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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
$546.86 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Best way to see Inverness and the surroundings
My wife and toured Inverness, Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield etc. with our private guide, Johnie. He was fantastic! We were able to see and enjoy 10 times the sights and history in one day than we would have been able to do on our own. Johnie is extremely knowledgeable and gave us history and context to what we were seeing. He made the entire experience a pleasure.
Paul_R, 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
Terrific Tour
Donna_D, Aug 2022
Loch Ness,cawdor castle,inverness,Culloden battlefield,& more from invergordon
Mike was the best. He took us to all the important sites and provided an interesting commentary throughout the trip.
star-5
David was a wonderful...
crisbeauvoir, Aug 2022
Tour 2 Cawdor Castle, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness
David was a wonderful guide. His knowledge and love of the area was truly appreciated. I would highly recommend David.
star-5
Fantastic tour!
jenniferliotino, Aug 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Johnie was an expert guide with extensive knowledge of history/culture/community, who took us to all the must see places in the Highlands. Much better than the cruise ship tour! Go at your own pace, much less crowded, and more personalized.
star-5
Don’t miss this tour
Bonnie_W, Aug 2022
Tour 2 Cawdor Castle, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness
Loved this tour. Our tour guide (I believe her name was June) was wonderful. The castle was amazing. Culloden stop was touching and the piper was wonderful. So much history. Highly recommend this tour
star-5
Go ! You'll love it !
Peter_B, Aug 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
The knowlege and good entertaining of our guide - a good man ! We will recommend our friends who have knowlege of the hills - they wil love it
star-5
Perfect port day
Elizabeth_O, Aug 2022
INVERGORDON PORT Tour of Culloden, Cairns & Cawdor Castle
What a delight. From an immediate follow through on an emailed question to timing to get us into the sights with fewest crowds, to fascinating information, Avril's tours was fabulous. Being picked up dockside and being returned comfortably within cruise departure time gave this day an ease I hadn't anticipated. She has a great sense of humor as well as a grasp of history..a great and unusual combo. I would recommend highly.
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
Beautiful scenery and...
Mary_G, Aug 2022
Tour 2 Cawdor Castle, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness
Beautiful scenery and family loved the information learned from the tour director enjoyed the attractions and talking to local
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
Great Day / Great Tour Guide
Craig_P, Aug 2022
Tour 2 Cawdor Castle, Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness
Becky was our tour guide and she was awesome. Very knowledgeable and very friendly. My wife and I met 2 other couples (who we didn’t know) for a great day. Highly recommend
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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: