Castle of Park

Glenluce, Dumfries and Galloway


This is a true Scottish tower house, built in 1590 and then improved in the 18th century. Living here gives a very different impression of the life of a Jacobean laird from the stony shells of so many less fortunate and abandoned towers in Scotland today.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Mobile signalMobile signal
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Logs availableLogs available
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower
  • Washing MachineWashing Machine

Beds 1 Single, 2 Twin, 1 Double

4 nights from
£556 equivalent to £19.86 per person, per night

The life of a Jacobean laird

The exterior of this house is deceptively modest. Inside, it is another matter. With the walls plastered and the surprisingly spacious rooms well-furnished, you gain a vivid impression here that the life of a Jacobean laird was not as spartan as might be imagined from the stony shells of so many abandoned towers.

The large hall has a lovely fireplace. From the hall the laird's private stair leads to bedrooms, each with it's own privy (perfect for hide and seek). The wide main stair, in its own tower, has a little room at the top called the cap house, from which you can glimpse the sea. The 18th century brought larger windows to let more light in, the bright clear light of a western peninsula

Luce Bay

There are notable gardens to visit, lovely Luce Bay is nearby, and the rolling fields are grazed by cattle more numerous than the human inhabitants. Threave Gardens, Caerlaverock Castle and the Robert Burns Centre are all wonderful places to visit nearby.

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

Sitting on the edge of the small village of Glenluce, also known as The Valley of Light, Castle of Park is surrounded by farmland and the coast is only a mile or so away.

Explore the immediate area with a pleasant walk  from the village to Luce Bay on the coast. Dumfries and Galloway is a haven for walkers with a wide choice of walks for all. Galloway Forest, about an hour's drive from Glenluce, is also perfect for walkers of all abilities, or for those who simply wish to enjoy this lovely area. 

Look out for events and festivals throughout the year in the surrounding area. The Wigtown Book Festival and Snowdrop Festival are all highly recommended.

Castle Kennedy Gardens are some of the most spectacular gardens in the country, set against the backdrop of sumptuous ruins. 

Discover local walks for dogs with our friends at, the dog walks community. For more information on things to do during your stay at Castle of Park, please see our Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

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Essential info
What you need to know about this building
  • Yes. You are welcome to bring up to two dogs. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if you have an assistance dog, for which there is no charge.
  • Via a track from the main road.
  • Stranraer – 10 miles
  • Yes there are three car parking spaces adjacent to the property.
  • There are electric night storage heaters, a stove and a log burning stove.
  • Seasoned logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • To check up-to-date mobile network coverage in the area, visit* Due to the location and structure of many of our buildings, signal strength may differ to those indicated.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker, separate freezer, dishwasher and microwave.
  • There are three bathrooms, one with a shower over the bath and two others with baths.
  • The stairs are steep, narrow and spiral.
  • There is a garden (not enclosed).
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

Work began on 1st March 1590

The inscription over the door tells us that work began on the Castle of Park on the first day of March, 1590 (in time for a good long season's work before the next winter); and that Thomas Hay of Park and his wife Janet MacDowel were responsible for it. Thomas had been given the Park of Glenluce, land formerly belonging to Glenluce Abbey, by his father in 1572, and it is said that he took stone from the Abbey buildings for his own new house.

This he built in the tall fashion of other laird's houses of the period, usually known as tower houses. Although very plain, it is on a grand scale, as is shown by the large rooms and the fine quality of the stonework.

The Hays of Park descended from the Earls of Errol. Their first connection with Glenluce was through Sir Thomas Hay, father of the castle's builder, who was Secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots and, from 1560, Abbot of Glenluce. Sir Thomas was also a protégé of the Earls of Cassilis, his wife being a daughter of David Kennedy of Culzean, younger son of the 2nd Earl. It was probably due to the Kennedys' influence that the Hays obtained Glenluce and Park.

Like many tower houses, the Castle of Park was greatly improved in the 18th century, when the windows were made larger and fitted with sashes, and the main rooms were panelled. Two small wings were added on the south and north-east corners at the same time, enclosing a courtyard and providing extra accommodation. Near the castle there were gardens, all long vanished.

In about 1830, the castle was abandoned by its owners, when the contents, and much of the panelling, were taken to Dunragit, the home of Sir James Dalrymple- Hay, who had inherited the Park estate through his mother. From that time, the upper floors of the tower house were left empty, or used for storage, but some panelling remained in the 1890s. The wings meanwhile, were lived in by a farmer, who probably used the old kitchen too. The wings were still in good condition in 1912, but were derelict by 1950.

In 1949, the Castle of Park had been transferred to the Ministry of Works. A year or two later, the roof was renewed, but the floors were stripped out and the wings demolished. Then, in 1976-8, Historic Scotland carried out a full repair of the outside walls, and renewed the floors and windows. Inside, the Castle was left unfinished, with bare stone walls. The upper floors were undivided, and had no ceilings. For several years the Castle continued to stand empty, while a viable new use was sought for it. Such a use has now been found: the Landmark Trust's first visitors arrived on 24th April 1993. T

For a short history of Castle of Park please click here.

To read the full history album for Castle of Park please click here.

To download the children's Explorer pack for Castle of Park please click here.


Typical layout of a tower house

The main entrance to the castle is in the sheltered angle between the main wing and the tall stair tower. The door opens into a lobby at the foot of the stair, a common arrangement in tower houses. Turning to the right, you enter a passage which leads to all the rooms on the ground floor. These were service rooms, a scullery and larder (one now a bathroom), and at the north end, a kitchen with a huge fireplace on which the cooking was done. The stone vaults of these rooms are again a typical feature.

In 1976-8, the hatch between kitchen and passage was found, through which the cooks could hand food to the waiting servants. Beside the fire, there was evidence for a sway, a moveable bracket to hold cooking pots, and in the chimney itself there is a smoking board, for hams. The room in the corner was for the cook, and has a drain for waste water. The newly restored stair to the first floor from the room at the south end of the passage was for the servants.

The main stair leads to all the upper floors of the castle. The whole of the first floor was occupied by the great hall, the main room in which the whole household dined once a day. Its importance is shown by the finely-moulded stone fireplace surround, placed in the side wall to heat as much of the room as possible. Draughts were reduced by a wooden screen across the "low" or entrance end, roughly on the line of the new kitchen counter. Another screen may have run back from this to enclose a lobby at the head of the stair, and at the same time hide a servery at the top of the little back stair. Servants bringing food from the kitchen would have waited there, in what is now the kitchen, before entering in procession to serve the high table.

When the Castle was built, the windows would have been much smaller. They were enlarged in the 18th century, when the owners of many tower houses tried to make them more comfortable, without going to the expense of rebuilding. New pine panelling was fitted at the same time. Some of this was still there when drawings were made of the Castle in 1898, and was extremely fine, with rich mouldings, and pilasters, or flat columns, on either side of the windows. Originally, the walls would have been hung with woven cloths or tapestries.

In the north-west corner at the "high" end of the hall, a door leads to another stair, which has been completely rebuilt, having been removed long ago. This was for the private use of the laird and his family. It led only to the two floors above, on which were bedchambers and, no doubt, a private parlour. The partitions on both these floors disappeared long ago, so we don't know exactly how they were arranged. There must have been at least two rooms on each floor, because there are fireplaces at both ends, as well as two garderobes, or privies, in the thickness of the wall. These might have opened off closets, as they now open off the new bathrooms.

On the second floor, it was possible to put the new partition between the south bedroom and the passage exactly in the right place, because the drawings of 1898 show the end wall to have been panelled to that point. This panelling, while not as grand as that of the hall, was also of very good quality. It would have been too expensive to replace the panelling, but the sitting room has been decorated with hand-painted garlands.

Under the steeply-pitched roof of the stair tower is a small chamber or caphouse, reached by its own turret stair. A door from this turret also leads into a large attic in the main part of the house, which was probably where the servants slept. This attic is now kept locked, to provide a safe roost for the three varieties of bat which in the past had the whole Castle as their home.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.