The Floors Castle, located in the small town of Bellingham, offers a unique, historic experience. This 13th-century Scottish castle has been privately owned by the same family for 600 years and is now open to visitors year-round.
Learn about its long history and the unlikely way it became a tourist destination. About how guests can enjoy everything from medieval banquets to photo ops with peacocks roaming the gardens. Or if you’re just passing through the area, learn how you can stop for a short visit. Floors Castle is an attraction unlike any other!
History of Floors Castle
Floors Castle was built as a family home by Sir John Swinton in 1290. From there it changed hands several times and had many uses over the years. The castle was originally meant to be a home, but there were many other uses that the original castle was used for, including a military base, school and more.
In 1714 it was finally returned to the Swinton family when the last owner sold it. From that point on it has been owned by several members of the Swinton family and has been in use as a home every year since then.
The castle has changed hands several times throughout its long history. It went through a period when it was used as a military base. Later, it was turned into a school when the last owner sold the castle to Lord and Lady Home in 1714.
The Bellingham family who lived there held on to the castle until the 20th century, when William Swinton Bellingham left the castle to his son, Frederick. He handed down ownership from generation to generation and still owns the Floors Castle today.
Today’s castle is considered a medieval fortress. Compared to other castles in the area, Floors Castle is on the smaller side with a total of 1,600 square feet of space.
The size might be small, but it has plenty of historic and interesting features inside. The castle still has its original wood interiors and a tower that was added later that extends up 33 feet.
Not only is the castle interesting to look at, but it hosts an assortment of special events every year. In the past, guests have been able to enjoy medieval banquets and even wedding ceremonies right inside the castle.
The castle grounds are also home to more than 40 peacocks that roam freely through the gardens. Guests can even interact with these beautiful birds and take pictures with them if they want.
The Floors Castle is located in the small town of Bellingham, which is about 20 miles west of the city of Edinburgh. If you want to get there, the easiest method would be to rent a car. You could also take a bus from Edinburgh or even use the train. Another option would be to take a tour from one of the other attractions that are nearby.
Once you arrive at Floors Castle, it is obvious that this historic castle was designed for medieval times. The front entrance is an arched doorway that looks like a castle drawbridge. The walls are made of stone and there is a tower on the side that extends up 33 feet high.
After entering the castle, you will find yourself inside a courtyard and be able to look out into the gardens. Guards used to stand watch at this very spot, watching for invaders from any direction.
No matter which way you enter the castle, you will find many interesting features inside. There is a great hall that stretches out into two different rooms and the dining room was used for all meals. But there are many other features in the castle that you won’t want to miss.
There are five floors in total. The first floor has the kitchen, several bedrooms, a lounge and a bathroom. One of the bedrooms has been converted into a small museum that holds artifacts from Floors Castle’s long history.
The second floor is another bedroom along with various other rooms and the library. The third floor also has a bedroom and the armory. The fourth floor is another bedroom and there is one more on the fifth floor, which is the top one. This room was used for storage when it was originally built, but today it is an apartment that is still inhabited by members of the Bellingham family.
“The castle is also home to peacocks that roam freely through the gardens.”
When to Visit
Today, Floors Castle is open to visitors. If you want to visit, you are welcome from March until October during the day. It is best to plan your trip in advance, but they are able to accommodate walk-in guests as well.
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