Group Tours

The friendly and flexible team at Thirlestane Castle prides itself on a warm welcome to group tours and we do our utmost to tailor tours to suit any group and requirements.

Our local, experienced and entertaining guides have a wealth of knowledge about the castle and really bring its fascinating history to life. 

For larger groups or during busy periods, we can operate free flow tours. We also offer exclusive use of the castle to groups, by prior arrangement, when the castle is closed

Tour Highlights include:

  • The splendour of the State Drawing Room
  • Exquisite 17th century Dunsterfield gold-gilded plasterwork ceilings
  • One of the most extensive family portrait collections in Scotland, representing the work of famous artists such as Romney, Reynolds, Lawrence and Lely
  • The room where Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed
  • The Duke’s Bedroom with a fine four poster bed
  • The oak-panelled Library with its thick defensive walls

Allow up to an hour and a half to take in the ambience and learn the importance of one of the oldest and finest castles in the country. 

The Castle offers groups:

  • A friendly and flexible welcome for groups
  • Specialist tours
  • Bespoke catering and private dining
  • Dedicated dining space for groups in the Victorian Kitchen
  • Beautiful grounds for walks
  • Exclusive use for groups on days the castle is closed
  • Additional entertainment such as a jousting display can be arranged
  • Refreshments for coach parties without entry to the castle (please pre-book)
  • Special group rates
  • Pretty picnic area and children’s playground
  • Free coach and car parking
  • Free entry and refreshments for coach driver and tour guide

 

A trip to Thirlestane Castle isn’t complete without some refreshments. Groups can either enjoy a drink, sandwich and irresistible treat in our cosy Tea Room or we have a dedicated dining space for groups in our rustic Victorian Kitchen. We can also arrange unique private dining experiences in one of our magnificent State Rooms.

Thirlestane is fantastically located at the gateway to the Highlands, less than 30 miles from both the centre of Edinburgh and the Cruise Terminal at Leith. It is a stone's throw from the pretty town of Lauder, known for its stylish shops and art gallery.

It is also surrounded by other fascinating properties in this exquisite part of southern Scotland and we can help organise joint itineraries with other historic house and castles in the region.

Please contact us for more details on this or if we can help you with anything else. Email enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1578 722430 for more information.

“What a pleasant and interesting experience we had. I was really unprepared for what I found - especially the magnificent ceilings. The lunch was delicious and our guide was excellent. There was a personal warmth in the interactions we had with every single member of the team.”
ART AND ARCHITECTURE TOURS


PRICES

Standard Guided Tour:
£6.50pp - during open hours in season

Exclsuive Private Guided Tour
£13pp - when the castle is closed to the public
Available outside of normal opening hours between April and November by prior arrangement

Catering and activities at an additional cost.


DOWNLOADS

For further details on what we offer, please download our Groups Brochure:

Groups Brochure

For a sample of the catering packages we can offer please download our Groups Menu below. We can also create a bespoke menu to suit your requirements and budget if you have something different in mind.

Groups Menu

Exclusive Use

While there are a number of apartments to rent out for short breaks within Thirlestane Castle, it is also possible to hire the entire castle on an exclusive use basis.

Live like the Duke of Lauderdale for a weekend by taking over his former home. Relax with drinks in the grand State Drawing Room, dine in the dramatic portrait-lined State Dining Room and sleep in one of the luxurious bedrooms in the South Wing.

To complete your weekend, we can arrange activities such as a falconry or jousting display, set up some clay pigeon shooting or even an off-road driving experience. For a more leisurely pursuit why not learn the art of chocolate making or enjoy a tutored whisky tasting.

Whether it’s a corporate event which needs to make an impact, an important celebration with family, a fairy tale castle wedding or even a country pursuits weekend, then Thirlestane Castle is the ideal venue.

Contact our events team to discuss how we can make your plans a reality.

Email enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or call +44 (0)1578 722430.

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Group Bookings

With several apartments grouped together in the South Wing of Thirlestane Castle, groups can be accommodated by all the available apartments being let as one. Work is underway to finish the final apartments which will soon enable the castle to sleep sixteen in the Old Servants’ Quarters.

Groups who book several apartments can enjoy communal socialising and dining in the rustic, yet contemporary Victorian Kitchen and the newly restored Cobbled Courtyard. Guests may even like to hire the State Dining Room with its portrait lined walls.

All of the apartments have been finished to a high standard with modern furniture and fittings. These areas of the castle have been carefully restored by the Maitland family and some of the furnishings are from the castle collections.

Currently, the Lauderdale and Maitland Apartments are available to book as a combined let for six guests with more apartments to be added throughout 2018 as they are completed.

A private tour of the castle is included for all guests while they are staying and we can help organise additional group activities such as a falconry display, whisky tasting or a bagpipers welcome and private dining to complete a memorable stay.

Group bookings are due to launch soon.

Please contact enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or phone +44 (0)1578 722430 to request booking information.

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Lauderdale Apartment

The Lauderdale Apartment in the south wing offers a luxury escape to visitors who wish to holiday in a genuinely historic Scottish castle. There is private access through the castle’s cobbled courtyard and the apartment overlooks Thirlestane Castle’s extensive parkland.

There is a relaxed, neutral palette throughout the living area and bathroom while the bedroom is finished in the striking blues and greens of the Maitland tartan as worn by the Maitland clan.

Guests can enjoy an open plan kitchen, dining and seating area. The spacious bedroom has a generous king-sized bed and there is a luxurious bathroom with a free-standing bathtub.

It is a ten-minute walk (one mile) into the local town of Lauder where visitors can enjoy a number of places to eat and shop. There is also an hourly bus service to the centre of Edinburgh.

A private tour of the castle is included for guests while they are staying and there is the opportunity to hire the State Rooms or rustic Victorian Kitchens for exclusive, private dining.

"I couldn't think of a more exciting place to stay, we secretly pretended it was our castle!"
David & Elizabeth, Chester
“It was a long journey but as soon as we came through the gates and saw the Castle it was all worth it!”
Alan & Mary, Portsmouth

Book

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Maitland Apartment

With its own private access and exceptional views of the parkland, those staying in the Maitland Apartment can enjoy unrivaled accommodation in a romantic castle setting. The apartment has been recently created in the south wing in an area of Thirlestane Castle that was once the old laundries.

Guests can enjoy an eclectic mix of contemporary and original castle furniture and items from the collections including dramatic portraits of former castle residents.

The large, light-filled living area with a dining table and fully-equipped modern kitchen looks out over the parklands with several full height windows. There is a double bedroom with en-suite shower room while the second bedroom can be set up as either a twin or double bedroom. There is also a separate bathroom with shower.

The apartment is accessed from either the same level via the castle gardens or up a private staircase from the enclosed cobbled courtyard that guests are also able to use.

It is a ten-minute walk (one mile) into the local town of Lauder where visitors can enjoy a number of places to eat and shop. There is also an hourly bus service to the centre of Edinburgh.

Private tours of the castle can be arranged for guests while they are staying and there is the opportunity to hire the State Rooms or rustic Victorian Kitchens for exclusive, private dining.

Book

...Back to Stay page

Previous Shoots

Thirlestane Castle and its surrounding estate have been used for a variety of previous shoots.



 


Please get in touch to discuss your filming or photography project. You can call us on +44 (0)1578 722430 or email enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk

...Back to Filming

Props

With almost 500 years of history, Thirlestane Castle has a vast collection of objects gathered over the years by the Maitland family.

From period household objects to historic agricultural equipment, we can help supplement your film shoot with authentic objects.

Please contact us if you are looking for a specific object or if you would like to examine the items we have available for hire.

Email us on enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or give us a call on +44 (0)1578 722430.

...Back to Filming

Exterior Filming

Thirlestane Castle is surrounded by extensive parklands and is within a large estate yet still close to good transport links from Edinburgh.

Within the immediate vicinity of the castle there is the cobbled courtyard with its arched balcony.


 

 

 

 

Towering over the Rose Garden is the oldest part of the castle.

 

 

 

 

The front lawn and castle plaza provide a large space for all sorts of shoots.

 

 

 

 

Further afield there is woodland, riverside areas, parkland, heather moorland and even a Victorian stable block. More pictures of these areas will be available soon.

 

 

 

More images of the areas described above can be seen in the gallery on the left along with pictures of other areas.

For more information lease contact enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or ring +44 (0)1578 722430.

...Back to Filming

Interior Filming

There are many areas inside the castle that can be used for film or photography shoots.

STATE DRAWING ROOM

This elegant drawing room has breath taking plaster ceilings that date from the 17th century and dramatic fireplaces.

 

 


STATE DINING ROOM

The walls in this first floor room are lined with one of the largest collections of family portraits in Scotland. 


 

 

PANELLED ROOM

An intimate wood panelled room in the heart of the oldest part of the castle where the walls are over a metre thick. 

 

 

 

LIBRARIES

This Victorian Library has a distinctive ceiling and pink granite fire surround as well as the collection of hundreds of books. There also two smaller libraries.

 

 

 

BILLIARDS ROOM

This gentleman's room has a full size billiards table and an early collection of photographs by the 14th Earl of Lauderdale.



 

 

GRAND BED CHAMBER

The room is dominated by the ornate four-poster bed and the extravagent 17th Century Dunsterfield plasterwork ceilings.

 

 

 

MAIN HALL

Entered from the imposing steps at the front of the castle, this room houses an extensive collection of historic weoponry.


 

 

 

OLD KITCHEN

This Victorian-era kitchen has a vaulted ceiling and still contains the 19th century range cookers which provide an interesting focal point.
 

 

 

NURSERIES

This collection of rooms house typical ursery furniture and a treasure trove of Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian toys.



 

 

STAIRCASES

This is the Grand Staircase but Thirlestane Castle has a number of other staircases including spiral stone steps that could be used for filming.
 

 

 

VAULTED CELLARS


They were once the coal cellars of Thirlestane Castle but are now used as an event space. Level access available.


 

 

More images of the rooms described above can be seen in the gallery on the left along with pictures of other areas.

For more information lease contact enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or ring +44 (0)1578 722430.

...Back to Filming

Spaces

Whether you need to hire a room for a small intimate dinner or a larger reception, we can help you find the perfect space for your event.

With grand state rooms and more contemporary spaces we can cater for a variety of different styles and create a unique atmosphere.


STATE DRAWING ROOM

This elegant drawing room with dramatic fireplaces is on the first floor of the main central part of the castle. The breath taking plaster ceilings date from the 17th century.

Capacities:
Banquet - 100
Theatre Style - 100
Reception - 140
Size: 120 square metres


STATE DINING ROOM

The walls in this first floor room are lined with one of the largest collections of family portraits in Scotland including works by Romney, Reynolds, Lawrence and Lely. The individually lit paintings make the room a dramatic setting whatever time of the day.

Capacities:
Banquet - 75
Theatre Style - 80
Reception - 100
Size: 85 square metres


PANELLED ROOM

An intimate panelled room in the heart of the oldest part of the castle on the upper ground floor. Level access available.

Capacities:
Theatre Style - 60
Reception - 65
Size: 55 square metres


VICTORIAN KITCHEN


This recently refurbished, Victorian-era kitchen on the upper ground floor has a vaulted ceiling and still contains the 19th century range cookers which provide an interesting focal point. This space has a more rustic, relaxed and contemporary feel to the rest of the castle. Level access available.

Capacities:
Banquet - 40
Theatre Style - 60
Reception - 60
Size: 50 square metres


VAULTED CELLAR


This was once the coal cellars of Thirlestane Castle but is now a fantastic, atmospheric space with great acoustics that could be the perfect place for a music recital or whisky tasting. Level access available.

Capacities:
Banquet - 80
Theatre Style - 90
Reception - 100
Size: 90 square metres


OLD SERVANT'S HALL TEA ROOM

Used as our visitor’s Tea Room when the Castle is open, this pretty, lower ground floor room can also be used for your events. Level access available.

Capacities:
Banquet - 60
Theatre Style - 80
Reception - 80
Size: 70 square metres


COURTYARD


For a summer's evening our beautiful cobbled courtyard is a great place for guests to mingle. A clear-roofed marquee transforms it into an all weather area. Level access available.

Capacities:

Without Marquee

With Marquee

Banquet - 125

Banquet - 75

Theatre Style - 150

Theatre Style - 90

Reception - 160

Reception - 100

Size: 140 square metre

Size: 81 square metres




 

 

We also have a number of outdoor areas where a marquee can be erected or another outdoor event can take place.

Download our full Facilities Plan and Events brochure here:

Facilites Plan  

Events Brochure

Please contact us on enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or ring +44 (0)1578 722430 to discuss your project with us and we will help find the perfect space.

...Back to Events page.

Large-Scale Events

Thirlestane Castle has extensive experience of hosting large events such as the annual Vintage Motoring Extravaganza attracting around 7,000 visitors, the Scottish Championship Horse Trials and the Tour de Lauder, which over 700 cyclists participate in.

With hundreds of acres of parkland, woodland and meadow plus our stunning Rose Garden, the grounds of Thirlestane Castle can host many types of events.

The 16th century turreted castle is a dramatic backdrop for any event or you even hire the castle as well and use it for private functions or sponsors' entertainment.

There are several areas by the castle where marquees can be erected and we have links with a number of caterers, marquee companies, lighting and sound experts and florists to complete your event.

Thirlestane Castle is just 35 minutes south of Edinburgh and is easily accessible just off the A68 at Lauder. The main car park has space for 80 cars or numerous larger vehicles. There are also several grassed areas where several thousand cars can be parked.

The Thirlestane Castle Caravan Park can also provide accommodation for participants with campsite and touring pitches available.

To see the areas available for hire please download our Facilities Plan which has further details of area and capacities. Our Events Brochure is also available to download here.

Facilities Plan   

Events Brochure

Please contact us to discuss your event ideas on enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1578 722430.

...Back to Events page.

Private Dining

Thirlestane has many exciting dining options for your event – from grand State Rooms for a more formal experience to underground vaulted cellars and original kitchens for something more relaxed. 

With a series of recently refurbished spaces we can also offer some unique areas for drinks receptions and after dinner entertainment.

We work with the finest caterers from Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders to make sure your event leaves a lasting impression on your guests.
 

STATE DRAWING ROOM

For the grandest of occasions, the State Drawing Room offers opulent surroundings. The breath-taking 17th century ceilings are by the same craftsman as the ones in the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

 


 

STATE DINING ROOM

Lined with portraits of the Maitland family, the State Drawing Room is perhaps the most formal setting at the castle. Banquet like the former inhabitants around a table laden with silverware as their portraits surround you.
 


 

 

VICTORIAN KITCHEN

For a more rustic, contemporary event, our newly refurbished Old Kitchen offers a less formal but equally memorable venue for your meal. The original Victorian range will provide a talking point for your guests while they eat.

 

 

 

COBBLED COURTYARD

Our Cobbled Courtyard is the perfect alfresco dining space on a summer's evening. If you don't trust the weather we can add a transparent marquee to create a unique conservatory space

 

 

 

VAULTED CELLAR

If you are looking for an atmospheric space for dinner then we can offer our Vaulted Cellars. The former coal storage for the castle is now a unusual space with an original cobbled floor and vaulted ceiling.

 

 

 

OLD SERVANTS' HALL

The Old Servant's Hall is used by visitors to the castle on open days but can be hired for exclusive use at other times if you are looking for a more cosy setting.

 

 

 


Please contacts us at enquiries@thirlestancastle.co.uk or ring us on +44 1578 722430 to discuss your ideas.

You can also download our Events Brochure to see more of what we can offer.

Events Brochure

...Back to Events page.

Corporate Hire

Thirlestane Castle is an inspiring building set in peaceful surroundings yet is just 35 minutes south of Edinburgh. We work with brilliant suppliers so we can design a perfect corporate day out.

There are a number of different spaces that can be used for a variety of different purposes.

From inspiring rooms for meetings or conferences, to large expanses of parkland for team-building activities or incentive days, we have it here. Whether you have a launch party, staff away day or awards dinner to plan, our flexible staff can tailor the best option for you.

To complete your day, we can arrange whisky tasting in our vaulted cellars, archery on the front lawn or perhaps a falconry display in our Rose Garden. We can organise a sumptuous dinner in one of the State Rooms and we also have a number of apartments should delegates wish to stay the night.
 

MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

The State Dining Room with its portrait lined walls is a dramatic and inspiring space for conferences or meetings. We can provide additional equipment on request and organise catering from our panel of top caterers. For smaller events, you can hire the newly-refurbished Victorian Kitchen.
 

 

AWARDS DINNERS

Celebrate your company's achievements with a grand dinner in the elegant State Dining Room. We work with award-winning caterers who can plan a fitting meal for your guests. For larger events, enjoy a drinks reception in the castle and then celebrate in a bespoke marquee in our Rose Garden.

 

 

ACTIVITY DAYS

The castle is surrounded by parkland within a large estate meaning there is scope for a whole range of team-building activities on site. We work with some of the best providers out there and can organise diverse activities such as archery, highland games or chocolate making. For a visual spectacle we can put on a jousting display, organise a bagpiper or give your team a hands-on experience of birds of prey.

 

INCENTIVE OUTINGS

For an extra special day out as a reward for staff, why not have an exclusive visit to Thirlestane Castle. For example, we can organise a behind the scenes tour led by a member of the Maitland family, followed by a private dinner in the State Dining Room, topped off with a relaxed whisky tasting experience in the State Drawing Room.

 


Whatever your event, escape the city and the corporate world to relax in the sumptuous surroundings of Thirlestane Castle in the Scottish Borders.

All events are unique so please contact us to discuss further what you may require. You can email us on enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1578 722430.

You can also download our Events Brochure to see more of what we can offer.

Events Brochure

...Back to Events page.

Welcome to Thirlestane Castle

A magnificent 16th Century Castle set in a quiet meadow landscape, you will find us distinctly different. Family home of the Duke of Lauderdale, Thirlestane Castle is one of the oldest and finest castles in Scotland. It still remains a family home to the Maitland family today. During the summer months Thirlestane is open to the day visitor and for group tours. Thirlestane also makes itself and its setting available for corporate events throughout the year, by prior arrangement. Visitors come from far and wide to be inspired, educated, innovated, create and even dance the night away, as our castle becomes yours.

"Preserving the Castle for today, tomorrow and for the future is a huge challenge for all those involved which is why more than ever we look to the public to help support us simply by coming to visit and spending time here with their families. It is what makes everything we do so worthwhile.." 

Edward Maitland-Carew

Shop

If you have any questions about any of the products please call us on +44 (0)1578 722430 or email us at enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk

Thirlestane Castle Tea Room

Visiting a wonderful place like Thirlestane just wouldn't be the same without popping in to the warm and friendly Tea Room which is conveniently located on the Lower Ground Floor next to the main entrance of the Castle.

It's a good opportunity to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee and an irresistible treat whilst reading the Castle's guidebook. 

The Tea Room serves a tasty selection of drinks, light meals and home baking.

The Tea room can be visited without purchasing a Castle or Grounds ticket.

There is free wifi in the Tearoom if you want to stay and catch up with the outside world over a cup of coffee.

We even offer take away food and drinks if you would prefer to go out and enjoy our beautiful grounds with your refreshments.
 

MENU

Our menu is available to download. 

Download Menu

Special catering packages are available for larger groups. Please visit our Groups page to download our Groups Catering Options.


AFTERNOON TEA EXPERIENCE

Why not pre-book a table and enjoy our Afternoon Tea Experience? With its cake stand brimming with sandwiches, pastries, scones and cakes our Traditional Afternoon Tea is an indulgent treat after wandering around the castle.

Available every Sunday throughout opening season, apart from special event days.

Afternoon Tea is £12.50 per person and a High Tea (available for groups of 20+) is £15 per person.

Places must be booked in advance by calling 01578 722430 or emailing enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk


PICNICS

Our Tea Room staff are also happy to prepare a picnic for you to pick up - very popular during our outdoor theatre performances and other special events. These include tasty items such as Homemade Red Onion and Brie Quiche and Eton Mess.

A day picnic is available for £12.50 per person and our evening picnics, created especially for our evening events, are £15 per person.

These must be booked in advance by contacting the castle by calling 01578 722430 or emailing enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk.

...Back to Visit page

Your Visit to Thirlestane Castle

Dating back to the 16th century, Thirlestane Castle not only has a beautiful fairytale exterior, it also contains many fascinating details and stories inside.

In the grand state rooms, visitors can discover some of the finest decorative plasterwork ceilings in Europe, as well one of the most extensive family collections of portraits and busts in Scotland, fine furnishings, and Maitland family treasures.

Children will enjoy exploring the old family nurseries, historic toy collection, woodland walk and adventure playground.

There is also a Tea Room and Gift Shop that can be visited without entry to the Grounds or Castle.

OPENING TIMES FOR 2018

From 30th April - 30th September 
Sundays - Thursday (Closed Fridays and Saturdays)
10am - 4pm

ADMISSION PRICES

Entry to Castle and Grounds including superb picnic and children's play area:
Adults - £8.00
Children - £3.50
Seniors - £6.50
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) - £20.00

Grounds only:
Adults - £3.00
Children - £1.50

GIFT AID

If you opt to gift aid your entrance fee you can pay once and enjoy admission for 12 months.
Terms and Conditions apply.

GROUPS

Guided Tour of the Castle and entry to the Castle Grounds:
During general open days - £6.50p/h
On days closed to the public - £13.00p/h
For more information about bespoke tours with our experienced guides as well as catering options for groups please click here

ACCESS STATEMENT

Our Access Statement is available on request or by clicking on the button below.

Download

 
...Back to Visit page

Tea Room Menu

 

Events at Thirlestane Castle

Food Glorious Food

Visiting a wonderful place like Thirlestane just wouldn't be the same without popping in to the warm and friendly Tea Room which is conveniently located on the ground floor next to the main entrance of the Castle. It's a good opportunity to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee and some irresistible treat whilst reading the Castle's guidebook. The Tea Room serves a tasty selection of drinks, sandwiches and home baking.

See our full menu here

 

There's also a pretty vintage shop next to the Tea Room with curios as well as Thirlestane Castle merchandise.

Catering in the tearoom out-with the opening times is available for a minimum of 20 people.

Fine Dining at The Castle

The fine dining experience at Thirlestane is unique. Guests are served in the Grand Dining Room of the Castle surrounded by exquisite works of art, with food and wine provided by our panel of award-winning caterers: The Orde Food Company, Appetite Direct and Ginger Snap. The backdrop is grand and dramatic but the atmosphere is relaxed and convivial in this ancient Scottish Castle.

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Filming & Photography

Thirlestane is a magnificent 16th century turreted castle set in hundreds of acres of parkland, just 35 minutes from Edinburgh.

With its fairytale exterior it makes the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot or film location.

There is easy vehicle access and ample parking for large vehicles close to the main building. There is also a tea room for catering if required.

INTERIOR FILMING

Grand State Rooms with intricate plasterwork ceilings, a Victorian kitchen and nurseries could all make the perfect sets for a film or television production. Other atmospheric and intimate settings such as the vaulted cellars or library can also be used.

More Info

 

EXTERIOR FILMING

Thirlestane Castle is surrounded by an extensive estate which as a variety of features that can be used for filming such as moorland, woodland, riverside areas and a Victorian stable block.

More Info


 

PROPS

The castle also has an extensive collection of period items which could be used on request as props.

More Info

 

 

PREVIOUS SHOOTS

To get an idea of how Thirlestane Castle and the surrounding estate can be used, take a browse through photos from previous shoots.

More Info
 

 

Please contact enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or ring us on +44 1578 722430 for further details.

Our Restoration Story

Thirlestane has undergone a recent restoration and repair project following the discovery of localised dry rot. It has provided us with many challenges but also means we are preserving something for future generations so it is very positive.

Support Us

If you would be interested in becoming a patron of Thirlestane Castle as an individual or corporate group please email us our visit our Support Us page.

To make a donation online to Thirlestane Castle please see the link below.

JustGiving Donation

Terms and Conditions

Gift Aid Annual Pass

  • Valid for 12 months from date of issue.
  • Not valid on special event days.
  • Only valid on days and times the castle is open to visitors.
  • Must be shown on subsequent visits to gain entry.
  • Non-transferrable. Only to be used by person named on the card.
  • Discounts cannot be used when getting an annual pass.

Join Our Free Mailing List

We always welcome new friends!

To receive email updates about all the latest news and events at Thirlestane Castle. Simply complete and send the simple form below.  We promise we won’t share your details with any third parties without your consent. Our mailing list is compliant with current Data Protection legislation.

Latest News

Contact Us

Thirlestane Castle Trust
Thirlestane Castle, Lauder
Berwickshire, Scotland
TD2 6RU

Tel: +44 1578 722430
enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk 

For all enquiries please fill out the form below.

Please Support Us

Maintenance of the castle and vital restorative work would not be possible without your generous support.

We also rely on the Friends of Thirlestane Castle, our team of volunteer guides, to give our visitors the best experience when on a tour.

Please consider joining us as a Friend, Patron or give a donation to pledge your support.
 

VOLUNTEERING

We are always on the lookout for keen volunteers to assist and inform visitors of the history of the Castle and the unique collections on display.

Our Friends are the face of Thirlestane Castle and play an important part in welcoming visitors and making their visit memorable and informative.

If you have some spare time and an interest in the castle, email enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk.

DONATIONS

Thirlestane Castle Trust is extremely grateful for any donation – large or small.

The castle is owned and managed by a Charitable Trust, which relies on the income from visitors and financial gifts to keep the doors open!

Call +44 1578 722430 to donate over the phone.

 

THIRLESTANE PATRONS

You can also become a Patron of Thirlestane Castle by contributing £150-£1,500 annually to the Trust.

Benefits include:

  • Unlimited free entry to the castle and grounds during normal opening times for you and a guest
  • 10% discount in the Gift Shop and Maitland Tea Room
  • A private tour, including access to closed areas not seen by the public
  • Invitations to some events held at Thirlestane
  • 10% discount on use of the castle for private hire
  • Acknowledgement on the website and in other Thirlestane Castle literature
  • Invitation to a drinks party
  • 20% discount on event hire

We would be delighted to discuss any other amount with you on a private and confidential basis.

We also offer Sponsorship opportunities and legacies.

For more information, contact enquiries@thirlestanecastle.co.uk or call +44 1578 722430.

Exclusive use wedding venue

Nestling in the gentle Scottish Borders hills, with its rose pink sandstone and majestic turrets, Thirlestane Castle is a fairytale setting for weddings. You and your guests can make the most of exclusive use of the castle to celebrate your most special day in style.

Thirlestane Castle enjoys a peaceful parkland setting with the River Leader flowing by, yet is conveniently located just 35 minutes south of Edinburgh.

Whether it’s an intimate gathering of just a handful of people, right up to a large marquee, we pride ourselves on offering an extremely flexible service to all our couples. We have a variety of different settings so you can choose a style that works with your plans.


The sumptuously decorated State Drawing Room can hold up to 120 guests for your wedding ceremony.

It can also be used as a elegant dining space.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 120 guests
Dinner: 100 guests
 


Lined with portraits of the Maitland family, the State Dining Room seats up to 75 for an atmospheric dinner. 

You could also have your ceremony in this room.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 80
Dinner: 75
 


For smaller weddings, our Panelled Drawing Room holds up to 60 for an intimate ceremony.

Have the castle experience without hiring a large room.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 60
Dinner: 45
 


The Old Kitchen is perfect for smaller more rustic weddings.

Have your ceremony or dinner here in front of the original Victorian Range.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 50
Dinner: 40
 

The Cobbled Courtyard is a wonderful alfresco space for outdoor weddings.

Add a transparent marquee to transform the space into a unique conservatory.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 150 (90 with marquee) 
Dinner: 125 (75 with marquee)
 

For somewhere atmospheric there is our Vaulted Cellars.

Ceremony, Dinner or reception, the space is extremely flexible.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 100
Dinner: 80
 


The Old Servant's Hall is perfect when you want a cosy family gathering.

Dine here after having your ceremony outside perhaps.

CAPACITY
Dinner: 52
Reception: 75
 


For your evening reception, marquees for up to 200 guests can be situated in the Rose Garden.

This area is overlooked by the oldest part of the castle.

CAPACITY
Ceremony: 200
Dinner/reception: 200
 

The backdrop is grand and dramatic, but the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming in this ancient Scottish castle. 

The Bride and Groom can even stay in our luxurious Lauderdale Apartment within the castle.

The State Rooms are available for weddings from April – October for both the ceremony and wedding breakfast. Other areas and marquees can be used year round.

For further information please contact Rhona Jamieson on +44 1578 722430 or email rhona@thirlestanecastle.co.uk 

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Events

Whether it’s for a special occasion, corporate function, sporting event, wedding or car rally, Thirlestane Castle is the perfect venue.

Our events team will bend over backwards to ensure you and your guests have a truly memorable experience.

Thirlestane Castle is just 35 minutes south of Edinburgh and easily accessible just off the A68 at Lauder. There is plenty of coach and car parking onsite. 

WHAT'S ON 2018

Thirlestane Castle organises a series of events throughout the year.

We have a varied calendar of events taking place at the castle throughout 2018.

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PRIVATE DINING

With our grand state rooms and our more quirky spaces we can create the perfect place for your dining event.

We work with a panel of caterers to give you the perfect experience.

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CORPORATE

For making an impression, giving inspiration, or motivating, Thirlestane really is a stunning venue for your business.

We can even arrange activities such as archery or falconry for you to enjoy.

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LARGE-SCALE EVENTS

With its extensive parklands, Thirlestane Castle is the ideal location for large open-air events.

We have many years of experience at hosting crowd-pleasing outdoor extravaganzas.

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SPACES

Various rooms and parts of the castle grounds can be hired for away days, business dinners or team building events.

Full room capacities and dimensions are available to help you plan your special event.

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Stay

With exceptional views of the parkland, the holiday apartments in the Old Servants’ Quarters of the Thirlestane Castle offer a unique opportunity to stay in a castle.

The Apartments offer unrivalled accommodation, in a breath taking romantic castle setting.  There is an eclectic mix of contemporary and original castle furniture and items from the collections including dramatic portraits.

When you stay at Thirlestane Castle, you don’t just get a stunning apartment to spend the night in, we also offer private tours of the castle for all our guests. We can recommend places to visit and dine and even organise for you to have a dinner party within the castle

Groups can take several of the apartments and enjoy communal dining in the Victorian Kitchen or why not hire the whole castle on an exclusive use basis?

Visitors can also camp within the castle estate at the Thirlestane Castle Caravan Park. It has touring and camping pitches and a selection of static holiday homes to buy.

MAITLAND APARTMENT

This recently created luxury two-bedroom apartment off the castle’s cobbled courtyard is now available to book.

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LAUDERDALE APARTMENT

Our one-bedroom apartment in the castle’s South Wing that is available for the perfect relaxing break

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GROUP BOOKINGS

Book several of our self-catering apartments in the castle for your group and enjoy communal eating and socialising in the Victorian Kitchen or state dining room.

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EXCLUSIVE USE

You can hire the entire castle and make the most of all the facilities on an exclusive use basis while staying here including private dining in our State Rooms.

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THIRLESTANE CASTLE CARAVAN PARK

Situated with the castle estate, the Caravan Park has overnight pitches for tents, caravans and tourers.

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Maitlands & History

The history of the ground upon which Thirlestane Castle now stands dates back to at least the 12th Century and later a large Border fort was built on the site to defend the approach to Edinburgh from the south.

The central part of the present castle was completed in 1590, remodelled in the 1670s and then enlarged in the 1840s

Throughout its long history, Thirlestane has belonged to the Maitland family, one of the most able famous in Scotland.  The Maitlands came to Britain in 1066 with William the Conqueror and settled in Northumberland.  In about 1260, Sir Richard Maitland married Avicia daughter and sole heiress to Thomas du Thirlestane.  It was this marriage that bought the lands of Thirlestane and others into the ownership of the Maitland family.  The ruined remains of the family home at that time can still be seen two miles from the castle on the A697.

Through military service and their contributions to the law and the arts, the Maitlands gained increasingly in power and influence.  In 1590, John Maitland, whose elder brother Sir William Maitland of Lethington had served as Secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, became Lord Chancellor of Scotland.  His son was later created 1st Earl of Lauderdale in 1624.

Today the castle is still the home of the Maitland family.  For further information about the Maitlands and the history of the castle download the pdf below.

Download History PDF

Visit

Nestled in an idyllic part of the Scottish Borders, Thirlestane Castle is a magnificent 16th Century Castle set in a meadow landscape.

Family Home to the Duke of Lauderdale, Thirlestane Castle is one of the oldest and finest castles in Scotland and still remains home to the Maitland family today.

Located just off the A68 in Lauder, Thirlestane Castle is easily accessible and has plenty of parking.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

The Castle and grounds are open this year from 30th April - 30th September 2018.

Guided tours are available and the castle can also be used for private hire by prior arrangement

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TEA ROOM

The Tea Room serves a tasty selection of drinks, sandwiches and home baking.

Afternoon Teas are available every Sunday during the open season but tables must be booked in advance.

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LATEST NEWS

There are always exciting things going on at Thirlestane Castle from upcoming events to new collections.

Check what's been happening in our news section or read archived articles.

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SUPPORT

Maintenance of the castle and vital restorative work would not be possible without your generous support.

We're always looking for volunteers to help share Thirlestane's stories.

More Info

 

Welcome to Thirlestane Castle

A magnificent 16th Century Castle set in a quiet meadow landscape, you will find us distinctly different. Family home of the Duke of Lauderdale, Thirlestane Castle is one of the oldest and finest castles in Scotland. It still remains a family home to the Maitland family today. During the summer months Thirlestane is open to the day visitor and for group tours. Thirlestane also makes itself and its setting available for corporate events throughout the year, by prior arrangement. Visitors come from far and wide to be inspired, educated, innovated, create and even dance the night away, as our castle becomes yours.

"Preserving the Castle for today, tomorrow and for the future is a huge challenge for all those involved which is why more than ever we look to the public to help support us simply by coming to visit and spending time here with their families. It is what makes everything we do so worthwhile.." 

Edward Maitland-Carew

BVAC Classic - Festival of Motoring

BVAC Classic - Festival of Motoring

Sunday 3rd June 2018 - 11am

Join us for the BVAC Classic - Festival of Motoring with over 1,000 vintage vehicles on display. A great family day out with a Craft and Gift Fair and displays during the day.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Open-Air Theatre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Open-Air Theatre

Sunday 1st July 2018 - 6pm

Chapterhouse Theatre Company are returning to Thirlestane for another open-air performance. Join us for as they present Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedy.


Civil War Re-Enactment Weekend

Civil War Re-Enactment Weekend

Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th July 2018

The oldest re-enactment society, the Sealed Knot, is coming back to Thirlestane Castle to once more bring to life the history of Scotland's involvement in the Civil Wars.

Book an Event

Book an Event

Our Events Team are here to help

Whether it’s for a special occasion, a charity auction, a sporting event, wedding, car rally, music festival, whatever the event may be, Thirlestane Castle is the perfect venue. Our events team will bend over backwards for you.