Not far from Edinburgh, lies a castle with ties to modern-day Royalty, Shakespeare, and ghosts. Its architecture is truly captivating, while its foreboding, defensive exterior disguises it’s charming and quite cozy interiors.
Glamis (say 'Glawwmz') Castle is rich with history and culture, spanning nearly one thousand years. Its direct ties with the two most recent enthroned, British female royals of the 20th century should entice any royal watcher.
Experiencing the childhood home of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was truly extra special. You can view various keepsakes and even childhood letters of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Be certain to walk through the Coach House Exhibition Room for a display of mementoes from both queens’ lives, with the focus on the Queen Mother.
Walk through these cheerful, once-private spaces and imagine the conversations and interactions which took place among British & Scottish aristocrats who gathered here on countless occasions. In fact, the late Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, was born here at the castle.
Your castle guide will also be sure to tell you the ghostly commentary related to the castle. And regarding Shakespeare, the Bard thought enough of Glamis to mention it in Macbeth.
After your tour, enjoy more, as the exteriors of the castle and its grounds are especially noteworthy. The southeast side contains the small, formal Italian Garden, with an arbor and a fountain.
To the east of this, find the tiny family pet cemetery, which will tug at your heartstrings, and alternatively, make you smile as you read the names and epitaphs.
These areas connect to each other. In addition, look for the seven scenes from Macbeth, carved in wood, on the Macbeth Trail. This area can also be accessed via the Italian Garden.
Gain a sense of peace and tranquility as you admire the beautiful Nature Trail. You can start from the location behind and beyond the parking area. Move eastward towards the other (secret) Walled Garden.
Once inside these walls, towards the center, you will find a gorgeous bridge, reminiscent of the one in Monet’s famous painting, and a pleasing water feature.
Don’t miss seeing the fruit growing along the eastern wall on espaliers.
Allow 35 (normal pace, no stopping) to 90 minutes (leisurely pace) to enjoy the sights and sounds of this walk. You'll discover all sorts of gems.
From the Walled Garden, I recommend exiting through the gates facing south, and continuing on The Nature Trail, which leads you from the north to the southeastern side, back towards the castle and the Italian Garden.
Find The Pinetum, a swath of forest with exquisite trees dating back to the 1870s and earlier. If you find the placard, you may be able to locate various tree specimens.
All of the exploring will inevitably beckon you to the convenient Victorian Kitchen Restaurant on the premises. Recharge with a selection of sandwiches, soups, baked items, beverages, and afternoon tea.
Finally, the castle’s gift shop, The Pavilion Shop, offers a multitude of varied ideas to keep and treasure the memories of Glamis.
Children are welcome and Glamis provides an activity list to encourage their exploration. Please note: To date, there are few accommodations for people with mobility issues inside the castle.
To experience the interiors of the castle, you must take a guided tour, which are offered at established times. See below to check the website for more details.
The estate continues to be a unique and interesting link between England and Scotland. Glamis is unique, and its exquisite majesty will leave an indelible impression on any visitor.
Always check days & hours of operation before visiting.
For more information, visit Glamis’ website: https://www.glamis-castle.co.uk/
If you are renting a car, be sure to read the helpful advice on Driving UK-style and How to Find Transportation Options You Can Trust For Free.