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2018 Open Season

2018 Open Season

Thirlestane Castle here in Lauder, is one of the oldest and finest castles in Scotland and has opened its doors once more to welcome visitors. You can enjoy a series of special events and visit the newly refurbished Tea Room and Gift Shop.

The castle dates back to the 16th century and the descendants of the Maitland family who built it still live in the building today. Run by a charitable trust, we rely on visitors so the beautiful fairytale exterior and fascinating collections inside can be preserved for future generations. With some of the finest decorative plasterwork ceilings in Europe, as well as one of the most extensive family collections of portraits and busts in Scotland, Thirlestane is a thrilling place to explore.  

We are proud to once again host the Borders Vintage Automobile Club’s annual motoring show which has been renamed the BVAC Classic – Festival of Motoring. Taking place on 3rd June, the event is in partnership with wealth manager Brewin Dolphin with additional sponsorship from wine merchants Corney & Barrow. This year is set to be even bigger and better than previous years with over 1,400 vintage and classic vehicles on display and other family-friendly activities.

Thirlestane is welcoming back Chapterhouse Theatre Company on 1st July for what will be another spectacular open-air event. They will perform one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the castle’s front lawn. With the gates opening an hour before the 6pm performance there will be plenty of time to enjoy a picnic while soaking up the atmosphere.

The final advertised event is the Civil War Re-enactment Weekend on the 28th and 29th of July. The oldest re-enactment society, the Sealed Knot, will once again bring to life the history of Scotland's involvement in the Civil Wars. With muskets and canons firing in the display area, the chance to try on some armour and the opportunity to walk around an authentic army camp, it is an immersive experience for the whole family. The Castle will also be open on both days and everything is included in the normal admission price.

This year, we have refurbished the Tea Room to give it a fresh look but one that better reflects the room’s former use as the Old Servants’ Hall. There is also an extended selection of souvenirs and gifts in the revamped Gift Shop.

For the 2018 season, Thirlestane Castle will be open until 30th September, every Sunday to Thursday. The Castle and grounds are open from 10:00am - 5.00pm with the last admission at 4:00pm. The surrounding gardens are a beautiful place to enjoy a walk or picnic and the wider grounds are also regularly used for spectacular large events. Due to one such private event, we regret the castle will be closed to the public on Sunday 5th August. Tickets for all the special events are on sale now at

Edward Maitland-Carew, whose family home is the castle, said: “We are very much looking forward to another exciting open season here at Thirlestane. Our team has been working hard throughout the winter to make the improvements and we have exciting plans for more additions in the future. It is lovely when we can welcome back familiar faces not least our wonderful volunteers, the Friends of Thirlestane.”