Cawdor Castle
Cawdor Castle
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
A romantic fairy-tale castle that has been the home of the Thanes of Cawdor since 1370, Cawdor has evolved into a charming family mansion and the most outstanding of stately homes. The dramatic medieval tower, dungeon, turrets, battlements and drawbridge, belie an enchanting interior of fine art, tapestries and furniture which create the warm and welcoming feel of a home rather than a museum. The castle, set in stunning grounds with three beautiful and varied gardens, is surrounded by the magnificent Cawdor Big Wood, one of the finest woodland areas in Europe, threaded with colour coded nature trails to explore. Visitors are invited to enjoy a delicious lunch or tea with home-baking from our mouth-watering menu in the courtyard café, then browse the exciting range of gifts and goodies in our three shops and, time permitting, have fun on the putting green and short 9-hole golf course which provides enjoyment for all abilities.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Aburel
    Bucharest, Romania3,146 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chapeau
    Drive based on the signs once you arrive in the area and not by Waze as it is confusing. Park in the very decent and free parking and walk to the visitors area. Interesting shops and nice people. The castle is not huge but very chic and decorated amazingly. A lot of attention to the details. Both castle and gardens are beautiful and manicured, a real gem.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Derek S
    Blaydon, United Kingdom96 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful castle and grounds.
    Cawdor is a small castle which is steeped in big history!! Well laid out route inside with a good audio commentary. Grounds are beautiful and include a formal maze and gardens, along with wild areas and numerous modern sculptures. Well worth a visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 15, 2023
  • Anthony
    193 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Everything a visit to a country house should be
    Historic house with lovely rooms and some interesting paintings. The gardens are spectacular and there is a good tea room and shop. The Countess and her team clearly have a good idea how to provide a good visit. A contrast with the NTS property nearby Brodie Castle which is disappointing and has no significant art works to enjoy. Definitely recommended.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 16, 2023
  • Carrie Labunski S
    London, United Kingdom15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the trip!
    This is a 1000+ year old castle. Please be aware there will be some accessibility challenges for those with mobility issues. I really felt the history in the stairs which have worn over time. The gardens are beautiful! It was definitely worth the trip. Buses don't run out there anymore, but you can get a decent price taxi from Nairn or the Culloden Battlefield. I recommend 24/7 Nairn Taxis. They really took care of us!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 17, 2023
  • Andrew B
    Hayling Island, United Kingdom21 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely gardens - limited accessibility for wheelchair users
    The sun was shining and the garden was lovely. I took my father in his wheelchair and was advised not to pay for the house as it isn't accessible. The access ramp into the courtyard, Cafe and Toilet was very steep, certainly not DDA. The slope to the Walled Garden was again very steep - a good workout for pushing my 90 year old father about. The other toilets were before the ticket office and had a slope into them which was a struggle for my father. The gardens were well kept with interesting water features and the castle/house backdrop. The Walled garden was mostly a maze which we didn't attempt. We spent a pleasant 90 minutes touring the gardens which we both enjoyed.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 27, 2023
  • dbinhou7511
    Houston, Texas1,620 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely gardens
    The small castle has a very nice tour through the different rooms. You are given an audio guide to tell about the different rooms and artifacts. Found some of the narrative a bit repeating, but it was OK and better than reading signs or listening to a guide. The gardens are quite lovely and definitely worth a walk. Several different types of gardens exist on the grounds, so take your pick of what to visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 31, 2023
  • george g
    10 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Audio and Interpretation panels need urgent revision
    A nice visit. Some outrageous content on interpretation panels and audio guide. Eg “Mind your head unless you are a Papuan Pygmy” This is obviously offensive and I am sure the team will want to review this asap
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Simon B
    Leicester, United Kingdom66 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Family visit
    Visited with my wife and daughter, great castle. My only criticism is that there is no guided tour, meaning you are given audio description devices to take round with you, this is fine except that if you end up near the front of the group you tend to get carried through and dont have enough time to hear the commentary. Aside from that, the castle is very good and the gardens are amazing, we spent approx 30 mins in the castle and 2 hours in the gardens
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 18, 2023
  • Mary H
    Elgin, United Kingdom2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great castle and gardens. Well worth a visit but avoid the tearoom.
    It was pouring with rain when we arrived so opted to go round the house first. We were handed an audio device with our tickets and this proved to be a great asset. It gave a description of each room we entered and could get further information if we so wished. The wall hangings were stunning, a definite highlight of my visit. It was a castle with a homely feel but had an air of history too. The gardens were beautiful and well maintained but unfortunately the heavy rain didn’t help the appearance of the flowers. The trees were fantastic but I would have appreciated a few name labels on them as my botany knowledge is limited. The only negative comment about our visit was the tearoom. There was no atmosphere, the lady there was on her phone, and a few table cloths and I nice cream tea and cakes would have stopped us going elsewhere for it.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 28, 2023
  • CarolineWR
    282 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a special trip - could have stayed the entire day
    Possibly our favourite (with Crathes) out of a 32-castle tour! Unbelievably attractive 14c fortified tower house with add-ons throughout history. Could be a Disney set it is so perfectly "designed" from its wonderful little drawbridge entrance to its gorgeous Jacobean wings with tiny turrets. You will take so many photos... The "Macbeth connection" makes it especially interesting & this is well explained in the castle. Free flow exploring with no guide, but plenty of information available. Gorgeous formal gardens with lovely borders & some fabulous topiary. Don't miss the café located in the beautiful castle courtyard.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 1, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
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Lee H
5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
Not a great trip. Granted, covid 19 has impacted everything but when I purchased my ticket I can't recall anything stating the castle is closed.

I sent an email expressing my disappointment to be told that I had only purchased a ticket for the gardens and grounds. So £32 for 4 of us to look at the gardens. Apparently there are signs all the way from the car park to the entry gate but I paid online so that didn't really help me. ( I did walk from the car park, speak to the girl on the gate and I still had to ask staff inside why I couldn't get into the castle, the signs are not working)

So as an adult, I'll take it on the chin. I've obviously booked in haste, without ensuring the castle is opened, excited about leaving the house after lockdown. It may well be worth the price if the castle is open but not for an overpriced gift shop and cafe.

The staff were friendly which is why it got 2 stars.
Written July 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne A
Edinburgh, UK62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
We did know the castle was closed as it said so on the website. However I was astonished to find it would still cost eight pounds to walk in the gardens. Yes they were beautiful with amazing designs and sculptures. But the maze was closed too. and I feel eight pounds is a hit OTT for a garden walk. The staff were friendly but the kiosk girl didn’t offer the info that the castle was closed (which we knew) and this might have taken others by surprise once they’d paid and walked in. Hence only three stars. The cafe signage for entrance and exit was not apparent and it caused us and others some confusion as there are two doors saying courtyard cafe. And just to top things off, another cafe customer didn’t know how to switch the sound off on her camera as she looked through her photos (I’m assuming) and we had to put up with twenty minutes of constant beep beeping. Customer - if you recognise yourself in this description, have a bit of consideration for others in enclosed spaces. Not the castles fault of course but just saying...
Written August 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Catherine S
Bolton, UK11,092 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
Cawdor Castle is a traditional Scottish Castle built and inhabited by the Cawdor family for over 600 years. An ancient medieval tower constructed around a legendary holly tree - long dead but it has its own basement room!

With its iron yet gate, moat & drawbridge, turrets, turnpike stairs and vaulted 16th century kitchen the castle is steeped in intrigue and history, which is well described as you tour the castle.

There’s a common belief that Cawdor Castle is Macbeths castle, but Macbeth was dead long before the castle was built, Shakespeare’s poetic licence has us all pulled into the intrigue!

Each room is well displayed and the descriptions are detailed but enjoyable to read rather than academic instructions as found in many ancient homes!

The gardens are an absolute delight. There are gardens to suit every desire, from the formal walled garden to the wild garden with the river running by. We spotted a few we have never seen before, and (thanks to google lens we could identify the Japanese Primrose we fell in love with) a hunt of garden centres begins on our return home!

I would add this castle to a must visit list of the Inverness area.
Written June 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roger K
Rio Rancho, NM490 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
This is about 10 miles east of the Clava Cairns and about 20 miles east of Inverness.

I would say “Don’t bother”. We made the drive and found that the entrance gate was closed and the castle itself was about another ¼ mile beyond the gate and not visible at all. The sign said that tours are only available by appointment from October to April.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brahma762
617 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
Historically, the name of Cawdor still connects the castle to Shakespeare's play Macbeth. However, not all dates mentioned by Shakespeare are accurate.

Shift to the present: The castle is located about 25 minutes away from Inverness, before the Culloden battle field.

During the summer months, coach-loads of tourists are present so it can be very busy.

Entry for adults is £13.50 (as in June 2022) and dogs are not allowed inside the premises.

There is a cafe that serves yummy dishes albeit priced on the higher side.

There are toilets and the ubiquitous gift shop. There is ample parking for coaches and cars.
If you’ve any interest in ancient well-preserved castles and are in the Scottish Highlands, you should endeavour to visit this Castle. You won’t be disappointed.
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lindaduncan29
25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
Visited today with my 3 year old son and 7 year old daughter and had a really lovely afternoon. We paid for admission to the castle and grounds which I think was a very reasonable price and we also visited the cafe for chocolate brownies. All staff we encountered were friendly and approachable and the coffee in the tea room was really excellent. By far though the highlight of the day were the gardens. I was blown away by how beautiful and well tended all areas were and the sculptures were a very special touch. Hats off to the gardeners as they clearly do a superb job.
Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TIPSMOM
Troon, UK85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
We had tried to visit Cawdor Castle last time we were in the area but sadly we arrived too late in the day (so glad we did not try and rush our way around). This time we turned up early and paid our £13.50 each (which seems quite high but we decided to go ahead anyway). We started with the tour of the house (with the help of an audio guide which was very useful) and this alone would have been worth the fee, but we then went outside and explored the gardens, maze, water features and the magnificent trees in the substantial grounds. The staff were extremely helpful throughout our visit and we enjoyed an alfresco lunch (indoor food not yet being available) in the courtyard and a look around the gift shop (lots of choice so we bought a few things). The highlight of our day was sitting on a bench in the gardens watching the birds at the bronze bird feeder when we were lucky to see a red squirrel scampering so close to us we felt we could almost touch it - such a treat. This really is a must-see attraction, if you are in the area and one we will not forget. We had expected to stay for an hour or two but when we left we realised we had been there for four hours, so definitely worth the entrance fee.
Written May 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

popsNcass
York, UK205 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Very enjoyable. The audio guide is excellent and very useful indeed - I much preferred it to reading the information cards as you usually have to in such places. The one way system around is very clear and well signed and the staff are very helpful.

It's a very charming and atmospheric castle - lots of low ceilings and low doorframes and stone floors and steps. If you have poor mobility, you would really struggle with some of the stairs I think.

There isn't actually that much of the castle to see and the tour ended much quicker than I thought it would, but it was definitely worth a visit.

The gift shop was a bit overpriced I thought. A fridge magnet was £5.99 as compared to the £1.99 I paid the day before at Dunrobin. Consequently I didn't buy anything.
Written September 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jgs24915
Airdrie, UK31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
Spent a lovely day at Cawdor Castle strolling around the beautiful gardens and woodland trails. Although the castle itself is still closed at the moment we were able to have a very enjoyable lunch (soup and sandwich) followed by some coffee and cake in the lovely courtyard. All staff from the entrance through to the cafe and the shop were extremely polite, friendly and helpful and we enjoyed chatting and hearing more information from them about the castle and it’s history. The gardens are all stunning and full of beautiful colours and smells and they are all very well maintained. You could easily spend a whole day walking through or enjoying a seat and the beautiful views that they offer. We will definitely be having a return visit when the castle itself has re opened so that we can explore some more and also enjoy some more of the gardens and woodland trails.
Written July 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nsojer
Barnet, UK434 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This beautiful castle was once owned by the Cawdor family but they married into clan Campbell so it is now more Cambell then Cawdor.

I visited as part of a cruise excursion and was so pleased that I did. The castle is not huge but makes up for it in style and authenticity. It is surrounded by a huge estate and golf course but Lady Campbell believes that is for everyone to enjoy.

As the icing on the cake we were taken on a stunning woodland walk by the Estate Manager as the Ranger was ill. His knowledge and enthusiasm were remarkable as he guide us throught the different wooded areas - sequoias, redwoods, oak, spruce. It and the castle have been organic for over 20 years and it shows. The air is so fresh and clean that over 300 lichen species grow here. We even saw a deer which was a real bonus.

Do go out of your way to visit
Written July 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cawdor Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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