Nestling in the gentle Scottish Border hills just 25 miles south of Edinburgh, 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.
With its own private access and exceptional views of the parkland to the front of the Thirlestane Castle, The Lauderdale Apartment, located within the south wing of the castle offers guests a unique opportunity to stay in a genuinely historic Scottish castle.
Comprising an open plan sitting room and kitchen space and impressive four-poster bed in rich tartan, guests also benefit from use of the magnificent grounds and a private tour of the castle offering a wonderful insight into its rich past and a chance to experience some true Scottish hospitality!
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 sitting room / kitchen
Sitting room - spacious with three seater sofa and two armchairs, TV and Freeview.
Kitchen - with single electric oven with 4 ring hob, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, washing machine and dishwasher. Small dining table and chairs for two guests
Bedroom with king size bed, feather duvet and pillows, Egyptian cotton linen, wardrobe, chest of drawers, dressing table, clock radio, hairdryer, docking station. (Please note that non feather bedding is not available).
Bathroom with original clawfoot bath, walk-in shower, twin basin and WC.
Private balcony overlooking castle parklands with outside furniture and barbecue.
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.
Wi-fi is available at the Lauderdale Apartment but this can be slow and intermittent due to the thickness of the castle walls.
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 help to arrange for homemade meals to be delivered. Daily housekeeping is also available on request. Please contact us for further details.
A private tour of the castle is available to all guests during their stay.
Castle opening, events and guests' privacy
Thirlestane Castle is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 2nd May to 1st October 2017. 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. Please contact us for further details.
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 with barbecue, table and chairs.
In nearby Lauder (1 mile) guests will find a good range of amenities including the Flat Cat Gallery & Coffee shop or the Spotty Dog Deli and Café in Market Place. There's also a butchers shop and a bakery, along with a small Co-op supermarket on the edge of the village.
For eating out, the Fire Brick Brasserie has a fantastic reputation winning the Best New Restaurant in the Scottish Borders Award 2015. Alternatively try the Black Bull Hotel or the Lauderdale Hotel for super pub lunches or nearby Carfraemill Hotel (3 miles) for a great steak.
For gifts and lovely things, Bank House Living and Powder Grey are both super stops for a browse.
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!
Crabtree & Crabtree is a family business with properties in the Scottish Borders, Northumberland and East Lothian. We live in this area. We were brought up here. As children we wandered the countryside, explored the woodlands, splashed on the seashores. This is our home, which is why we want you to feel as at home in it as we do.