Glamis Castle (12mi/19.2km north of Dundee) is probably one of Scotland's finest sights. This fairy-tale castle is surrounded by parkland designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown ca. 1770. The L-shaped castle, most of which dates from the 17th century and was built in baronial style, lies at the end of a long avenue of oaks. A castle is said to have stood on this site 1,000 years ago and most of the time since then it has been the seat of the earls of Strathmore, ancestors of the Queen Mother.
According to Shakespeare, Macbeth, king of Scotland from 1040 to 1057 and laird of Glamis castle was murdered here by his rival Duncan. Up until the 19th century visitors to the castle were shown the bed in Duncan's Hall where the deed was done, but in fact the crime took place near Elgin.
The entrance to the castle grounds is situated to the north, but the main entrance to the castle itself is to be found opposite the drive in a corner tower that was begun by the first Earl of Kinghorn (Earl Patrick) in the 17th century and completed by the third earl. His bust adorns a round niche above the entrance portal with the king's coat-of-arms beneath it. The castle contains a wealth of fine objets d'art including furniture, tapestries, Chinese porcelain, old weapons and paintings, including portraits of Elizabeth I and the Queen Mother when she was the Duchess of York (a copy of a portrait by de Laszlo). Probably the most striking feature in the Victorian Dining Room which dates from the mid-19th century is a magnificent fireplace with a heraldic centerpiece in oak bearing the coat-of-arms of the 12th Earl of Strathmore. The plasterwork ceiling is decorated with Scottish thistles, English roses and lions of the Lyon family. Swords, pistols and armor are displayed in the medieval hall where the earl's retinue used to eat. In the Drawing Room - overflowing with family portraits - monograms of the second earl can be made out on the old plasterwork in the vaulting. Paintings by Jakob de Wet (1688) decorate the richly-ornamented wall and ceiling paneling in the Chapel. Recent research indicates that the biblical scenes on the ceiling are based on engravings by Boetius a Bolwert (1622). The painting above the Gillow dresser in the Billiard Room is the "Fruit Market" believed to be the work of Frans Snyders, while the fine English Gobelin tapestries (ca. 1650) show scenes from the life of Nebuchadnezzar. The Queen Mother's chambers are open to the public. Princess Margaret, Elizabeth II's sister, was born in the bedroom in 1930. She was the first royal princess to be born on Scottish soil for 300 years. The Dining Room and 16th century Kitchen may be booked for lunch and dinner parties.
Forfar, Tayside, Dundee DD8 1QJ, Scotland
Apr 2 to Oct 31: 10am-6pm
Nov 1 to Dec 31: 10:30am-4:30pm
Entrance fee in GBP:
Family £27.50, Adult £9.50, Students £8.75, Pensioners (OAP) £8.75, Child £7.00, Grounds / gardens only around attraction £5.50
Useful tips: Last admission 1 hour prior to closing.