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Accommodation in Dumfries & Galloway
Dumfries & Galloway council
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Castles in Dumfries and Galloway

The region of Dumfries & Galloway combines rugged cliffs at Scotlandís southern most point, miles of stunning coastline, and Galloway Forest Park. The market town of Dumfries has developed into the largest town in Scotlandís southwest, as well as the perfect base for exploring the Solway coast. Dumfries and Galloway is known for its artists and writers, and the town of Wigtown is officially Scotlandís Booktown. In addition to cultural history, this region is also home to some very grand Scottish castles.

Surrounding the market town of Dumfries are several castles and castle ruins which have played a major role in Scotlandís history. Five miles north of Dumfries is Amisfield Tower, an impressive, well-preserved castle. Also known as Hempisfield Tower, Amisfield was built by the Charteris family in 1600 and is still occupied today.

In the village of Torthorwald just outside of Dumfries stands Torthorwald Castle, a large ruined tower built in the 14th century, though a structure has been present on this site since the 12th century. The ruined Lochmaben Castle in Lochmaben, lies between Locherbie and Dumfries, and was built by Edward I in the 13th-14th centuries. Down near the southwest coast almost overlooking the Lake District in neighbouring Cumbria, England is Comlongon Castle, a 15th century tower house located less than a mile from Clarencefield. A 19th century mansion was added to the tower, and the castle and mansion today together form a hotel.

Further southwest from Comlongon Castle is Caerlaverock Castle, a 13th-century triangular moated castle in the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve. This stunning castle was owned in the Middle Ages by the Maxwell family, while today this popular tourist attraction is in the care of Historic Scotland.

Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway copyright Lynne Kirton
Drumlanrig Castle © Lynne Kirton

Just a few miles from Caerlaverock Castle and 7 miles south of Dumfries is Abbot's Tower, a late 16th century tower house which, after a restoration in the 1990s is now a private residence. Ten miles from Dumfries further southwest of Abbotís Tower isDrumcoltran Tower, a late 16th century tower house near Kirkgunzeon.

Moving much further east of Dumfries, the 16th century Gilnockie Tower is located in Hollows, near Canonbie, on the west bank of the River Esk, while closer to Dumfries is Repentance Tower, also built in the 16th century and situated near Annan.

20 miles north of Dumfries near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway is Lochhouse Tower, a stone tower home which was built in the mid 16th century, restored in the in late 1970s and is now a private residence. 2 miles northeast of Moffat is the Frenchland Tower ruin, also built in the 16th century.

Moving west across Dumfries and Galloway 30 miles from Lochhouse Tower is Morton Castle, in the hills above Nithsdale, near Thornill. Similar in structure to Caerlaverock Castle, Morton Castle was built in the 1500s and was lived in until late in the 17th century, when it was abandonded, and Morton Castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland though it is owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. Also owned by the Duke of Buccleuch is Drumlanrig Castle, a large country house just 3 miles from Morton Castle built between 1684-1691.

Six miles from Drumlanrig is the 14th century Closeburn Castle, one of the oldest continually inhabited houses in Scotland, 1 mile southeast of Thornhill. Heading back down to the southwest coast leads to Orchardton Tower, a ruined tower house 4 miles from the town of Dalbeattie. Orchardton Tower is distinguished as being the only round tower house in Scotland, and is now in the care of Historic Scotland. 10 miles northwest of Orchardton is Threave Castle, 1.5 miles west of the town of Castle Douglas. Originally built in the 1370s by Archibald Douglas, Threave Castle was home of the ĎBlackí Douglas Earls of Douglas until their fall in 1455.

Eight miles southwest of Threave Castle on the southwest shore of Galloway is MacLellan's Castle, in Kirkcudbright. The 16th century castle was home to the MacLellan family and is now a Historic Scotland property. Nearby Balmangan Tower is a ruined 16th century tower house outside of Borgue, its location perfect for a quick detour on the way to Cardoness Castle. Just outside of Galloway Forest Park, the 15th century Cardoness Castle is an imposing ruin just southwest of Gatehouse of Fleet, now in the care of Historic Scotland after a bloody history of murder and executions left it abandoned in the late 17th century.

Morton Castle, Dumfries & Galloway copyright Bubobubo2
Morton Castle © Bubobubo2

The 15th century Barholm Castle sits five miles southwest of Gatehouse of Fleet, and served as a stronghold of the McCulloch family. After a Historic Scotland grant in 2003, Barholm Castle was renovated and is now a private home.

Heading north up and around to the other side of Wigtown Bay, Sorbie Tower is a fortified tower house a mile east of the village of Sorbie and the ancient seat of Clan Hannay. 25 miles west of Sorbie Tower is the grand Castle Kennedy, outside of Stranraer. The historic gardens of Castle Kennedy and the dramatic structures on the property are rich with historical significance.

Castle St. John sits in the centre of the town on Stranaer, 5 miles from Castle Kennedy. Built by the Adairs of Kilhilt, this structure has served as a prison, a home and a court, until its refurbishment in the 1980s led to Castle St Johnís most recent and current role as a museum.

Five miles from Castle St John outside of Stranraer is Lochnaw Castle, a 16th Century structure near Lochnaw Loch which was traditionally the ancestral seat of the Agnew Clan. Eight miles across to the westernmost coast of Dumfries and Galloway, Dunksey Castle is a ruined 16th century tower house outside of the village of Portpatrick which served as the main defence structure looking out across the North Channel. In addition to the ruins of the castle, a watchtower structure remains on the cliffís edge.


Dumfries & Galloway castles

Bullet Point Abbot's Tower
Bullet Point Amisfield Tower
Bullet Point Balmangan Tower
Bullet Point Barholm Castle
Bullet Point Caerlaverock Castle
Bullet Point Cardoness Castle
Bullet Point Closeburn Castle
Bullet Point Comlongon Castle
Bullet Point Drumcoltran Tower
Bullet Point Drumlanrig Castle
Bullet Point Dunksey Castle
Bullet Point Frenchland Tower
Bullet Point Gilnockie Tower
Bullet Point Castle Kennedy
Bullet Point Lochhouse Tower
Bullet Point Lochmaben Castle
Bullet Point Lochnaw Castle
Bullet Point MacLellan's Castle
Bullet Point Morton Castle
Bullet Point Orchardton Tower
Bullet Point Repentance Tower
Bullet Point Sorbie Tower
Bullet Point Castle St. John
Bullet Point Threave Castle
Bullet Point Torthorwald Castle

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