Explore dozens of elegant rooms, meander through manicured Victorian gardens and watch falcon flying demonstrations at this castle complex.
Experience a slice of the lavish lifestyle of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland, one of Scotland’s ancient earldoms, at Dunrobin Castle. Browse original artifacts as you wander amid the castle’s banquet halls, living quarters and reception rooms. Relax in the castle’s perfectly groomed terraced garden, visit a museum and enjoy birds-of-prey shows. Dunrobin Castle dates back to around 1235 and stands on a clifftop overlooking Dornoch Firth in northern Scotland.
Start your visit by appreciating the castle’s fairytale-like structure. With turrets, towers and spires, it bears similarities to a French chateau. Step through the regal main entrance and climb a trophy-decorated staircase before discovering an interior that boasts 189 rooms. You can visit some 20 of these rooms on a self-guided tour.
See how the earls and dukes dined in the wood-paneled Dining Room and admire a grand piano and portrait gallery in the Music Room. Marvel at the collection of 10,000 books in the Library and browse the Sutherland family’s robes in the Seamstress’ Room. Find displays of armor, regalia and weapons in the Military Room and look for the secret doorways in the Duke’s Study.
Stroll around the formal garden, designed in 1850 by the Victorian architect Sir Charles Barry. The fountains, ponds and symmetrical hedge layouts are said to be influenced by the gardens of Versailles, France. Within the garden is a falconry, where you can watch a trained falconer conducting daily aerobatic shows with birds of prey such as hawks, falcons and owls.
Further your knowledge of the castle’s previous residents at the Castle Museum, set inside the old summer house. See taxidermy displays of hunted animals, ancient Pictish symbol stones and artifacts related to the 1869 gold rush in Scotland’s Strath Kildonan valley.
The castle is a 5-minute walk from Dunrobin Castle train station, which has rail links to Inverness. The closest towns with accommodations are Brora and Golspie. If you drive to the castle, use the large free car park at the entrance.
Dunrobin Castle is open daily between March and October and there’s an admission fee. More information is available on the castle’s official website.