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“Quality attraction.”
Review of Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle
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US$893.38*
and up
Shore Excursion - Invergordon - Loch Ness and...
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Nairn
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A romantic fairy-tale castle that has been the home of the Thanes of Cawdor since 1370, Cawdor has evolved into a charming family mansion and the most outstanding of stately homes. The dramatic medieval tower, dungeon, turrets, battlements and drawbridge, belie an enchanting interior of fine art, tapestries and furniture which create the warm and welcoming feel of a home rather than a museum. The castle, set in stunning grounds with three beautiful and varied gardens, is surrounded by the magnificent Cawdor Big Wood, one of the finest woodland areas in Europe, threaded with colour coded nature trails to explore. Visitors are invited to enjoy a delicious lunch or tea with home-baking from our mouth-watering menu in the courtyard café, then browse the exciting range of gifts and goodies in our three shops and, time permitting, have fun on the putting green and short 9-hole golf course which provides enjoyment for all abilities.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Baby buggy parking
Reviewed 27 May 2014

A pleasant walk round the castle - beware there are numerous stairs/steps to cope with along with some low doors, on the self-guided tour. Getting through with no queues only took about 30 min. Certainly signs that the castle is someone's home and still lived in, which is good to see.
The gardens are fantastic and very photogenic, although the weather stopped us getting too far.
The cafe at the castle is expensive, with a small cup of coffee (just ok quality) costing £2.35. Lots of tourist shopping for the Scottish essentials!
For £10 per adult and teen, it is erring on the expensive side for a visit, particularly if the weather is not great.

Thank 696robm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"lady cawdor"
in 30 reviews
"gardens are beautiful"
in 30 reviews
"family home"
in 24 reviews
"dowager countess"
in 33 reviews
"wild garden"
in 15 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 21 reviews
"gift shop"
in 35 reviews
"own pace"
in 14 reviews
"on display"
in 16 reviews
"holly tree"
in 9 reviews
"someone's home"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 12 reviews
"golf course"
in 14 reviews
"soup"
in 10 reviews
"maze"
in 98 reviews
"macbeth"
in 79 reviews
"tapestries"
in 47 reviews
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618 - 622 of 1,029 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2014 via mobile

Went with husband and 11 month old. Free parking is always a plus, unlike many of the national trust sites we visited in Scotland. The house itself has some interesting art work and pieces. Didn't get to read much as we were holding our wriggly baby, but the descriptions of the rooms were very witty. We enjoyed stilling around the very pretty gardens. We had lunch in the tea rooms, which was very nice and reasonably priced. Probably wouldn't recommend for children as I imagine they would be bored.

Thank CherryIceCreamSmile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Cawdor is a well preserved, very interesting castle with lovely grounds including gardens and a miniature golf course.
The gardens are lovely and the overall experience is recommended.

1  Thank JohnGMorpeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We found Cawdor Castle purely by chance, after I spotted a sign as we were driving through the area. We love visiting castles, so thought we'd pop in and have a look. What a wonderful chance it was.

Cawdor is the home of the Dowager Countess of Cawdor - and this is what makes is such a special place to visit. Unlike all the 'attractions' that are most heritage sites these days, Cawdor is still a place that serves its purpose - it is a home. It was a privilege to have the chance to walk through it and see it as it is enjoyed, with all its history, and its quirks. You can see the value the family has placed on retaining items of significance, but also how it is loved as a home. It is eclectic and fascinating. From the late Earl's notes on each room or exhibit - written with a clear voice and wry humour, to the Dowager Countess's growing collection of modern art, there is a lot to see and enjoy here.

I loved the juxtaposition of the current kitchen to the old kitchen in the basement, with its great range and chimney driven rotisserie, as well as learning the history of so many beautiful pieces of furniture and decor.

The cafe offers a really lovely selection of good food at a very reasonable price, and the gift shop has some of the most tasteful items I've seen in years. The staff all seem to love the estate and the Dowager Countess, who still visits regularly during the part of the year when she opens her home to visitors.

And the castle itself is just one part of the Cawdor experience - because the grounds are truly exquisite. The formal gardens are spectacular and obviously well loved, and also demonstrate a puckish humour. There are some delightful spots, and some modern and classic art installations in the grounds which are fun to find.

But for me? Well, I found my new spiritual home in Cawdor's wilderness - a wondrous place of massive ancient trees and green bowers. It's hard to do justice to this area, but if you value nature and have a desire to experience a taste of how an ancient Britain might have looked, a wander through this paradise is as close as one might come in this age. I wish I could have simply stayed in there.

Cawdor is not an 'attraction' - if you're looking for somewhere to entertain your bored children or for a Disney castle, this is not for you. Cawdor is an invitation to visit and share a part of the lives of a long-standing family and estate, as it continues to be used and loved. And as such it offers a truly rare experience.

1  Thank CAK05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 May 2014

This is a beautiful place. A family home, as well as a historic monument, it is very well presented. Also, Lady Cawder has excellent taste in contemporary art, which is displayed along with the heirlooms. The highlight is the garden. Spend a good portion of time just appreciating the beautiful gardens and the birds singing. Well worth the cost of a visit.

1  Thank Craicshack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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