A real moated fortress with a drawbridge and a catalogue of bloody skirmishes? Yep, Rothesay Castle has it all. Rothesay and the Isle of Bute were for centuries a battleground between Scottish and Viking forces - you can learn more about this at Vikingar! in Largs, on the mainland. King Edgar first gave the island to Norway in 1098 following constant Viking raids, but by the 1200s Bute was back under Scottish ownership and the castle's curtain wall was built during this period. Island and castle changed hands a couple more times before the gatehouse and chapel were added in the late 15th century. Now ruined, there are several interesting features to look out for. The gatehouse has the lion's share, with a large hall and claustrophobic pit prison accessible by vertical ladder. Also look out for the nesting boxes in one of the towers, which was later converted to a doocot.
📌 Rothesay Castle ★★★☆☆
Location: Castlehill Street, Rothesay town centre, G.R.: NS 088646 ///seagulls.zones.shippers
Open (2019): Daily, April to September; Saturday to Wednesday, October to March
Cost (2019): £6 (adults), £4.80 (children), free for Historic Environment Scotland members
|[View from the curtain wall]|