The Lauderdale, Thirlestane Castle
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.
A chance to stay in a fairytale Scottish Castle
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 exceptional views over Thirlestane parklands, The Lauderdale, located within the south wing 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 the use of the magnificent grounds and a complimentary tour of the castle which offers a wonderful insight into its rich past and a chance to experience some true Scottish hospitality.
For those looking to combine the visit with local events, Thirlestane plays host to a vibrant mix of options including the Borders Vintage Automobile Club with over 1000 classic vehicles on display, or perhaps step back in time for a splendid evening picnic on the lawn with an adaption of the literary classic Pride and Prejudice.
Should you wish to go the extra mile, the Castle can also arrange an exclusive private tour with a member of the Maitland family, as well as spa packages, flowers, and catering which can be tailored to your individual requirements.
The Lauderdale 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:
Spacious sitting room 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 5' king size bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, dressing table, clock radio and docking station.
Bathroom with original clawfoot bath, walk in shower, twin basin and WC.
Guests have use of the magnificent castle grounds (with the exception of the family'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 also have use of the courtyard area which is shared with all apartments. There is bench seating in the courtyard area and picnic benches in the play park area, woodlands and wider grounds.
There is private parking to the front of the castle.
Babies & Children
A travel cot and highchair are available on request.
Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £15 per dog. Dogs must be clean and dry before access into the wider property, should be kept off the furniture and are not permitted in the bedrooms. It is important to note that there is no private enclosed garden space and dogs must be kept on a lead in the immediate grounds and across wider farmland.
The bedroom features high quality bed linen. A hairdryer is supplied. Towels, robes and guest toiletries are provided.
Wi-Fi & Mobile Coverage
Wi-Fi is available. Mobile signal is best on the 02 and EE network. This improves outside in the grounds.
There is heating throughout the property which is thermostatically controlled.
Thirlestane Castle - Guest privacy
Thirlestane Castle is open to the public Sunday - Thursday from the beginning of May to the end September. This includes a number of key events where the wider grounds do get busy. Guests looking for complete privacy during the day would therefore be advised to book outside the castle opening periods. Please contact us should you require further information.
For guests looking to holiday together, The Lauderdale can be booked alongside The Maitland Apartment sleeping 4, Glenburnie sleeping 2, The Sculleries sleeping 2 and The Earl & Countess sleeping 6. The South Wing is available for guests looking to book all five apartments. All apartments are located within Thirlestane Castle.
In nearby Lauder 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. The Firebrick Bakery is wonderful with a selection of breads, cakes and pastries. 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 pub lunches or nearby Carfraemill Hotel for a juicy steak from local producers.
For gifts and lovely things, the Flat Cat Gallery, Made in Grey Britain and Powder Grey are both super stops for a browse.
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!
Historic houses and castles
With more stately homes, castles and historic sites here than you can shake a proverbial stick at, visitors are quite simply spoilt for choice.Find Out More
If your passion is beautiful gardens a visit to our area will not disappoint. Spend a little time here and discover some spectacular gardens through the ever changing vista of the seasons.Find Out More
There are 40 golf courses in Northumberland, and another 21 in the Scottish Borders offering visitors an incredibly wide and varied range of golfing options.Find Out More
From the lush green uplands to shimmering sea, the area boasts a hugely diverse and enticing landscape that is perfect for exploring on foot. From gentle rambles to long-distance hikes, there are a vast array of trails and waymarked routes for newbie walkers or experienced alike.Find Out More
Our region is home to outstanding scenery which boasts emerald forests, pristine lochs and rivers, heathery hillsides, sweeping moorlands as well as a picture perfect coastline.Find Out More
Children and families
Here at Crabtree & Crabtree, we like to think we’ve pulled together some rather nifty ideas to keep tots to teens happy and entertained during your stay.Find Out More
Welcome to the realm of the king of fish, the mighty River Tweed. Every year thousands of Atlantic Salmon make their way up river, an annual odyssey that is one of nature's miracles.Find Out More
Shopping, arts and crafts
We are extremely fortunate to have a region where independent shops are king, and to have an area flowing with creativity through its talents in arts, crafts and textiles.Find Out More
Museums, galleries and culture
Our museums tell the story of Borders people and provide a unique insight into our region’s heritage and culture, such as the turbulent past of the Border Reivers or the tragic tale of exiled Mary Queen of Scots.Find Out More
Cycling & mountain biking
Whether you ride fast or slow, on-road or off-road, there is something uniquely special about enjoying some outdoor time on two wheels. Here in the region we have something for everyone from high-energy mountain biking blasts to gentle forest paths the whole family can enjoy.Find Out More
Horse riding is intrinsically linked to the history and heritage of the area and goes right back to the 13th and 14th centuries where townspeople would ride the clan’s boundaries to protect their common lands. Thankfully our riding pursuits today are not quite so dramatic!Find Out More
Classes at your holiday home
Enjoy art, cookery, photography, flower or chocolate classes or whisky tasting in the comfort of your own holiday home...Find Out More
For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.Find Out More
If you love a challenge or just crave a little excitement away from the day-to-day bustle of working life, we have lots to offer - whether it be watery pursuits, muddy blasts or thrill seeking, adrenaline-charged adventures.Find Out More
Ancestral history research
Crabtree & Crabtree know that tracing the history of your family can be a wonderful journey of discovery. Here are our top tips for starting your family tree.Find Out More
Spas and beauty treatments
Everyone needs a little time-out to relax and for many that may involve a little pampering, the chance to experience new therapies, or simply some dedicated ‘me time’ to enjoy or practise disciplines which bring a sense of well-being and good health.Find Out More
Cooks and Chefs
Our region is a natural larder so it’s really no surprise that we are fortunate to have such a wonderful choice of first class chefs and cooks on hand.Find Out More
Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.Find Out More
Babysitting and Nannies
Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring one of our fully qualified registered and experienced nannies or babysitters to come to your house.Find Out More
Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.Find Out More
Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.Find Out More
Beauty and spa treatments
Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.Find Out More
Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.Find Out More
Crabtree & Crabtree have teamed up with Corney & Barrow one of the longest established independent Wine Merchants in the UK to offer a bespoke service.Find Out More
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Thirlestane Castle. It was a very special experience, a real treat. To be greeted by the owner himself, for him to carry our bags and show us around the apartment and to see him and his family passing by as they went about their daily lives made it feel like a home. The private tour was also a real privilege, as was being able to see the Castle and grounds without throngs of visitors present. We found it warm, comfortable and homely. It had a lovely atmosphere. It exceeded our expectations. We also found it very well placed to explore the Borders North, East, South and West and conveniently close to England for our journey there and back and Edinburgh. We will recommend it and wish the family every success with the expansion of their apartment offerings."Ms Russon
"We had a great time at the apartment. It's a spectacular place to stay, we enjoyed looking around the castle and its grounds and the staff were very helpful and friendly."Mr Mathieson
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in The Lauderdale Apartment and it was a unique experience staying somewhere with such a rich history. The housekeeper was an absolute gem and nothing was too much trouble, her private tour was an added bonus. We will certainly return in the years ahead and will also be recommending the accommodation to family and friends."Mr Palmer
"We had a lovely time at Lauderdale. It is a really special place to stay and so comfortable with plenty of space. They have a mammoth task restoring Thirlestane Castle and I am sure with the vision of the Maitland family it will be achieved. Everyone at the castle were so friendly and welcoming which gave the impression that the whole team there were one big happy family. We were lucky to be there when there was an outdoor play being performed and that was magical sitting outside on the lawn watching the performance. Thirlestane will occupy a special place in our hearts and has provided some very happy memories. Thanks go to the crew there."Stevens family
"We had a great time in The Lauderdale Apartment. Everything went smoothly. We were so pleased you were able to set it all up at such short notice. The housekeeper is very helpful, friendly and down to earth. The tour of the castle was great. We plan to return and see more of the Borders."Hardwick family
"It was wonderful. The housekeeper was very helpful and friendly. Loved the welcome pack. Everything was clean and tidy. So peaceful."Seymour family
"Our stay at the apartment was perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed it and found nothing lacking. Hope we get the chance to stay there again."Quigley family
"The Lauderdale Apartment was fantastic. The apartment was absolutely spotless. The apartment is in an ideal location & it is extremely comfortable. A special thank you to the lady who looks after the apartment. The complimentary starter pack was full of goodies. The head groundskeeper was always a cheery face in the morning when we went out & he gave us good ideas of places to visit."Senior family
"We had a wonderful stay in The Lauderdale Apartment. We were so wonderfully looked after and made very welcome by members of staff. We have always enjoyed the hospitality at the Castle and this time was no different. It is a lovely place to spend a restful holiday being situated in a beautiful area."Nuttall family
"We had a delightful stay at The Lauderdale Apartment. Delightful surrounding and beautiful accommodation. It had all the privacy of a holiday let with the touches of luxury you get at a hotel. Would highly recommend a visit."Dunnachie family
"We had a wonderful stay in the apartment. Warmly welcomed on arrival and felt at home very quickly. I loved the bedroom, so spacious, nicely furnished and fabulous curtains, canopy and bedding. Top quality bedding in the lovely peaceful bedroom in a bed equipped with electric blankets meant we slept well. The bathroom was fab, loved the huge bath and the thick fluffy towels. The kitchen was adequate for my needs and we enjoyed the welcome pack. Dining looking out over the grounds was peaceful and the lounge was very comfortable. We were warm and felt quite cosseted in our 'castle'. We relaxed during our stay and would recommend the apartment to any couple who want to unwind. So glad we came across Crabtree & Crabtree website and found this fantastic holiday accommodation."Grant family
"We had a lovely stay at the apartment. It was beautifully clean, warm & well appointed. Not to mention the peace & quiet….The bed was incredibly comfortable & the linens lovely. Shower was excellent, lots of hot water & good pressure, again the towels were good quality. The linen & towels really did smell clean & fresh. We particularly appreciated the electric blankets as the weather wasn't the best but because we were so comfortable the weather was secondary. It was a perfect hideaway for two people with general overall excellent attention to detail & we will stay again."White family
"We had a wonderful time at The Lauderdale Apartment. I think you can see how much we enjoy the apartment and the staffs care and really we don’t feel that there is anything to improve it is just lovely as it is. We just think that Crabtree & Crabtree are all a lovely, friendly and very capable team, we are impressed by your service and the standard of the properties."Nuttall family
"We loved our stay at The Lauderdale Apartment so much. The staff at Thirlestane Castle are fantastic & extremely helpful. The Crabtree & Crabtree team were very helpful & prompt with any queries that we had."Senior family
- Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £15 per dog.
- Typical arrival day: Flexible
- Arrival time: 4pm
- Departure time: 10am
"The breakfast table is the perfect place to start your morning with gorgeous views over the castle parkland."Ed and Sarah Maitland-Carew, Thirlestane Castle