A Magical Adventure To Floors Castle And The FairyTale Trail
We recently visited the historical Floors Castle in the Scottish Borders for my my birthday day out, and we had a great day. Read on to find out more
We lived in the Scottish Borders for years and would regularly visit Kelso, and Floors castle always looked magnificent. It quickly became our "we're nearly home" moment. For some reason we never visited Floors Castle when we lived 20 minutes away!
About the castle and what to expect on a visit
Floors Castle is the largest inhabited house in Scotland and sits on the banks of the River Tweed. Built in 1721 and then modified to add turrets & towers in the 1840s, it is full of history and wonder. Home to the Dukes of Roxburghe since the 1720s. Floors castle was first opened to the public in 1977 and you can now explore 12 rooms which include
The Entrance Hallway
The Ante Room
The Sitting Room
The Drawing Room
The Needle Room
The Billiard Room
The Robe Room
The Dining Room
The Bird Room
We loved exploring the castle but our favourite room was The Bird Room. As avid Birders we just found the extensive stuffed collection really interesting. There's also a collection of coins and geological samples in this room.
Throughout the castle you can expect to see porcelain collections, artwork, Amazing tapestries, gorgeous furniture and lots more.
I recommend purchasing the guide book which has info on the artwork in each room and lots of interesting info. The guide book was priced at £8.95
The Gardens and what to expect from a visit
Originally, when the castle was built in 1720s, the garden would have been long avenues and formal flower beds. By the 1860s the gardens had had extensive remodelling which brought in seven glass houses to grow exotic plants. On our visit we walked through them all and there was loads growing including figs, grapes, peaches and lots lots more.
In the gardens you can explore the walled garden which is 4 acres, including the huge glass houses. The walled garden is absolutely stunning and a must see. I loved the colours throughout and it made you feel like you were on a magical adventure. There's a great wild play area for under 12's too.
You can also enjoy the millennium garden & the star plantation along with the riverside walk which will take you around 2 hours at a leisurely pace, with opportunities to spot various wildlife. Woodland walk, which is the one we did. took us around 40 minutes to complete, please note there is a steep hill to climb.
The Fairytail Trail at Floors Castle
This year Floors Castle added the fairytale trail and it is wonderful! We actually completed the trail first and Elliot enjoyed getting involved in the activities. When you enter the grounds, ask for a trail booklet. It is a 20 page booklet full of short stories and activities to complete as you work your way around the trail, which is spread out around the grounds. You can also find a few opportunities to do a few sketches with crayons provided. (You will need a pen/pencil to complete the rest of the booklet though)
Following the trail you will come across various activities such as Alice down the Rabbit Hole croquet & Sack race. Rapunzel's whack a witch and tug o war, Help build the three little pigs houses (large jigsaws) Captain Hook a duck, hide and seek with the seven dwarfs hats (count the poison apples too) and more. You also get some magic beans to grow at home too, just like Jack.
I think the trail is brilliant, especially when you consider kids under 16 get free entry and the booklet is also free!
You can find various picnic spots or you can choose from two cafes
The Courtyard Café - situated between the castle and woodland car park. This is perfect for light bites such as sausage rolls, range of sandwiches, cakes, hot and cold drinks. We actually ate here and the food was really nice. It came to just over £50 for 3 sandwiches, 2 sausage rolls, 5 slices of cake and 5 cold drinks.
This is more of a restaurant serving a large range of meals with a menu designed by the Duke & Duchess' personal chef. Prices were not too bad we stopped to have a look on the way in but opted for the Courtyard Café as we didn't want a large meal
Good To Know
The Fairytale Trail is free to take part, but take a pencil or pen/ Ends 20th September
Dogs are welcome in the gardens and grounds.
Indoor/Outdoor seating for the cafes
Toilets located at the castle and walled gardens
No photography at all allowed inside the castle
Kids trail to do in the castle
Guides in each room to answer questions
Plenty of parking with disabled spaces. Limited space for caravans/campers
Most of the paths were accessible although there is a steep hill to climb on the Woodland Walk
Kids under 16 - Free Entry
Adult Annual Pass - £25
Adult day entry to the castle & gardens - £18
Adult Season Pass £10 per season
Adult Garden only £8
Floors Castle, Grounds, Courtyard Café & castle gift shop 10.30am - 5pm
Closed October - March
Gardens, Terrace Café, Apple Shed - 10.30am - 4pm October - March and 10am - 5pm April - 30th September
To find out more about Floors Castle click HERE
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