Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

Must see · Castle · Architectural Building
Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle first built in the 13th century. It is located on the southern coast of Scotland, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) 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 Environment Scotland and is a popular tourist attraction. It is protected as a scheduled monument.
To visit Caerlaverock Castle on your holiday in Dumfries, and find out what else Dumfries has to offer, use our Dumfries.
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Caerlaverock Castle reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
998 reviews
  • We are historic Scotland members but don’t live in the area. Out of all the castles we have visited this has been the best for our 3 year old. Very friendly staff. Fairly safe compared to some other.....  more »
  • Had a lovely rainy visit to Caerlaverock Castle. Really enjoyed the AR app which added a bit of fun and we learnt a bit more about the castle. The staff were incredibly friendly and we had a really...  more »
  • All ways wanted to visit here and not disappointed the kids loved it and lovely walks. Loads of information and history  more »
  • Absolutely a unique castle ! The front area is amazing for a photograph. I actually loved this castle. They have a museum in the back for children. Very well kept and really first class. It kept my attention ! There is a quick walk to the rear of the castle. It is really a nice area for a walk. They have a gift shop and small cafe. We stayed longer than what we planned on but it was well worth the stay, cost.
  • Outstanding. The castle and its history are fascinating but it is the efforts taken to ensure that Caerlaverock appeals to both young and old that really sets it apart from the rest. Upon arrival we were advised to download an Augmented Reality App (using the free WiFi) and it was a revelation. Our children were kept fully engaged in every moment of our visit where usually their interest would wane before the adults had had their fill.
  • Home Sweet Home to Clan Maxwell! My all time favorite castle! All kinds of history pours from this property, we spent hours here at the castle & in the woods. Take your time climbing in the castle, there is a lovely tea room on site to rest. Absolutely precious architecture. #myfamilytree
  • Lovely well kept grounds, friendly staff helping parking fast efficient service at the reception. Lovely cafe with a good menu and reasonable prices. Great video explaining event's past, costumes for you to try on. Castle itself is a great example of medieval castle well maintained. Lovely relaxing walk in the grounds to the first castle, pity the bridge to the old castle was out of use so could only view it from across it's moat. Children's play area looks good.
  • Beautiful unique castle with a great exhibition and café. Went while a school trip was happening, also a fun place for kids - playground and grounds great places to play. Also a short hop to the nature area of the coast and close to a campsite.

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