Glamis Castle

The childhood home of the HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is a Category A listed building and haunted! It is arguably one of Scotland's most famous castles. With over 1000 years of history, the extensive estate covers more than 14,000 acres (57 sq km). 

It was home to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother who spent her childhood there and Princess Margaret's birthplace (sister to Queen Elizabeth II) in 1930. 

Glamis Castle is the classic aristocratic Scottish Castle surrounded by magnificent grounds and countryside. The property is within easy reach of Pitlochry and a day tour from Edinburgh.

Childhood home of the Queen mum

A brief history of Glamis Castle

The beginning
It began life as a royal hunting lodge, which, in the 11th century, was turned into a castle. It came into Sir John Lyon's ownership by a grant of King Robert II in 1372 and has remained in the family ever since. Sir John's grandson married Janet Douglas, who became accused of witchcraft for which she was burned-at-stake in Edinburgh in 1537. James V took the opportunity to seize Glamis and lived there for some six years until its return to John Lyon, 7th Lord of Glamis. 

The Castle inspired Shakespeare to choose it as a central location in Macbeth to whom he gave the title 'Thame of Glamis'. 

The Civil War
The 9th Lord Glamis undertook significant work on the Castle, which became a garrison for soldiers during the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Great Britain and Ireland became a commonwealth (1649-1660) or a republic following the Royalist's defeat in the English civil war, culminating in Charles I's execution in 1649. Ultimately, it didn't work out for the Parliamentarian side in the civil war; it seemed that Britain wasn't quite ready for full-blown democracy. The son of Charles I, King Charles II returned from exile in France and was crowned in 1660 (known as the Restoration). 

The war served as a warning to would-be dictator monarchs that England had a functioning parliament and procedures applied. 

Restoration of Glamis
On the troops' departure, the place was uninhabitable, and major restoration work was undertaken in 1689, resulting in the Castle we see today. Lord Glamis started work on the Baroque garden at the same time.

HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
In 1767 John Lyon, 9th Earl of Strathmore, married Mary Eleanor Bowes, who was heiress to a coal mining fortune. Thus, the Bowes-Lyon family name came into being. In 1900, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was born and spent much of her childhood at Glamis. She would marry Prince Albert, Duke of York, at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey in 1923. Fate determined he would become King upon the abdication of his elder brother, Edward VIII. Their first-born child would become Queen Elizabeth II. She has become the longest-serving British monarch ever.

Visiting Glamis Castle
The Castle is a popular visitor attraction with over 100,000 visitors a year. Many rooms are open to the public, including the former bedroom of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. 

Among the others are Duncan's Hall, the oldest in the Castle, and chosen by Shakespeare as the setting for the King's murder in Macbeth. Artefacts spanning five centuries include fine china, furniture, paintings, and tapestries that are all beautifully displayed. In the grounds is a fascinating sundial with 84 dials. From the battlements are fantastic views of the Vale of Strathmore.

Overlooking one of the two streams that thread through the estate is a magnificent arboretum, the home of rare trees from around the world, many several hundreds of years old.

The stunning parkland is home to a wide variety of wildlife, pheasants, and herds of deer. The grounds feature in the 'Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland' and national significance. In addition to rearing beef cattle, it also has a substantial forestry and lumber operation.

Touring and accommodation
We can incorporate a visit to Glamis Castle as part of a day tour from Edinburgh or include as part of a Private Tour of Scotland. A day tour from Edinburgh can consist of Glamis Castle and Stirling Castle for example. An excellent day tour from Edinburgh should include Glamis Castle and Drummond Castle and Gardens for those keen on seeing gardens. There are many options we can provide. Our Tour-Designers can tailor a tour of Scotland to include the special places relating to Scotland's history.

Edinburgh has a vast choice of accommodation. We look for quality, service and our ability to include complimentary amenities. Stay in the elegant New Town at The Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. Enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle from the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel

Stay near the Highlands at Gleneagles Hotel and take day tours to Glamis, Drummond Castle, St Andrews and the Cairngorms National Park - the options are endless. Please contact us for details.

A Thousand Years of History

Former home of the HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

  • VIP Tours Available
  • Explore the Estate
  • Walled Garden
  • Italian Garden
  • Nature Trail

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, US and EU office based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799

Email: [email protected]

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