Loch Leven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the location of military action during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357). In the latter part of the 14th century, the castle was granted by his uncle to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, and remained in the Douglases' hands for the next 300 years. Loch Leven Castle was strengthened in the 14th or early 15th century, by the addition of the five-storey tower house or keep.

Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here in 1567–68, and forced to abdicate as queen, before escaping with the help of her gaoler's family. In 1588, the Queen's gaoler inherited the title Earl of Morton, and moved away from the castle. It was bought, in 1675, by Sir William Bruce, who used the castle as a focal point in his garden; it was never again used as a residence.

Loch Leven Castle had fallen into ruin by the 18th century, but the ruins were conserved and rubbish removed in 1840. Loch Leven Castle was given in to state care in 1939, and is now managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Today, the castle can be reached by a 12-person ferry operated from Kinross during the summer months.



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Founded: c. 1300
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


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User Reviews

yvonne ross (21 months ago)
Great ride out in boat lovely picnic at castle staff were lovely
George Cunningham (2 years ago)
Excellent and well worth the money! 10min boat trip across this amazing loch to this great castle. Staff are very helpful and friendly.
David Ingram (2 years ago)
Not a great deal to occupy you on the island, but definitely worth visiting. The boat journey there and back adds an extra something to the trip and the Boathouse cafe was a nice way to finish off the visit. We had great weather (in September) so sat outside watching the boats come in and out.
Nathan Smith (2 years ago)
Visit a castle on an island - yes please!!! Friendly and helpful staff who really went the extra mile for us. We arrived as a group of 9 and asked for a boat ride to the castle without having a prior booking. Despite them being fully booked they put an extra boat on for us and the pilot skipped his lunch to take us there!!! The pilot on the return trip was great with the kids she really made it fun for them! Great experience - fully recommend it!
Jamie Robinson (2 years ago)
Lovely wee ruined castle with good information boards and an accompanying booklet you can buy from the shop. Nice short woodland walk round the island too and places to sit and eat if you bring a picnic. Spent about an hour on the island and saw everything. Boat ride was pleasant with friendly and informative guide. Nice cafe on the shore too with ice creams and sandwiches.
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