Set atop the Ayrshire cliffs, this sprawling neoclassical mansion is one of Scotland’s most famous stately homes—it even appears on the back of the Scottish 5-pound note. Designed by 18th-century architect Robert Adam, Culzean (pronounced Cullane) boasts palatial interiors and grounds that encompass woods, follies, and even beaches.
Now run by the National Trust for Scotland, Culzean Castle and Country Park was the former seat of Clan Kennedy. Book a ticket to access the castle and the park in advance or pay for admission to the park only. Guided tours along the Ayrshire Coast from Glasgow also include the castle and surrounding park. Once inside, explore independently or take part in one of the twice-daily guided tours (April–October only). Visitors with a keen interest in Scottish history and heritage may opt for a National Trust for Scotland Discover Ticket, which grants access to 90 National Trust for Scotland attractions, including Culzean Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
It’s also possible for visitors to stay overnight in holiday cottages in the park, at the camping and caravan site, or in the top floor of the castle.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Culzean Castle is a must-see for architecture fans, history buffs, and walking enthusiasts.
- Restaurants and cafés are located on-site.
- The castle is wheelchair accessible as are some parts of Culzean Country Park.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring rainproof gear so you can explore the park no matter what the weather.
How to Get There
Culzean Castle and Country Park is 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of Ayr. Girvan-bound Stagecoach buses (line 60) departs from Ayr and stops at the castle gates, with the journey taking just more than 30 minutes.
When to Get There
The castle opens from April through October, with guided tours taking place twice daily. Arrive early in the day to ensure your spot on a tour. The park is open year-round, but facilities are limited between November and March.
Highlights of the Castle
Among the highlights of the castle’s interior is the grand oval staircase and the opulent round drawing room. The 642-acre (260-hectare) estate also encompasses many delights, including several miles of coastline dotted with beaches, dunes, and caves, as well as walled gardens, an ice house, fruit-planted glasshouses, and a deer park.