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Bothwell Castle featuring château or palace

Witness heroic battle re-enactments or roam the halls of Glasgow’s biggest, and most striking, medieval defence building.

Get a glimpse of the United Kingdom’s medieval past in the biggest 13th-century stone castle in Scotland. Watch as performers dressed as knights and peasants reenact medieval battles, or just browse the castle’s chambers and halls. Photographers will love the striking image of the castle ruins with the River Clyde in the background. On a stormy day, this is an eerie sight that suits its history.

Originally built by the aristocratic Walter of Moray, Bothwell Castle was conquered and damaged during the War of Independence with England. It lay abandoned until the 1360s, when the Earl of Douglas rebuilt it.

Start by checking out the remains of the cylindrical Donjon. When first constructed, this residential tower was 98 feet (30 meters) tall and had a diameter of 66 feet (20 meters). Look for the open west side of the tower, which was taken down to block sieges from the English.

Don’t miss the great hall and chapel built by Archibald the Grim, the third Earl of Douglas. Climb the 21 steps to the great hall to get an impression of remarkable 14th-century architectural achievements.

To make it a day trip, bring a picnic and relax in the surrounding gardens while the children run round the ruins or play knights on horses. They will love visiting the castle during the days of special events, which include re-enactments of historical battles. Join in and try your hand at archery and watch colorful fashion parades from a bygone era. Check the Historic Scotland website for the events calendar.

Situated in the town of Bothwell, the castle is a 20-minute drive from Glasgow’s city center. Free parking is available. You can also take the bus or train to Uddingston, a 15-minute walk from the castle gates.

Bothwell Castle is open daily from April to October. From November to March it is open from Saturday to Wednesday only. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing, so don’t come too late in the afternoon.

Top things to do in Bothwell Castle

Top Trending Hotels Near Bothwell Castle

Stonefield Rooms
Stonefield Rooms
3 out of 5
The price is £49 per night from 3 Dec to 3 Dec
Situated in Glasgow, this guesthouse is within 3 miles (5 km) of Bothwell Castle, Strathclyde Country Park and Calderglen Country Park. Hamilton Park Racecourse ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (10 reviews)
"My room was on the first floor, accessible via an external staircase to the side. There was a motion sensor light over the door, which was a nice touch. The room was clean with a nice en suite with a variety of towels. The shower was easy to use. There were adjustable radiators in both bedroom and ..."

Reviewed on 8 Nov 2021

Stonefield Rooms
Signature - Bruce Terrace Lower - Blantyre
Signature - Bruce Terrace Lower - Blantyre
34 Bruce Terrace, Glasgow, SCT
Situated in Glasgow, this apartment building is within 3 miles (5 km) of Bothwell Castle, Strathclyde Country Park and Hamilton Park Racecourse. Calderglen Country ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
"Very clean, quiet, practical and affordable. 5 min walk from train station. Great connection into Glasgow central station and/or exhibition center. Perfect for a multi-day business stay. Only slight downside: no shopping, restaurants, etc near-by. But would definitely come again."

Reviewed on 12 Nov 2021

Signature - Bruce Terrace Lower - Blantyre
Signature - Bruce Terrace Upper - Blantyre
Signature - Bruce Terrace Upper - Blantyre
32 Bruce Terrace, Glasgow, SCT
Situated in Glasgow, this apartment building is within 3 miles (5 km) of Bothwell Castle, Strathclyde Country Park and Hamilton Park Racecourse. Calderglen Country ...
Signature - Bruce Terrace Upper - Blantyre
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Stonefield Rooms
Stonefield Rooms
3 out of 5
The price is £49 per night from 3 Dec to 3 Dec
Stonefield Rooms
Signature - Bruce Terrace Lower - Blantyre
Signature - Bruce Terrace Lower - Blantyre
34 Bruce Terrace, Glasgow, SCT
Signature - Bruce Terrace Lower - Blantyre
Signature - Bruce Terrace Upper - Blantyre
Signature - Bruce Terrace Upper - Blantyre
32 Bruce Terrace, Glasgow, SCT
Signature - Bruce Terrace Upper - Blantyre
The Barony Suite Apartment
The Barony Suite Apartment
3.5 out of 5
The Barony Suite Apartment
Holiday Inn Express Strathclyde Park M74 JCT 5, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Strathclyde Park M74 JCT 5, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
The price is £49 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
Holiday Inn Express Strathclyde Park M74 JCT 5, an IHG Hotel
Signature - Douglas View Blantyre
Signature - Douglas View Blantyre
3 Douglas St, Blantyre, Glasgow, SCT
Signature - Douglas View Blantyre
Laughing Buddha Guest House
Laughing Buddha Guest House
2.5 out of 5
Laughing Buddha Guest House
Crossbasket Castle
Crossbasket Castle
4.5 out of 5
The price is £187 per night from 14 Dec to 14 Dec
Crossbasket Castle
Dragon - McCulloch House 2 Bedroom Home
Dragon - McCulloch House 2 Bedroom Home
3 out of 5
Dragon - McCulloch House 2 Bedroom Home
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.