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.
13 April - 6 October 2019: 10am to 5:30pm (last admission 5pm).
A short distance from the A9 at Inverness, Cawdor Castle can be found off the A96. Follow the B9090 to Cawdor Village where signs will lead you to the castle.
The castle can also be reached by public transport to Nairn where a taxi would be required.
- Offers bike storage
Car park on site
Nairn Taxi's 01667 451111
Historic Houses members visit for free.
Child: £7.20 (aged 5-15 yrs)
Family: £33.00 (2 adults and up to 5 children 5-15 yrs)
- Wheelchair ramps/routes
- Accessible parking
- Guide dogs welcome
- Accessible toilets
A word from the owner
We hope you enjoy your visit to this special and intriguing castle.
The legendary tale says that the Thane of Cawdor, who had a small castle about a mile away, decided to build a new, stronger tower.
Following instructions he received in a dream, the Thane loaded a coffer of gold onto the back of a donkey and let it roam the district for a day- wherever the donkey lay to rest for the evening would be where the new castle would be sited.
We welcome schools and educational visits and can provide a brief introduction to the castle and its history from one of our Castle Guides.