Balvenie Castle

Location icon Dufftown

Castle Road,
Keith Moray AB55 4GH what3words activism.booster.redeeming Every 3 metre square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words. Find out more at what3words.com


A wide ditch encircles this striking, curtain-walled castle. Built in the 1200s as the seat of the powerful earls of Buchan, the heavily fortified stronghold became an elegant lodging in the 1500s.

For more than 500 years, Balvenie was a mighty stronghold – initially for the Comyn earls of Buchan, who ruled over this part of north-east Scotland. Robert the Bruce overthrew the powerful lords in 1306, taking Balvenie Castle in 1308.

Balvenie then disappears from historical record until the early 1400s, when Sir James Douglas held it. After the Black Douglases’ downfall in 1455, James II entrusted the castle to a kinsman, John Stewart, Earl of Atholl. His descendants held Balvenie for the next 250 years.

What to see and do
Marvel at the daunting curtain wall, a rare example of 13th-century military architecture in Scotland. Step inside Atholl Lodging to see the layout and fine Renaissance details of this noble residence. Admire the iron yett, a two-part gate at the main entrance.

Opening Times
29 March – 30 September
Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 4.30pm (last entry 4pm)
Lunch Closure 12-1pm


  • Children Welcome
  • Gift Shop
  • Parking

Getting Here

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