There are many Castles in Ayrshire that you can visit. Some have country parks or visitor centres and make a lovely family day out. Others are less well kept or were ruined in wars or political upheaval. Below is a selection of Castles you may want to visit in Ayrshire. Dean Castle is just 5 minutes away from Kidron House Hotel.

Dean Castle & Country Park is situated on the outskirts of Kilmarnock. They are easiest found by entering Kilmarnock off the A77 at the junction leading to the B7038 (furthest northeast entrance to Kilmarnock). Signs from the roundabout at the large Howard Park Hotel lead to the estate. Entrance to the park is free including guided tours of the castle that are available every day from 12.15 – 16.15 each hour April – September. The Visitor Centre & Children’s Corner are open 11.00 – 17.00 summer and 11.00 – 16.00 winter. There are a number of events held in the park each year such as Classic Car Rallies.

Kelburn Castle & Country Park is situated about one mile south of Largs has views over the Firth of Clyde and island of Great Cumbrae. The castle is run separate from the country centre as it is used for banquets, weddings and conferences. There are good views of the castle from the country centre. The centre is open from Easter to the end of October.

Loudoun Castle & Country Park is situated 5 miles northeast of Kilmarnock next to the town of Galston. The Castle was severely damaged by fire in 1941 with all that remains are the walls. The walls are in excellent condition so the castle could be restored someday.

Dundonald Castle was built for Robert 11 (grandson of Robert the Bruce) on his accession to the throne of Scotland in 1371. The castle is situated on a hilltop in the centre of the small of village Dundonald. There is a car park and visitor centre below the castle that provides information and snacks. The centre and grounds around the castle are open free of charge 10.00-17.00 1st April-31st October. Guided tours of inside the castle can be arranged at the visitors centre for a small fee.

Dalquharran Castle was built by Robert Adam for Thomas Kennedy between 1785 and 1790. Adam was also redesigning Culzean Castle (see below) for David Kennedy at that time. The completion of Dalquharran Castle allowed the Kennedy’s to move from the Old Castle that is situated only 300 yards southeast, next to the River Girvan. Work is planned to convert this castle ruin to a hotel and the estate into a championship standard golf course. The two castles at Dalquharran are situated 16 miles southeast of Ayr next to the small village of Dailly. You can visit the castles by parking in Dailly then walk through the field in front of the castles then cross the river by footbridge.

Culzean Castle & Country Park is situated about 12 miles south of Ayr. The park is open all year round with most of the castle open to the public from 1st April – October 31st. Don’t be put off by the spelling. It’s pronounced something like “Cullain”.

Crossraguel Abbey is situated about one and a half miles south of Maybole, 10 miles south of Ayr next to the A77. The abbey and the adjacent Kennedy Baltersan Tower have some connections through history. Duncan the Earl of Carrick founded Crossraguel around 1244 after he donated money to monks of Paisly to build the abbey on this site. Crossraguel is open to the public from 1st April – 30th September

Blairquhan Castle is situated about 16 miles southeast of Ayr next to the small scenic village of Straiton. The castle can be visited in summer months when not booked for weddings, holidays or film shoots. The area around Straiton has some of the best hill walking in Ayrshire.