Make your own way to Thirlestane Castle (free parking is available on-site), located in the Scottish Borders just 35 minutes south of Edinburgh, and begin your self-guided tour of the mighty fortress. After posing for photos before the beautiful ducal palace, head inside to explore the ancient seat of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale.
Discover the castle’s fascinating history and learn about its current owners, the Maitland family as you stroll through the state rooms and admire the lavish furnishings. Marvel at the 18th-century weapons on display in the grand Entrance Hall; admire the family portrait collection on display in the State Dining Room, and peek into the Duke’s Grand Bed Chamber. Learn how Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at the castle in 1745, after the victory at the Battle of Prestonpans, as you visit the room where he stayed, then explore the old family nurseries, home to an impressive collection of Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian toys.
After exploring the castle interiors, take time to browse the gift shop, stroll around the pretty gardens, which include a woodland walk and a children’s adventure playground, then stop for tea or coffee (own expense) at the Tea Room.