Situated North-West of Berwick-upon-Tweed near the small town of Ayton, Ayton Castle is a truly marvellous site worth visiting and a real jewel in the crown of Scottish castles.
The castle was originally a medieval looking, tower house, built in the 15th century but was rebuilt in 1846 following a fire and it now stands as an archetypal example of the 19th century Scottish Baronial style of architecture, popularised by famous writer Sir Walter Scott with its imposing Victorian red sandstone building. It is one of only two works by Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham in this style, and stands out in the picturesque, pastoral landscape of Ayton, realising the vision of Victorian romantics.
The castle remains a family home to this day and since its recent full restoration, is a fantastically refined opportunity to learn more about Scottish Medieval and Victorian heritage as well as to enjoy the spacious, idyllic surroundings. The exceptional merit of the structure itself is shown by its category-A listing and inclusion in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, the national listing of significant parks and gardens.
As it is not normally open to the public, a visit to the Castle is an exclusive immersion into the rich heritage to which much of Ayton Castle’s beauty and influence is owed. A tour of the Castle itself gives a great insight into its architectural and historical significance. Aside from the stunning interior and exterior of the structure, the Castle’s impressive grounds with extensive parkland and garden terraces are perfect for exploration. There are also activities offered, for example a game shoot can be organised on the grounds as well as a visit to the stables and to the 18th century dovecot.