Craigmillar Castle

The rich history of Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle makes for a perfect family attraction on your visit to Edinburgh. Only about 70 miles away from your accommodation at Loch Lomond Waterfront, Edinburgh is home to many beautiful landmarks, castles included. Craigmillar offers wonderful medieval architecture, beautiful gardens and walks through Craigmillar Castle Park.

The Castle was built around an L-plan tower house in the early 15th century. Further, in later centuries it was expanded to include private rooms. Some may know Craigmillar Castle for its royal guest, Queen Mary of Scots. The queen stayed at the Castle following her illness after giving birth to her son, future James VI. Supposedly, she slept in her room on the first floor back in 1566. Moreover, a pact known as the ‘Craigmillar Bond’ was made on 7 December 1566 to kill her husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. The queen herself was unaware of the pact.

Wonderful Craigmillar Castle Park

Set against the backdrop of Craigmillar Castle, you will find the natural heritage park. The Craigmillar Castle Park is a mixture of open parkland and groups of veteran trees. Young woodlands at the north of the park provide a home to many small birds and rabbits. In 1997, more than 40 thousand trees were planted as part of the ‘Edinburgh Plantathon’ as part of the Craigmillar Urban Forest Project. Now it provides an excellent place to walk, jog or cycle! Moreover, the park has received a Green Flag since 2010, in recognition of its quality green space. It is a perfect place to relax after seeing the beautiful ruins of the Caste.

Beautiful Craigmillar Castle gardens

The Castle gardens cover over 16 acres, and the grand gardens offer something different for visitors at each time of year. Forestry and parklands take up about 14 acres where you are sure to enjoy a good walk. The rest of the land showcases some of the most carefully designed gardens and tributes to Scotland. If you visit the Craigmillar Castle gardens at the right time of the year, you will bask in the colours of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. However, you can admire trees reaching up to the sky such as cedars and sequoias all year round!

Craigmillar Castle Outlander scene

Fans of the Outlander TV series may recognise the Craigmillar Castle as Ardsmuir Prison in episode 3 season 3, All Debts Paid. It is here that the main character, Jamie, was imprisoned along with other highland Jacobites. He finds out that one of the prisoners is Murtagh. Sadly, although surviving Culloden, Jamie’s godfather is unwell. The fans will appreciate visiting the Castle knowing how important that scene was for them.

Apart from Outlander, the Castle appears in several other films and TV shows. You can see it in Outlaw King, about Robert the Bruce, whose fans will recognise the castle. Similarly, the 1997 BBC TV production of Ivanhoe took place in this Castle. A place worth visiting for cinephiles!

How to get there

On your day trip to Edinburgh, you cannot miss out on the chance to explore a site so rich with history and its amazing views! These beautiful ruins of one of the best-preserved Scottish Castles are around one hour and thirty minutes away from Loch Lomond Waterfront in the car. It is an absolute must-see!

We highly recommend visiting Craigmillar Castle during your stay with us! If you would like to have a wee chat about this or any other places you are keen on seeing near us, just get in touch!

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