Beware, if coming from the east you first see a road to the Caerlaverock Nature reserve. This is not the road to the castle.
- You can combine with a visit to the Sweetheart Abbey which is not far
The GPS coordinates and location on a practical map are available on the Travel Guide eBook: The Road Trip Guide Scotland
This location, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Scotland.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with practical maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Visiting the Caerlaverock castle
- Opening hours - April to Sep 9:30am to 5:30pm, Oct to March 10am to 4pm - last ticket sold 30 min before closure.
- Adult entry price - £6 - check here for latest info
- The castle closes at 5:30 but not the park so you can still walk around and enjoy the forest and views of the castle
- Toilets and picnic tables onsite
- Plan 30min to 1hour for the inside and 30min to 1hour for the outside.
- Walking around can get muddy after the rain
- To explore inside there are some steps, one staircase of 20 steps is narrow
- Plan an extra hour to explore the woodland walks and the ruins of the old castle
Where to stay near Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Park Set up
When you arrive on the ground, you first have to drive under an arch, believed to have been built in the 1500s.
The parking is located near the small house with ticket booth and toilets. The castle is located in a well maintained park. Picnic tables are available near the parking. There is also a children playground.
Touring the outside of the Caerlaverock Castle
I enjoyed the inside of the castle but let me start with the exteriors. With the water the green and the surrounding forest, the place is really scenic. And it is so rare to see a triangular castle!
Here is a complete tour of the castle from the surrounding grounds.
Caerlaverock Map - A triangular castle...
Sadly there is no place to see from above to complete the tour... I wish they would built a tower to admire the shape. On one of their displays, there is this visual to give you an idea:
As you can see in number 4 of this map, there are also some woodland walks. They lead the the ruins of an earlier fort. Not much is left. I have no picture because we were tired from the long road we had that day and decided not to explore.
Explore the ruins of the Caerlaverock Castle Interior
The front of the castle with the Gate is what remains in the best condition. It is a massive wall due to the triangular shape where two towers flank the gatehouse. As it was the weakest part of the castle, it had elaborate defense features with places to drop things on assaillants.
Once inside you can explore many rooms with good information displays. Some stairs are easy but one is very narrow (20 steps to reach the top for a good view of inside the castle).
The Mansion of Caerlaverock
Once inside you will discover 2 distinctive style of decor. The plain and strong wall from 1295 and the renaissance facade for the mansion built in 1634 to show off the family's power.
Castle of Caerlaverock in video
Here is a short video of my tour of the Caerlaverock Castle Scotland.
Want to see more of SCOTLAND?
Discover more things to do & places to see in my Travel Scotland Destination Guide.
Have you ever visited a triangular castle?
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