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Cawdor Castle and Gardens
Cawdor Castle and Gardens

Cawdor Castle and Gardens

Open daily 10am -5.30pm from May to early October
Cawdor, Nairn, Scotland

The basics

The appeal of Cawdor Castle transcends its shaky literary connections. The castle–which is still home to the descendants of the Clan Campbell of Cawdor–remains remarkably preserved and is surrounded by immaculate gardens, the Cawdor Big Wood, and a nine-hole golf course. Highlights for visitors include the sumptuous Drawing Room, with its fascinating family portraits; the Dining Room, with its grand stone fireplace; the 17th-century-style Tapestry Bedroom; and the Old Kitchen. According to legend, the castle is built around a thorn tree—since identified as a holly dating from 1372—which visitors can still see today in the dungeon.

Many sightseeing tours of the Highlands and Inverness include stops at Cawdor Castle alongside nearby Culloden and the Clava Cairns. If you don’t have your own transportation, a guided tour is your best bet for checking off several attractions in one day, rather than relying on public transportation, which can be time consuming.

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Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
$516.47 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great experience in Inverness
Mike was great. He was knowledgeable, friendly and professional. We had a great experience that will definitely recommend.
Juan_P, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Inverness

star-5
flexible and enjoyable
ashraf_j, Jun 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
We had an excellent time with Iqbal. He had a lot of history to share, managed time well, and was flexible to accommodate our interests. We went to the main highlighted places, could take all in without being hurried. The MB minivan vehicle could accommodate 7 comfortably, although we were four. Clean, functional and high for better viewing. Had water and snacks to offer. Had good recommendations for food off the beaten paths and other helpful tips. Recommend whole heartedly.
star-5
Great experience in Inverness
Juan_P, Aug 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Mike was great. He was knowledgeable, friendly and professional. We had a great experience that will definitely recommend.
star-5
Great experience
Lisa_M, Jul 2022
INVERGORDON PORT Tour of Culloden, Cairns & Cawdor Castle
Had a perfect day. We really enjoyed the history. Amy was a wonderful guide. I wish we spent more time at Culloden.
star-5
Wonderful day at class cairns and culloden
Angela_J, Jul 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
George was very knowledgeable about every venue and you can tell he loves what he does. All the info made it so much better
star-5
Great tour and tour guide
Joshua_B, Jul 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
Our guide Richie was fantastic. We had a small group of only 4 in our van. We saw all the sites with good explanations at each location. Totally recommend this to anyone who wants the Inverness key points in one day.
star-5
Terrific tour!
kirstenbracht, Jul 2022
Loch Ness,cawdor castle,inverness,Culloden battlefield,& more from invergordon
Our guide Mike was great! He was on time, van spotless, had good suggestions and was flexible with our itinerary. We made all planned stops and he provided history and insights at each stop. Scotland is beautiful; Mike will make your visit memorable!
star-5
Our guide, Allister, was...
April_W, Jul 2022
Loch Ness,cawdor castle,inverness,Culloden battlefield,& more from invergordon
Our guide, Allister, was absolutely the best guide ever. We loved his knowledge of the area. We couldn't have asked for a better tour and guide. Of all of the tours we've been on, this was our favorite by far. Al kept us entertained and well fed. We had lunch at the castle (excellent soup), and we ended after loch ness with the best gin tasting and gelato. Do not skip the Gelato its awesome.
star-5
Scenic route with plenty of history along the way
Dawn_F, Jul 2022
INVERGORDON PORT Tour of Culloden, Cairns & Cawdor Castle
If you want a trip with that extra personal touch then you cant ho far wrong with Avril. What an enjoyable day, trip was everything as described & more! Avril is a Great guide, very knowledgeable, funny and nothing is too much trouble. We saw some great places and took the scenic route. Thank you Avril
star-5
Great Guide
Colleen_C, Jul 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Gene was awesome and great guide. Gave us plenty of time at the different sites. Recommend skipping the distillery unless you booked a tour and tasting independently.
star-5
Through the Eyes of a Native Scot
Anna_B, Jul 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
A very special day traveling with George Murray to Clava Cairns, Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness. One of the highlights of the day was stopping to drink from Loch Ness! I was also deeply moved by George’s telling of the history of Clava Cairns.
star-5
Fantastic multi-stop day tour!
Hope_A, Jul 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Mike was a fantastic tour guide! He was so friendly and knowledgeable about the area. We got to tour so many sights in about 8.5 hours! A great day trip for anyone in the western Highlands!
star-5
Great Tour
Cherie_T, Jul 2022
INVERGORDON PORT Tour of Culloden, Cairns & Cawdor Castle
Avril was professional yet fun and entertaining. She is knowledgeable and we learned so much about the history of Scotland. I highly recommend this tour.
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Things to know before you go

  • Cawdor Castle is a must-visit for anyone interested in Scottish history and gardens.
  • Many sightseeing tours of the area included admission to the castle but check details first.
  • The Courtyard Café, located inside the old servants’ quarters, serves light meals and drinks.
  • The Castle Giftshop sells Campbell and Cawdor tartan, cashmere blankets, local jams and honey, and whisky from nearby Royal Brackla Distillery.
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How to get there

Cawdor Castle is a 25-minute drive east of Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. If coming from Nairn, it’s a 12-minute drive southwest. Directions are well signposted. You can also reach the castle by public transport: take the Stonehaven-bound train from Inverness to Nairn, then get on the #105 bus: the journey takes just over an hour in total.

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When to get there

The castle is only open from spring through fall—typically April to early October (check in advance). During open season it is open every day from mid-morning until early evening (last admission 30 minutes before closing). To avoid crowds, visit on a weekday outside of school holidays (typically July/August).

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Nature Trails

The wooded area (known as the Big Wood) that surrounds Cawdor Castle offers five walking trails that vary in length from 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) to 5 miles (8 kilometers). A walk along one of those trails takes you past a variety of trees including birch, aspen, rowan, wych elm, juniper, and Scots pine. The Big Wood is also home to more than 130 species of lichen, including a number of very rare varieties thanks to the clean air and low rainfall.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Cawdor Castle and Gardens?
A:
Attractions near Cawdor Castle and Gardens:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Inverness?
A:
As well as visiting the Cawdor Castle and Gardens, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: