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Rothesay Castle, Scotland
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This 800-year-old castle in Scotland will soon open to visitors

Rothesay Castle on the island of Bute will reopen to the public next week

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee

Medieval living is in. Long flowing dresses are making a comeback. People are getting really into baking bread from scratch. No one trusts their landlords anymore. And to top it all off, we’re all still recovering from the great plague of 2020. 

With a looming recession and following a particularly hard winter, it’s no wonder the people are yearning for simpler times. It’s so much nicer to stick on ‘Merlin’ and imagine you’re a fair maiden worried about being married off to an undesirable suitor than admit that you need to get back to your 9-5. If you’re anywhere near the tiny Scottish island of Bute, realising those daydreams might be easier than you think.

Rothesay Castle has been around for almost 800 years, which is quite a few. It was originally built in the 1200s to defend the island, which is just over an hour from Glasgow, from the Norwegians who laid claim to it. Its unique circular design was innovative at the time, and probably really impressed the thirteenth century’s answer to Kevin McCloud. 

That was only the beginning of the castle’s history. It’s seen a lot over the years, from Gaelic speaking Celts to Stewart kings, and would likely have some great stories if it could talk. It’s been closed for renovations but as of next week, it will be back for business.

The castle will reopen with its ‘Return to the Ramparts’ event, which takes place on March 17 and will be free to attend. There will be ‘soap carving’ and a stone carving demo from an actual real-life stone mason, so it’s absolutely perfect for a bit of good old-fashioned medieval escapism. 

Historic Environment Scotland recommends booking your visit to the castle, and you can find out more about times and prices here.

Castle fan?

We get it. If you’re in need of a real thirteenth century fix, why not visit in one of these gorgeous castles you can actually stay in? Alternatively, head to one of our favourite castles in the UK. Although it’s not quite a castle, this gorgeous manor in Scotland was recently named the UK’s best hotel by the Times, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Did you see that Gucci will soon open its first standalone UK store outside London?

Plus: these five picturesque areas have been shortlisted to become Scotland’s third national park.

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