Fairytale turrets and strikingly red brickwork characterise Thirlestane Castle, a grand 16th century mansion near the town of Lauder (pardon?) in the Scottish Borders. This is very much a single-family castle, built by the Maitlands after they acquired the land here from the Lauderdales through marriage in about 1250. The family still live in the north wing, but much of the rest of the castle is open to the public. The self-guided tour gets steadily more impressive as you go around, though sadly taking photos wasn't allowed.
Name: Thirlestane Castle ★★★☆☆
Location: Off the B6362, west side of Lauder, G.R.: NT 534479 / retract donates blush
Open (2017): Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday, May to 1st October
Cost (2017): £8 (adults), £3.50 (children)