Dunrobin Castle

Overview

Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland’s Great Houses and is one of the most majestic, looking like a French château with its fantastic gardens. It is the largest house in the Highlands of Scotland with 189 rooms, and one of Britain’s oldest inhabited houses, dating in parts from the early 1300s. It was home to the Dukes of Sutherland, and it is now occupied by the Earls of Sutherland who are their descendants.

The falconry display is excellent and takes place in the gardens at 11.30am and 2pm daily from 1st April to 30th September.

The personal museum of the Dukes is also worth visiting for its unusual collection of hunting trophies and other curious items from around the world.

As you might expect with such a long history, Dunrobin Castle claims to have a few ghosts. One room, the “Seamstress’s Room” , is said to be haunted by the ghost of an imprisoned young maiden who fell from a window whilst trying to escape. Maybe just our imagination, but the room does have a “feeling” about it.

Dunrobin is one of our favourite castles. We love the entrance hall with its grand staircase and portraits which will remind you of a Harry Potter movie. The gardens also deserve a visit and you will get your best photographs of the castle from there.

This booking system and any information appearing on this page relating to the availability of any accommodation is provided by third parties and not by VisitScotland. It is intended to provide real time availability information relating to accommodation which is also provided by third parties. You may use this booking system to place direct bookings with third party accommodation providers. Any booking you make will not be placed with VisitScotland and we will have no liability to you in respect of any booking. If you proceed to make a booking you will leave our Website and visit a website owned and operated by a third party. VisitScotland does not have any control over the content or availability of any external website. This booking system and any information appearing on this page is provided for your information and convenience only and is not intended to be an endorsement by VisitScotland of the content of such linked websites, the quality of any accommodation listed, or of the services of any third party.

Dunrobin Castle, The Mound & Dornoch

Set high on the cliffs just north of the village of Golspie, Dunrobin Castle is a beautiful 189 room historic house inspired by the design of the classic French Chateau. It is one of the oldest constantly inhabited houses in the UK, dating back to the 1300s, and is the seat of the Earls, and latterly the Dukes of Sutherland.

It will take you about an hour to drive north to Dunrobin Castle from Inverglen Guest House, but it really is worth taking the trip if you have time whilst you are staying at our Inverness B&B. The castle is open daily from early April until early autumn, but please check the website at Dunrobin Castle for current opening times and entry prices. The entry cost includes a self-guided tour of the castle, although there are a lot of knowledgeable volunteers available throughout who are happy to answer your questions and point out interesting artefacts. You also have access to the castle gardens and a museum in the grounds, but you should time your visit to be able to attend one of the two daily falconry shows (at 11.30 am and 2 pm) which are included in the ticket price. Allow at least an hour for the tour of the castle itself, and longer to take in the falconry and beautiful gardens.

Just off the A9 north of Dornoch, you can stop and take in the fabulous views across Loch Fleet from The Mound, where you may see anglers in the sluice basin, or during the summer, you may see ospreys fishing in the Loch. On the return journey to Inverness, take the scenic route to Dornoch (signposted via Embo), where you will take a short detour along Loch Fleet past a ruined castle on the hilltop. At low tide you may see a colony of seals basking on the sandbanks, and you can stop in the historic town of Dornoch to visit the cathedral, for a spot of shopping at the Jail, or maybe to pop into Cocoa Mountain for a delicious hot chocolate made with chocolate handmade in the far north of Scotland.

Dunrobin Castle

Worth the Price of Admission – Dunrobin Castle and Gardens

    • Golspie Tourism
    • Golspie Hotels
    • Golspie Bed and Breakfast
    • Golspie Packages
    • Flights to Golspie
    • Golspie Restaurants
    • Golspie Attractions
    • Golspie Travel Forum
    • Golspie Pictures
    • Golspie Map
    • Golspie Guide
    • All Golspie Hotels
    • Golspie Hotel Deals
    • Near Landmarks
        • Hotels near Dunrobin Castle and Gardens
        • Hotels near Big Burn Walk
        • Hotels near Carn Liath Broch
        • Hotels near Golspie Gallery
    • Near Train Stations
        • Hotels near Dunrobin Castle Station
        • Hotels near Kinbrace Station
        • Hotels near Forsinard Station
        • Hotels near Golspie Station
        • Hotels near Rogart Station
        • Hotels near Tain Station
        • Hotels near Kildonan Station
        • Hotels near Brora Station
        • Hotels near Helmsdale Station
    • Near Airports
        • Hotels near (INV) Inverness Airport
        • Hotels near (WIC) Wick Airport
    • All Golspie Restaurants
    • Restaurants near Dunrobin Castle and Gardens
    • Popular Dishes
        • Best Fish & Chips in Golspie
        • Best Cheesecakes in Golspie
        • Best Scallops in Golspie
        • Best Haddock in Golspie
        • Best Carrot Cake in Golspie
        • Best Hummus in Golspie
        • Best Hamburgers in Golspie
        • Best Salad in Golspie
        • Best Sandwiches in Golspie
        • Best Waffles in Golspie
    • All things to do in Golspie
    • Things to do near Dunrobin Castle and Gardens
    • Things to do near Dunrobin Castle and Gardens
        • Carn Liath Broch
        • Big Burn Walk
        • Brora Beach
        • Clynelish Distillery
        • Royal Dornoch Golf Club
        • Dornoch Beach
        • Golspie Gallery
        • Brora Golf Course
        • Brora Heritage Centre
        • Historylinks Museum
        • Dornoch Cathedral
        • Golspie Golf Club
        • The Carnegie Whisky Cellars
        • Jail Dornoch
        • Pandora’s Emporium
    • Sights & Landmarks in Golspie
        • Castles in Golspie
        • Monuments & Statues in Golspie
        • Points of Interest & Landmarks in Golspie
    • Popular Golspie Categories
        • Nature & Parks in Golspie
            • Gardens in Golspie
            • Nature & Wildlife Areas in Golspie
            • Hiking Trails in Golspie
        • Outdoor Activities in Golspie
            • Golf Courses in Golspie
            • Hiking Trails in Golspie
        • Shopping in Golspie
            • Art Galleries in Golspie
            • Gift & Speciality Shops in Golspie
        • Classes & Workshops in Golspie
            • Lessons & Workshops in Golspie
            • Paint & Pottery Studios in Golspie
        • Fun & Games in Golspie
            • Paint & Pottery Studios in Golspie
        • Museums in Golspie
            • Art Galleries in Golspie
    • Commonly Searched For in Golspie
        • Good for Big Groups
        • Honeymoon spot
        • Good for a Rainy Day
        • Hidden Gems
        • Good for Couples
        • Budget-friendly
        • Good for Kids
        • Free Entry
    • Travel Guides
    • Apps
    • GreenLeaders

A fine line of clipped topiary whitebeams and a maturing line of red hawthorns in wooden tubs are recent developments, which echo the garden’s Italianate origins. Nearby a new garden in the style of a 19th century French potager and featuring 20 giant wooden pyramid plant supports is the boldest project to date and frames a new vista across the garden.

Despite its location so far north, the Gulf Stream of warm sea water that flows from the Gulf of Mexico across the Atlantic brings sub-tropical conditions to western gardens from the Isles of Scilly to the North West Highlands goes on to sweep round Cape Wrath and John o ’Groats making its final influence felt at Dunrobin. The sheltered gardens are able to support a surprising range of plants, including at the foot of the steps leading to the garden, a huge clump of giant rhubarb, Gunnera manicata, a native of South America. This plant attracts much attention as its leaves measure eight feet. A native of Brazil and Colombia, it thrives in the mild winters and shelters between the Castle and the sea. Fuchsias too thrive. Previous head gardeners raised their own varieties and Fuchsia ‘Dunrobin Bedder’ may still be seen in the borders as well as bold clumps of Fuchsia magellanica var. miolinae with its flowers of palest shell pink and great banks of Fuchsia magellanica ‘Riccartonii’ with masses of small crimson and purple flowers.

Three box-edged parterres of ascending antiquity carry a succession of colourful floral displays round the garden as the season progresses. April sees early tulips in the lily fountain beds and week by week spring bedding then summer bedding schemes interspersed with displays of perennial geraniums and lilies take the season through to the finish with a blaze of late summer dahlias. Backed by the retaining wall of the Castle terrace the Duchess Border, dating in its present form from the 1920s, is a majestic sight. Long summer days so far north make for exceptionally tall herbaceous plants and between the buttresses of the wall, Californian lilies flower with early 20th century climbing hybrid tea roses, now rarely seen. Also enjoying the warm influence is Choisya ternata the Mexican orange blossom forming clipped evergreen mounds in a sheltered corner, its heavily-scented white flowers attracting butterflies and moths on summer evenings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *