How Many Of Dumfries & Galloway Castles Have You Bagged?

Research by VisitScotland has revealed that almost half (49%) of Brits have never visited a Scottish castle. And with more than 100 castles located in Dumfries & Galloway, the national tourism organisation is encouraging visitors to get castle-bagging.


The region boasts an impressive line-up of historical fortresses.  From the spectacular Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries and Threave Castle on Threave Island, to the less well-known Isle of Whithorn Castle (which stands at just ten by nine metres in size around 13 miles south of Wigtown) and MacLellan’s Castle in Kirkcudbright, which features a ‘Laird’s Lug’ secret spy hole behind the great hall fireplace, from which the laird could eavesdrop on his guests.


The VisitScotland research – which comes as the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology comes to a close – also reveals that seven out of ten people stated they would like to stay overnight in a castle while on holiday in Scotland. This is good news for the 147+ castles that have been converted into hotels throughout the country, including the Castle of Park, Glenluce, and Craif Caffie Tower, near Stranraer.


In total, Scotland is thought to have around 3000 standing castles, ruins and documented sites.  Of these, about 1050 are merely sites, including those where a house has been built on the site of a previous castle and about 825 are standing ruins.  At the last count, 660 were in use (private house, hotel or wedding venue) and around 469 were open to the public, though some only for a couple of weeks each year **.


Some of those located in Dumfries & Galloway include:


Drumlanrig Castle

A grand seventeenth century castle built of pink sandstone and the ancestral home of the Douglas family. With 120 rooms, the castle is open to the public during the summer months and home to the celebrated Buccleuch Art Collection.



Cardoness Castle, Gatehouse of Fleet

The well-preserved 15th-century tower house offers spectacular views over the Water of Fleet to the Solway Firth from the battlements, as well as one of the best surviving pit prisons in the country.



Lochmaben Castle, Lochmaben

The remains of a castle built by an English occupying force in the 1300s. An important outpost, it withstood several sieges and attacks before falling to the Scots in 1385.



From World Heritage Sites to listed buildings, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology has celebrated 270 events across Scotland and a wealth of activity including workshops, competitions and new products developed in celebration of the year.


Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:


“Castles are an iconic and integral part of Scotland’s history and culture. There is something unique and special about every single one of them and each has their own significant story to tell, like the MacLellan’s Castle in Kirkcudbright with its ‘Laird’s Lug’ secret spy hole.
“Scotland’s history and culture is one the top reasons for visiting Scotland. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends – the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology has shone a spotlight some of our greatest assets and icons as well as our hidden gems.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to experience a Scottish castle in their lifetime, and with so many on their doorstep in Dumfries & Galloway, I would encourage residents and visitors alike to make it their mission.”



To discover more about Scotland’s Castles, visit: