Royal Dundonald Castle is an oft undiscovered Scottish secret. King Robert II, grandson of Robert the Bruce, built the 14th century castle that you can see today. He began the Stewart dynasty, which ruled over Scotland, and then England, for 700 years.
The site has a 2000-year old history, first as an Iron Age fort, then later a Norman-style castle to rival the grand castles of Europe. Robert the Bruce razed destroyed this castle during the Wars of Independence, but archaeologists found its charred remains in the 1980’s.
Today’s castle has impressive, barrel-vaulted ceilings, spectacular views, and a spooky dungeon pit, which is home to rare European cave spiders. It’s also next to Royal Dundonald Woods, where you might spot deer in the thickets as you walk the old Smuggler’s Trail or take a stroll to the ruins of Old Auchan’s House, home to the Earls of Eglinton.