Cawdor Castle

Medieval castle inextricably linked with Macbeth.

Nairn, Nairnshire, IV12 5RD

Cawdor Castle

Experience this house


Free for members
  • Cafe / restaurant
  • Easily accessible without car
  • Free parking
  • Parkland / open spaces
  • Picnic area
  • Shop
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Accessible parking
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Accessible toilets
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th-century, having been built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor, with the ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree – wherever you look, Cawdor Castle is steeped in intrigue and history.

Later additions, mainly from the 17th-century, were all built in a Scottish style with slated roofs over walls and crow-stepped gables of local stone. This style gives Cawdor a strong sense of unity, and the massive, severe exterior belies an intimate interior that gives the place a surprisingly personal, friendly atmosphere.

The imposing, rectangular tower-house consisted of four storeys and a garret with one entrance to the outside world set at upper first floor level; the perfect design to keep out unwelcome visitors.

This ancient castle, home to the Cawdor family to this day, has evolved over 600 years and has been lovingly filled with beautiful furniture, fine portraits, intriguing objects and amazing tapestries.

Opening Times


Open daily from end of April to early October: 10am to 5.30pm (last entry 5pm).

Castle: 10am – 4pm (last entry at 3pm)

Gardens and Grounds: 10am-5.30pm (last entry 5pm)

Highland Shop & Gift Shop: 10am–4pm

Courtyard Café: 10am–4pm (hot food served until 3pm)

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

See their website to double check their opening times


Historic Houses members can visit for free by presenting a valid membership at the ticket desk on arrival.

Tickets may be, but do not have to be, pre-booked; please any pre-booking will incur a charge.

Find out more about pre-booking experiences at Cawdor here.

Castle admission:

  • Adult: £13.50
  • Child: £7.50 (aged 5-15 yrs)
  • Family: £35.00 (2 adults and up to 5 children 5-15 yrs).
Group Visits

Private group tours can be arranged, by appointment, when closed and during the closed season.

Please contact the office on 01667 404401 or email for more details.

Educational Visits

We welcome schools and educational visits and can provide a brief introduction to the castle and its history from one of our Castle Guides.

  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Accessible parking
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Accessible toilets
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

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Cawdor Castle thorn/holly tree

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