Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Dumfries and Galloway  /  Dumfries  /  Sightseeing  /  Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

4.6
#1 of 38 in Sightseeing in Dumfries and Galloway
Architectural Building Historic Site
Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle first built in the 13th century. It is located on the southern coast of Scotland, south of Dumfries, on the edge of the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve. Caerlaverock was a stronghold of the Maxwell family from the 13th century until the 17th century when the castle was abandoned. It was besieged by the English during the Wars of Scottish Independence, and underwent several partial demolitions and reconstructions over the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th century, the Maxwells were created Earls of Nithsdale, and built a new lodging within the walls, described as among "the most ambitious early classical domestic architecture in Scotland". In 1640 the castle was besieged for the last time and was subsequently abandoned. Although demolished and rebuilt several times, the castle retains the distinctive triangular plan first laid out in the 13th century. Caerlaverock Castle was built to control trade in early times.Today, the castle is in the care of Historic Scotland and is a popular tourist attraction. It is protected as a scheduled monument, and as a category A listed building.OwnershipThe history of its builders can be traced to Undwin and his son Maccus in the 11th century; Maccus gave his name to the barony of Maccuswell, or Maxwell. His grandson, John de Maccuswell (d. 1241), was first Lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock. The Baronies of Maxwell and Caerlaverock then passed down through the male line, sometimes collaterally. Robert de Maxwell of Maxwell, Caerlaverock and Mearns (d. 1409) rebuilt Caerlaverock castle and was succeeded by Herbert Maxwell of Caerlaverock (d. 1420)
Plan your visit to Caerlaverock Castle and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Dumfries trip itinerary planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including Caerlaverock Castle
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
633 reviews
Google
4.7
  • Great little castle, with a moat! Beautiful views of the countryside and the wooded area from the towers. Lovely tea shop and historic Scotland shop onsite.  more »
  • This castle is well-worth the drive. It is situated in a swampy moat and the surroundings are beautiful. You can go in the castle and go up a few stories. There is als a small interpretive display com...  more »
  • An excellent little castle, which is unusually triangular and made of a local red stone with a moat. Great little wander around. Don't forget the old for just up the hill a bit. Good tearooms and faci...  more »
Google
  • Fantastic campsite. One off the best . Can't recommend it enough. Quiet, peaceful, great toilet 'shed' and not a neighbour in sight. Thank you so much, we will be back. PS your car is no distance away by the way. Never heard such moaning!
  • Enjoyed touring the grounds of the ruins of this old castle. Enough is preserved to experience a sense of how it must have been. The exhibition center had a few activities for children and an interesting video with some of the castle's history.
  • What a lovely visit. We visited the castle as we had driven to Dumfries to get a few things and were not disappointed. It's a lovely castle with great parking and very friendly staff. The story of the castle is fascinating and offers a lot of options for both old and young. There is a lovely video that explains how 60 people defended the castle against the army of the English king Edward. The castle grounds are great and the castle is spectacular. There are loads of different rooms to explore and try to get a feeling for the lifestyle of that time. You have to be a bit careful with the stairs depending on where you are going up. If you follow the path to the left of the castle you can visit the site of the first castle grounds. All in all it was a very enjoyable visit.
  • Absolutely Gorgeous. The castle itself is very nice, wonderful to walk around, and if you get good light then it is incredible. I recommend the tea room as well, the cakes are great, and the scones highly recommended.
  • Unlike a lot of 'ruined' castles, this still has the majority of the original outline/walls etc so you get a good chance to wander through it

Plan your trip to Dumfries

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Dumfries

As Dumfries is just a small city within the Dumfries and Galloway region, the city itself is somewhat limited on places to stay. You'll find a handful of mid-range to high-end hotels in the city--if you're intent on being based in Dumfries, it's best to book early to avoid disappointment. Otherwise, there are plenty of options in nearby cities and towns such as Sanquhar, Lockerbie, Auchencairn, and Thornhill.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Dumfries by other users

6 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, teens, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 20 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dumfries BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans