Located on the beautiful Isle of Arran off the western
coast of Scotland, Brodick
Castle is one of the most historic of all Scottish
castles. Visitors flock to Brodick Castle Scotland
to see the fine antique furniture and silverware, paintings,
and other works of art. Brodick Castle is also justly
famous for its award-winning gardens, perhaps the finest
of any castle in Scotland. The colorful gardens, noteworthy
for their many rhododendrons, were laid out by the last
private owner, the duchess of Montrose. They feature plants
from across Britain and around the world, an elegant walled
garden, and the peculiar Bavarian Summer House, a 19th
century structure decorated with fir cones. A semi-domesticated
forest, the Country Park, abuts the formal gardens.
Because of the long-time feuds between England and Scotland, Scottish Castles are some of the most imposing
and historic in Europe. Names like Stirling
Castle, Glamis Castle,
and Brodick Castle invoke images of long-past battles
and sieges and are well worth visiting.
Some fortress or other has stood on the site of Brodick Castle since the 5th century, when Celtic invaders from Northern Ireland came here and established a kingdom. Brodick Castle itself dates from the 13th century, but like other Scottish castles, it was badly damaged in wars against the English (in 1455 and 1544) and rebuilt. For many years, Brodick Castle Scotland was home to the dukes of Hamilton. The castle was occupied by Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead troops during the English Civil War in the mid 17th century. Since then, Brodick Castle in Scotland has had a more peaceful existence. For much of the 18th and 19th centuries it was used mainly as a hunting retreat for the Hamiltons. The castle passed out of the hands of the dukes of Hamilton when the 12th duke died without a male heir and his lands passed to his daughter, the duchess of Montrose. Brodick Castle was claimed by the state in 1957 in lieu of death taxes; like many Scottish castles, it is now owned and operated by the National Trust of Scotland.
Brodick Castle is only about 30 miles west of Glasgow and 75 miles west of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh,
but there are no bridges from the mainland to the Isle
of Arran. Visitors can take a high-speed train line from
Glasgow to Androssan Harbor, or drive along the A737.
From there, a ferry to the town of Brodick takes about
30 minutes (cars are permitted on the ferry). The Isle
of Arran is small, about 25 miles long and 10 miles wide.
In addition to its famous castle in Scotland, Arran is
known for its beautiful mountains and geology. The town
of Brodick boasts several good hotels within easy walk
of Brodick Castle. Auchrannie County House Hotel, about
a mile from the ferry terminal, was once the home of the
duchess of Hamilton. Kilmichael Country House Hotel is
said to be the oldest house on the Isle of Arran.
Brodick Castle in Scotland is open daily from Easter to October 31, from 11 am to 4:30 pm and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the winter. Admission is about $20 per person for adults.