A visit to Dundonald Castle is a great family day out - under 5's go free!
For less than £20 for a family of five, this day out in Ayrshire is a no brainer.
Dundonald Castle is truly one of Scotland’s hidden gems, tucked away in the quiet, rural landscape in South Ayrshire.
If you're looking for things to do in Ayrshire with the family, with friends and loved ones, pay this historical treasure a visit and feel yourselves transported back into Scotland's past...
Bring life back to Dundonald Castle
One of Scotland’s most unexplored and fascinating outdoor attractions, this 14th-century heritage treasure was the historic home to Scots King Robert II, grandson of Robert the Bruce. It boasts historic links to the Stewart dynasty, the Wallace family, and the Cochranes, favourites of Charles II.
Experience impressive barrel-vaulted ceilings, enjoy spectacular coastal views and join the Castle Team for stories and rare finds from the site’s 3500-year-old past.
Castle, Museum and Visitor Centre
The castle itself majestically sits at the top of Castle Hill. With its steep slopes and commanding views of the surrounding countryside, Castle Hill was a well defended place that attracted settlers from early times - remains of these settlements can still be seen today.
Be sure to catch one of the tours led by the volunteer guides - we hear their knowledge is incredible so would be a shame not to soak up as much history as you can. Tours are included in the general admission so this isn't an extra cost either.
Once you've explored the grounds and inside of the castle, make sure you pop in to the visitor centre.
Within the Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre, they have a great exhibition, complete with a newly installed museum grade display case and intricate models showing the settlement’s evolution from Iron Age hill fort to a castle fit for King Robert II and his household way back in the 14th century.
They also have a fabulous selection of dress-up clothes and accessories for visitors to gain the full medieval experience - cameras at the ready!
Historic walks and trails surround the castle
You can really make a day out of your visit to Dundonald Castle.
Stretch your legs and take a gentle stroll along the historic Smugglers' Trail that runs from Troon's South Beach through the ancient woodlands of Fullarton and Dundonald all the way to the castle.
Finish off your day with a stop in the Visitor Centre Café. A small and cosy spot that has both indoor and outdoor seating that offer unrivalled views of the castle. Or, simply unroll your picnic blanket and tuck into your own nibbles.
A pretty tasty and satisfying end to your day out at one of Scotland's most historic castles.
How to get here
From Glasgow and central Scotland, follow the M77 all the way to Kilmarnock and pick up the tourist board signs. With the M77 Dundonald is around 30 minutes from the Glasgow city centre
By air and sea:
From the airport or the ferry terminal drive towards Irvine (A78) and follow the tourist signs for Dundonald Castle
Stagecoach buses from Ayr, Prestwick, Troon, Irvine, and Kilmarnock, (nos 24, 10, & 21) all stop nearby
7th July 2022 - 21st September 2022
- Café - locally-sourced and healthy options available
- Museum & exhibition area
- Play area
- Picnic area
- Free parking - there is a small car park located on the site – although they are not responsible for it. This car park is free to park in, but tends to fill up quickly so please be mindful of this when you are arriving for your visit. There are also places to park on the main street in Dundonald but please park here responsibly and safely
- Under 5's go free
- Dundonald Castle is located at the top of a steep hill. Although there is a weatherproof and non-slip pathway, this may not be suitable for those with limited mobility
- Historic Scotland members are welcome to use their cards to gain free entry to Dundonald Castle
- Tours are included in the admission price and are led by Friends of Dundonald Castle's fantastic guides
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