Historic Scotland
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Opening times

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4.15pm (last outward sailing)

1 to 31 October:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 3.15pm (last outward sailing)

1 November to 31 March:

Due to limited capacity we recommend all visits to Lochleven Castle be booked in advance.

Check here for unexpected closures




Imagine being imprisoned in this island stronghold. Mary Queen of Scots was once a guest here, but her former host turned her jailer in 1567. She eventually escaped, never to see Scotland again.

The tower house where Mary was held is one of Scotland’s oldest, built in the 1300s. It was here that she suffered a miscarriage and was forced to abdicate in favour of her son, James VI.

On a previous visit, as a guest, Mary had had one of her long religious debates with Protestant reformer John Knox here. And long before Mary’s time, Robert the Bruce had visited Lochleven.

What to see and do

  • Cross the loch by boat to reach the island, just as Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots once did
  • Stand in the tower house rooms where Mary was held against her will
  • Admire the Glassin Tower, a charming circular residence built in the 1500s that projects from the enclosure wall
  • Roam the quiet island at your leisure to soak up the peaceful setting
  • Breathe in the heady scent of pink purslane in the south and east wooded walks from April to July
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