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Thirlestane Castle and the Maitland family have played an important role in the political and military history of Scotland. As the historic seat of the Duke of Lauderdale, it has been home to the Maitland family for over 400 years. The history of the ground upon which Thirlestane Castle now stands dates back to at least the 12th Century. The central part of the present castle was completed in 1590, remodelled in the 1670s and then enlarged in the 1840s.

From the connection to Bonnie Prince Charlie to Mary Queen of Scots, engross yourself with the Castles' rich history. Discover some of the finest decorative plasterwork ceilings in Europe, as well as one of the most extensive family collections of portraits and busts in Scotland, fine furnishings, and Maitland family treasures.

Let one of Thirlestane Castle's experienced guides show you around the grand state rooms, and enjoy the recently opened Toy Museum ‘School Room’ featuring Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian toys.

All guests will be invited to enjoy a complimentary cup of tea and a treat with their guide once the tour is complete.

Grounds Passes can be purchased at our kiosk located on the main Castle drive and don’t forget to pick up a ‘wee mindin’ of your time at Thirlestane from our small castle gift shop.

Thirlestane Castle opens for public tours from the 2nd of May 2023 until the end of September 2023.

Guided Tours are approximately 1 hour and are available Tuesdays - Sundays. You can see the days and times available and book your tickets in advance by clicking on the date you are interested in booking.

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By appointment only
Open hours today: By appointment only
  • Monday


  • Tuesday

    By appointment only

  • Wednesday

    By appointment only

  • Thursday

    By appointment only

  • Friday

    By appointment only

  • Saturday

    By appointment only

  • Sunday

    By appointment only

  • March 28, 2023 6:56 am local time

    The information on Monty's Guide website is advisory and some places have restricted access during temporary closures or special event days. Please be sure to check the website of the place you intend to visit before travelling

Additional visitor information

Public Tours take place Tuesday - Sunday from May to September at various times of the day. They are available from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, and you can see what slots are available for a specific day through their website.

Visitors are encouraged to check the website for availability before visiting the castle.

Private guided tours can be arranged any time of the year – please contact the office to arrange via

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    • Monty's Guide
      March 8, 2023 at 12:54 pm
      Thirlestane Castle
      Based on 392 reviews
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      Bernadeta KupiecBernadeta Kupiec

      10:21 17 Feb 23
      As a wedding photographer, I had the opportunity to work there a few times. Thirlestane Castle is one of my favorite castle wedding venues in the Scottish Borders. Beautiful interiors, the possibility of sleeping in the castle, a charming outdoor environment that gives a great opportunity for creating amazing couples portraits. It's a perfect wedding venue whether you're planning an elopement for two or a larger wedding.

      Tony KerbeyTony Kerbey

      06:24 17 Sep 22
      Great visit to walk the dog in the grounds and take a look at this magnificent building. The stroll along the river is relaxing and beautiful to the eye. Grounds tickets only £3.50. The map they provide is nicely done but a little abstract so the only criticism I have is that the walking trails could be marked better.

      M GallichanM Gallichan

      08:14 01 Sep 22
      The entrance gate on the B6362 features two stone eagles sat on tall pillars. Tarmac driveway to the car park where the kiosk is for entry and having booked online our details were at the entry point.The castle frontage is impressive having been extended in the days of yesteryear and make sure you walk around the back as it's equally impressive and you can see the original building better.Our guide was very informative and had good knowledge of the history of both the family and the building. As with many historic houses there is reference to royalty having stayed at the castle throughout it's history giving rise to the town of Lauder being made a Royal Borough in 1502.The tour lasted 90 minutes and finished in the cafe with a complimentary drink/biscuit and we felt it gave good value not being as expensive as some historic houses.You might want to check the event page on the website to see if you can time your own visit to attend any upcoming event.Definitely worth a visit in our view.


      11:45 23 Aug 22
      Excellent visit of Thirlestane Castle with guided tour. Amazing rooms well decorated, in my opinion one of the best castle in Scotland. Very friendly and funny guides to make you feel welcome and at home in this gorgeous castle. Complimentary cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit at the end of the tour. Really worth the price, and it's only at 45 min from Edinburgh by car, so do not hesitate to visit this castle !

      Peter HughesPeter Hughes

      11:04 21 Jun 22
      Went for the car show, absolutely amazing grounds with an imposing castle. The car show itself was very well organised with hundreds of classic cars, well varied interspersed with the famous racetrack Hill and Jackie Stewart dring his F1 car at maximum speed. Great venue


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