As we start to gradually gain some normality back into our lives and visit new places, it is difficult to know what to expect. To make it easier for our visitors, we’ve compiled this handy guide that will take you through the entire process from booking to what to expect when you visit us at Dundonald Castle and Visitor Centre.
Please note, that if you are only interested in viewing the grounds and walking around castle hill without going inside the castle, you DO NOT need to book admission tickets. The grounds of Dundonald Castle are always accessible to the public.
Dundonald Castle is located at the top of a steep hill. Although there is a weatherproof and non-slip pathway, this may not be suitable for those with limited mobility. If you are unsure, please get in touch with us.
- Advanced online booking recommended: Admission Tickets
- Socially distanced Guided Tours
- Enhanced cleaning
- Regular hand-sanitising stations
The Booking Process
You will find options for all of our admissions tickets, including FODC members and Historic Scotland members. Please note that you will have to show proof of your membership on arrival.
The booking process will ask you to pick a date and time for your visit. We recommend arriving at least 10 mins early to the site and waiting in the museum area of the visitor centre for your tour guide.
- There is a steep hill you will have to walk up to get into the castle proper.
- Please note that there is a small car park located on the site, however, this does fill up quite quickly and you may have to park somewhere safely in the village and walk to the site from there.
- If you have pre-booked, please let the team in the visitor centre know you have arrived by giving them your name and showing your tickets. Tickets can be shown on your phone or you can print out the confirmation email if you would prefer. You will also be asked to show your membership cards at this point, if applicable.
- Your tour of the site will last up to 1 hour and will start in our museum (located in the visitor centre).
- You are free to explore the rest of the site out-with your booked time slot. The castle also overlooks ancient woodland, containing SSSIs, and is situated on popular walking routes including the Smugglers’ Trail and Old Auchans.
- Open 7 days a week, the visitor centre museum is a great place to begin exploring the site’s long history before enjoying our newly launched menu in the coffee shop.
- We also have a small gift shop filled with lots of local suppliers, crafters and authors.
- After your visit inside Dundonald Castle, you are free to explore the grounds and pop into the Visitor Centre for some refreshments at your leisure.
- To help keep our visitors and team members safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance throughout your visit. Our friendly team will be on hand to help and answer any questions you may have.
- If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you’ve been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please do not visit us. You can call or email us for a full refund should you, or a member of your group, be presenting any symptoms before your visit.
- What are your opening hours?
We are reviewing our opening hours regularly to meet the demand by our visitors. From 1st April, 2022, our opening hours will be Mon-Fri 11am-4pm and Sat-Sun 10am-4pm. For the latest updates, check out our social media.
- How do I get in touch if I have a query about my visit or the booking process?
You can call us on 01563 851489 between the hours of 10am-6pm, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where a member of our team will respond as quickly as they can. You can also contact us through our social media pages. Please note that our team are working on a reduced basis.
- What facilities are open at Dundonald Castle?
During opening hours, all of our facilities including the Visitor Centre Coffee Shop, Museum and Toilets will be open to the public. There may be a few restrictions in place, such as queuing, to ensure a safe environment for our visitors and team members. You can always contact us prior to your visit if you have any specific requirements and we will do our best to help.
- Do you accept Historic Scotland Memberships?
Yes we do. Although the site is run on a daily basis by the Friends of Dundonald Castle SCIO, the castle is held in guardianship by Historic Environment Scotland. We work in close partnership to bring the best experience to all of our visitors. If you are a Historic Scotland member, you will have to bring along proof of your membership to gain free entry to the castle. As the visitor centre is run by our charity, we are not able to offer Historic Scotland member discounts.
- What new measures have you put in place due to Covid-19?
There are many different measures we have put in place to help keep our team and visitors safe including: social distancing, enhanced cleaning regimes and asking our team and visitors to wear masks where possible. We are regularly reviewing and implementing the guidance from Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure we are consistently meeting best practice.
- Can we bring a picnic?
Of course! Please bring along your own picnic should you wish and you can take full advantage of the views from the top of castle hill. Please note that we do not have picnic tables available and so you will have to bring your own blanket/chairs. We also ask that you are considerate of other visitors by keeping your distance and that you dispose of all of your rubbish responsibly. Our coffee shop offers some refreshments too should you wish to add a special sweet treat or hot drink to your picnic. We kindly ask that you do not consume your own food in the Visitor Centre Coffee Shop.
- Do you have parking facilities?
There is a small car park located on the site – although we are not responsible for it. This car park is free to park in, but tends to fill up quickly so please be mindful of this when you are arriving for your visit. There are also places to park on the main street in Dundonald but please park here responsibly and safely.
- I don’t have access to the internet, how can I pre-book?
Our team will be happy to help if you give us a call on 01563 851489.
- Do I have to print my tickets?
No, you can show us your booking confirmation email on your phone.
- Does my carer need to book a ticket?
During the booking process please select the ‘Carer’ option so that our team are aware. The person visiting with the carer will still have to purchase a ticket.
- How long can we stay?
Your booked time slot is for your visit inside the castle only. You are free to explore, have picnics and take advantage of the rest of the site for as long as you like outside of your booked time. There’s lots to see and do in Dundonald!
- Will there be a tour guide for our visit?
Yes, one of our knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer tour guides will accompany you during your visit to Dundonald Castle. You can also purchase a Guide Book during the booking process or from the Visitor Centre. Additionally, there are information boards throughout the castle and exhibition area.
For more information about accessibility at Dundonald Castle and the Visitor Centre, check out our listing on the Visit Scotland website by clicking this link.
If you have further questions about accessibility on the site, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.
- I can’t find an answer to my question
Please give us a call on 01563 851489 or email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to assist.