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“Disappointing autumn visit”
Review of Floors Castle

Floors Castle
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Kelso
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 5 star visitor attraction in the Scottish Borders and the largest inhabited castle in Scotland.Built in 1721 in the historic town of Kelso, Floors Castle is home to the 10th Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. Its spectacular state rooms display an outstanding collection of paintings, tapestries and furniture, enhanced with family photos. Within the grounds, there is much to see and do including riverside and woodland walks, adventure playgrounds, two cafe's and gift shops . The gardens include a woodland plantation, a french style parterre and a traditional walled gardens renowned for its herbaceous borders together with a children's adventure playground.
Scottish Borders
Level Contributor
245 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“Disappointing autumn visit”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

As a Blue Badge Tourist Guide I have always enjoyed taking my visitors to Floors Castle but yesterday 14th October was disappointing. I checked their web site prior to the visit for the autumn opening hours and in October it stated the last ticket would be at 3.00pm. I suggested to my 3 American visitors that we could have lunch in the Courtyard Restaurant before exploring the castle. On arrival, we parked and found the Courtyard Restaurant was closed with a sign suggesting the Terrace Restaurant at the Garden Centre. We returned to the car and drove to the other restaurant. It was full, not surprising as the other one was closed, due to lack of staff we were informed. We had a short wait and were then seated in at a vacant table. The soup and pot loaf breads were delicious and we managed to eat and return to the castle for 2.30pm. When we came out of the castle the gift shop was already closed which again was disappointing as they usually have such unusual items for sale. I would have thought it would have been in their interest to have the shop open until the last visitors had exited the building. My clients had been looking forward to buying some present to take home.
Ideally the castle should have had a sign at the usual ticket office on the driveway that certain aspects of the castle would be unavailable then visitors could replan their visit accordingly.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank blackfaceewe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Aberdeen, Scotland
Level Contributor
87 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Not so much a castle more a stately home.”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

Our visit was enhanced by the knowledgeable guides, the real sense that this is a family's home and the many artefacts on display. Furthermore, we enjoyed a very good meal at the Terrace Restaurant within the grounds. My kedgeree was delicious as was my husband's seafood stew. The meals are prepared by the castle's head chef and so pleased were we with the food that we bought some to take away to dine on that evening at our holiday cottage. You can do this with most of what's on offer on the menu. Booking for the restaurant is essential at busy times of the day.
We liked walking round the grounds although we never did find the famous holly tree! All in all, a most enjoyable few hours spent here.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Superquine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hayfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A lovely day out”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

We visited Floors Castle on a lovely sunny day. The castle was a truly great historic place to visit and the guides in each of the rooms was very good. We visited the gardens and enjoyed a light lunch in the café. The food was nice, though a little overpriced and we had to wait for several minutes to be seated, but this didn't spoil our day. We would recommend others to visit the castle and grounds.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank JAN G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A Must See”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

This castle is just gorgeous. There are separate guides in each room who will tell you all about the castle plus more. Its a very personal touch instead of hearing it through some recording. The gardens are also beautiful. We spent nearly 4 hours just taking in the lovely surrounds.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank kathy255068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Do they really want visitors?”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We travelled up from Rowley, Co Durham on Sunday 29th September to meet up with family from St Andrews for a day. We chose Floors because it advertised castle tours, 2 cafes, an adventure playground for children, a plant centre, gardens and walks and is accessible for disabled guests. The adventure playground is very good and the walled gardens beautiful but that's all that is good about it. For a start there is a lack signs so we spent 20 minutes trying to find the agreed meeting place which was the terrace café. When we did get there our family was already on the outside terrace with their drinks but we couldn't join them because at the entrance to the café is a sign saying please wait to be seated. the idea is that you place your order and pay for it before you go to a table. After waiting 15 minutes, although there were only 2 customers in front of us, we gave up and walked through to meet our family without ordering. Eventually a waitress came out to clear tables and we ordered our drinks with her. We eventually moved on to the plant centre which was poorly laid out, had a very poor selection and was very expensive. After enjoying the walled gardens which had some outstanding borders we found the adventure playground which was excellent. We then headed back to the Courtyard Cafe which is expensive had an extremely limited menu; it was basically jacket potatoes, sandwiches, paninis, quiche with salad and kedgeree. The cafe has only basic equipment ie it can only toast and microwave. The jacket potatoes were being kept warm under foil and were only lukewarm when they arrived at the table. I sent mine back to be reheated and the waitress made it very clear she was not happy about doing that. After making the most of a lunch we didn't enjoy we decided to do the castle tour. I use a fold up mobility scooter. the castle advertises itself as being accessible however there is a large area from the courtyard across the front of the castle, which you have to cross to get to the parkland and the walled garden, covered with small loose pebbles 2 to 3 inches deep in places. My scooter became stuck and then stopped working; my husband had to push it off in order to try to fix it. A wheelchair would have no chance in this stuff! The courtyard itself is made up of very rough cobbles which make for a very rough ride. Disabled access to the castle is achieved by going to the gift shop where the lady serving said she would have to ring for someone to come and open another door which was across a path with yet more deep pebbles. We were so fed up by now we just didn't bother. While the rest of the family did the tour we decided to walk along the front of the castle but found that only a short part of the front terrace is open - the rest is cordoned off obviously because the castle is inhabited but it just made us feel even more unwelcome. Our overall impression after our visit is that the staff at both cafes can't really be bothered with giving good service to visitors; management are not prepared to go to the expense of installing the correct equipment to ensure that good hot food and a varied menu can be served and/or employing a cook/chef and waiting staff are generally unmotivated and come across as being surly. The castle and grounds are only partly accessible to wheelchairs and scooters and they don't even offer a concession to a disabled person with a carer as the majority of attractions do these days so we paid the full entrance fee as well. Sadly our visit the Floors has left us saying it was our first and last visit to Scotland!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank t100osh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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