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“Boat trip, castle, moat what more could you want?”
Review of Rothesay Castle

Rothesay Castle
Ranked #6 of 17 things to do in Rothesay
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Situated on the Isle of Bute, Rothesay Castles dates back to the early 13th century and is remarkably well preserved in spite of its age. Built by the Stewart family to defend against invading Norwegian fleets, Rothesay’s immense circular curtain wall makes it unique in Scotland. In 1230 it survived a three-day siege by King Haakon IV of Norway which precipitated the castle’s fortification with four round towers. It became a royal residence soon after and was later occupied by Robert the Bruce during the Wars of Scottish Independence and served as a base for Cromwell’s troops in the late 17th century. The grandiose great hall in the gatehouse was restored by a Marquess of Bute in 1900 which now contains informative interpretive display which illuminate the history of the castle and its inhabitants. The 15th century St Michael’s Chapel in the courtyard is another of the castle’s impressive surviving features.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A Historic Scotland site. An ancient castle on an island and it has a mote. What could be better? It was a great experience. This was one of the first castles we toured and that ay have made it better. It is a ruin in every sense of the word. There really is not much to poke around in but at the start of our Scottish castle adventure it was wonderful.
I recommend this site anytime but if you are seeing more than a few castles put this one closer to the front. Don’t miss the opportunity to see St. Mary’s. it is a hike up the road from the castle but is special and should not be missed.
I have a separate review of St. Mary’s on trip advisor.

Thank beachbums_ceo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"video room"
in 9 reviews
"video presentation"
in 7 reviews
"climb down"
in 6 reviews
"centre of town"
in 10 reviews
"information boards"
in 8 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 20 reviews
"scottish history"
in 6 reviews
"short video"
in 3 reviews
"run by historic scotland"
in 3 reviews
"ferry terminal"
in 9 reviews
"member of staff"
in 4 reviews
"entry fee"
in 4 reviews
"guide book"
in 3 reviews
"gift shop"
in 4 reviews
"moat"
in 71 reviews
"ruin"
in 29 reviews
"dungeon"
in 15 reviews
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4 - 8 of 281 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Me and my partner have historic Scotland passes so make a point of visiting castles wherever we go. This one did not disappoint. The gentleman who took our tickets was lovely and knowledgable. We got to explore pretty much every room. There is a video that is about 15 minutes longs and talks about Bute and vikings and is worth watching. The dungeon is great - you get to climb down. Worth the visit and walking round the outside of the castle is lovely. Just be aware of the seagulls!

1  Thank ArishaIsabella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2018 via mobile

Enjoyed wandering around the ruins of this castle. Interesting for all age groups. Good rainy day activity.

Thank Agnes N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2018 via mobile

A true, original moated Scottish castle,2 mins walk from the ferry port. Entrance is very reasonable at £4 and £3 for us oldies. A photographer's paradise, the castle boasts 900 years of history. A short 15 min video presentation by Dougie Vipond reveals all. It is open till 5.30pm in summer. The ruined church within the walls is very interesting. A must see attraction. This is HISTORY.

Thank Dennis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 June 2018

Although the castle appears to be the centre point of the old town of Rothesay, it's condition is still surprising. Restoration undertaken by the instruction of the old Marquess clearly shows a pride for this historical gem.


One particular highlight involves descending a ladder into a small hole... the former dungeon... where you get a glimpse of the dank and squalid conditions the medieval inmates had to endure.

Worth buying a guide-book, very good value for money and really enhances the experience. If not, the signs dotted around the place are equally helpful!


Beware the gulls in nesting season!

Thank D0n_Guerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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