We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Worth a Visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thirlestane Castle

Thirlestane Castle
Lauder TD2 6RU, Scotland
+44 1578 722430
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Lauder
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A unique 16th century castle in the Scottish Borders which has undergone a 2 year restoration project. The castle is open every Tuesday and Wednesday of the summer between 10am and 3pm and offers castle tours and use of the grounds and childrens play area. Thirlestane can also be used for weddings and events, along with holiday lets through use of the castle's luxury Lauderdale apartment. Please feel welcome to look at our website for further information and contact details.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Worth a Visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

As my husband was busily researching his family history back in Edinburgh I had organized a tour guide to take me to three castles, Thirlestane being one of them. As it was the first day of being opened (after the Winter closure) we were the only ones in the castle, and I even had the opportunity of meeting the owner, Captain Maitland-Carew! The castle is very well maintained with plenty of rooms to visit, though my gripe being that no photography is allowed. I spent quite a while admiring the fabulous Cole & Son wallpaper that hangs in the Drawing Room; as well as the exquisite ceiling plasterwork. The castle is different to the others, as there is a border country life exhibition which gives a glimpse into the life of the less fortunate who worked on the Estate. The Grounds are also worth a visit, though on the day we were there it was slightly nippy. This castle has plenty of potential as both the Gift Shop and Tea Room were virtually non-existent. I had to make do with a single postcard and a Guide Book!

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thirlestane, Marketing Manager at Thirlestane Castle, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Mullaghbawn,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review Thirlestane Castle, and I am pleased that you enjoyed your visit here last April.

I am delighted to say that for opening this year (May 2013) we have already made many improvements to the Tea Room and will have re-stocked the Gift Shop, so I hope that there will be lots of things to appeal to our visitors!

Kind regards
Louise Mitchell
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
    8
    1
    1
    2
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lauder, Scotland, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful Castle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Rooms very well preserved. Guides all local. Not tried the tea romm though.
Also been to many events there which have been enjoyable espaecially the Vintage Car. Shame that the Horse trials are no longer held there though.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful house and gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. Very pleasant to walk around and take everything in. Great photo opportunities

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Although it was interesting to see this castle, overall it has a slightly desparate air of decay ... and the tearoom is, frankly, awful. Menu (overpriced and extremely limited) and surroundings are bleak and unwelcoming yet so much more could be made of both decor and refreshments. I asked for a fresh orange juice with my meal and was handed a carton with a straw. I had to ask for a glass and, even then, was left to open and pour the carton myself. Having just visited Floors Castle's superb coffee shop, Thirlestane was a disgrace!
While the volunteer guides were pleasant ladies, one in particular wouldn't leave us in peace to browse the various artefacts which meant we scampered through the final rooms in order to get away from her! Well meaning but really irritating behaviour.
And, to add insult to injury, one of the royal displays referred to Queen Elizabeth II - in Scotland which, as everyone knows, has only ever had one Queen Elizabeth!
There are many more great places to visit in the Scottish Borders; try Paxton House, Manderston, Floors Castle, etc but don't waste your time or money on Thirlestane.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thirlestane, Marketing Manager at Thirlestane Castle, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
Dear PMD E, thank for you for taking the time to review Thirlestane Castle on Trip Advisor. I am sorry that you were disappointed with your visit, and can assure you that your comments, particulary on the Tea Room, have been passed to the relevant department and will be acted upon.

Kind regards
Louise Mitchell
Thirlestane Castle
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tewkesbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful castle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

The castle is lovely and steeped in history. Friendely reception and lots of information when you arrive in the hall about the castle and what to expect. Guides in every room who are happy to let you browse or answer any questions you have. Old and new mingle nicely in the rooms and plenty to see.

Exhibitions of 'old' tools etc is interesting to see, reminds us how far we've come over the years! Lovely tearoom once you've completed the tour.

Nice woodland walk which takes you down by the river, we saw a bird of prey in the trees but it moved so quick we couldn't quite determine what it was.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Thirlestane Castle also viewed

Kelso, Scottish Borders
Melrose, Scottish Borders
 
Melrose, Scottish Borders
 

Been to Thirlestane Castle? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Thirlestane Castle, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.