Easily reached from Edinburgh, just 25 miles south on the A68 trunk road at Lauder, Thirlestane Castle is best known today as a historic visitor attraction, but until now you might not have thought about it in terms of self catering holiday cottage style accommodation.
With its own private access and exceptional views of the parkland to the front of the Thirlestane Castle, The State Apartment, located within the south wing of the castle, is now available for self catering holiday lets, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to stay in a genuinely historic Scottish castle.
Nestling in the gentle Scottish Border hills, with its rose pink sandstone walls and fairytale turrets, Thirlestane Castle holds a uniquely important place in Scottish history. It is one of the oldest and finest castles in the land and home to one of the country's most distinguished families. Thirlestane Castle has its origins in the 13th century. It was rebuilt as the Maitland family home in 1590 and greatly enhanced by the Duke of Lauderdale in the 1670s.
Activities & Attractions
A stay in the ancient grandeur of Thirlestane Castle, one of the seven ‘Great Houses of Scotland', is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression but its location in the heart of lowland Scotland - an area steeped in heritage, culture and outstanding scenery will ensure your visit is truly memorable. Our region has an incredibly rich and turbulent history and its legacy is a landscape of magnificent castles, grand stately homes and the fragments of ruined abbeys and fortifications scattered right across the area.
Spend time in our castles and walk the paths and corridors of noble aristocracy and heads of state, explore the legend of King Arthur and Merlin, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots; or retrace your ancestors at the Heritage Hub and possibly even discover distant connections to eminent clans and peerage!
Admire the exquisite architecture, decorative detailing and superb art collection of nearby Mellerstain; explore the sumptuous state rooms and incredible silver staircase of Manderston; or marvel at the splendour of Floors Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe with its priceless collection of fine art, porcelain and tapestries. Abbotsford sits at the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and writings of Sir Walter Scott, while the outstanding monastic ruins of the nearby Abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso will give you an insight into the area’s tumultuous past.
For lovers of Scottish cashmere and knitwear, the ‘Textile Trail’ is an absolute must, offering a fascinating insight into our industrial heritage, but encompassing visitor centres and retail outlets where you can pick-up some wonderful garments and unique sample pieces - everything from exceptional tweeds to finest cashmere. For something truly exclusive you can even design your own tartan at Lochcarron of Scotland and take home a very special reminder of your Scottish connections.
The magnificent city of Edinburgh is but a thirty minute drive from Thirlestane where you can explore the fascinating architecture of the old town and soak-up the culture and heritage of this beautiful vibrant city. Wander the cobbled closes and narrow stairwells of the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, or take a candle-lit tour of the underground vaults of the old city and uncover sinister tales of Edinburgh’s darker past!
On a lighter note, why not partake in a wee dram at the Scotch Whisky Centre or perhaps join an expert-led whisky tasting session where you will learn more about the intricate flavours of this most distinguished of drinks. Learn how to look, swirl, nose and taste fine whisky and to appreciate the distinct differences between single malts, blended and grain.
Finally, a visit to iconic Edinburgh Castle which sits majestically over the city and houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, 15th Century gun Mons Meg, and the National War Museum of Scotland. And if you’re lucky enough to be in the city in August, don’t miss the Edinburgh Military Tattoo ending with a poignant lone piper lament high on the castle ramparts. Truly spectacular!
Access to the Apartment
The Lauderdale Apartment is located within the castle's south wing and has private access through a courtyard up to the first floor.
Open plan kitchen, dining area and seating area
Fully-fitted kitchen with single electric oven with 4 ring hob, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher.
Spacious and comfortable seating area with TV and Freeview. Dining table and chairs for two guests. Telephone. Wi Fi.
Bedroom with kingsize bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, dressing table, clock radio, hairdryer. I-Pod / I-Phone docking station.
Bathroom with original clawfoot bath, walk-in shower, twin whb and WC.
Private balcony overlooking castle parklands with outside furniture and barbecue.
A private tour of the castle is available to all guests during their stay.
Castle opening and events and guests' privacy
Thirlestane Castle is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 26th May to 3rd September 2015. The visitor route passes through the courtyard below the Apartment. Guests looking for complete privacy during the day would therefore be advised to book outside the castle opening periods. The Maitland family also retain an apartment within the castle.
Garden and grounds
Guests have use of the magnificent castle grounds (with the exception of the Maitland's private garden) and the wider estate grounds including fabulous woodland and parkland walks. During the periods that the castle is closed to the public, guests have exclusive use of the courtyard below the Apartment. Guests have access to a courtyard below the apartment with a barbecue and table and chairs.
There is ample parking in front of the castle which is available to guests regardless of the castle being open.
Catering and housekeeping
The Lauderdale Apartment can be booked purely on a self-catering basis or on a part or fully-staffed basis. We can also arrange for homemade meals to be delivered. Daily housekeeping is also available.
A vaulted cellar close to The Lauderdale Apartment provides an unusual venue for private dining and small parties. The room is incredibly atmospheric and can be transformed with a few decorations to suit any number of occasions. The castle tea room is also available for larger parties and events when the castle is closed. Please contact us for further details.
Facilities for infants
Infants under one year old are welcome and a high chair (there is no travel cot) is available on request. We regret that this property is not suitable for toddlers.
The Apartment is not suitable for pets.