Loch Leven Castle is situated on an
island in Lock Leven, at the town of
Kinross, 28 miles north of Edinburgh, 30
miles southwest of St Andrews.
The castle can be visited most of the
year. It is closed in winter from 1st
November to 30th March.
There is a small entrance fee to
explore the castle. Postcode: KY13
See also a large Click On
Map for Top Attractions in the area.
The image top is of Kinross Pier with a
booking office for trips to Loch Leven Castle,
information on the 12 mile walk around the
loch, small cafe, and The Boathouse
bar diner with views over the loch.
The pier can be found by following signs at
the bottom of Kinross High Street.
Boats run from 10.00 to 16.00, one if not
busy, two when busy. The island is a quiet
place to spend some time and explore the
castle. Information boards give the history of
the castle and show what each room was used
Loch Leven Castle History
1200s - Loch Leven Castle is built for an
The town of Kinross grew around the castle
as a staging post for travelers between south
Scotland and Perth.
1296–1357 - the castle is fought over during
the First War of
Scottish Independence with the English
forces gaining control.
The castle was soon re-taken by Scots,
thought to be by forces of William Wallace.
1323 - Robert the Bruce stayed at the
castle, using it as a prison.
1300s - after the wars of independence, the
castle was acquired by William Douglas, 1st
Earl of Douglas, one of Robert the Bruce's most
1329 - Robert the Bruce dies leaving his 5
year old son David II as king of Scotland.
1332 – 1357 - the Second War of
Scottish Independence takes place with the
English trying to overthrow David II.
1335 - the English laid siege to Loch Leven
Castle. Forces at Loch Leven Castle held
1357 - the Treaty of Berwick ended the war
with David II remaining king of Scotland.
1400s - the Balfours had Burleigh Castle
built 2 miles north of Loch Leven Castle.
1546 - Margaret Erskine and her son William
Douglas built a mansion house on the shore of
the Loch named Newhouse. This replaced the
castle as their main residence, with the castle
still used at times for security.
1565 - Mary Queen of
Scots visited Sir William Douglas at Loch
Leven Castle, a good friend at the time.
1576 February - the Husband of Mary, Lord
Darnley was murdered in Edinburgh. Some people
claimed Mary was behind the murder.
1567 April - Mary marries the Earl of
Bothwell, who was accused of murdering her
husband. This led to uprisings in Scotland.
1567 June - the Battle of
Carberry Hill by Edinburgh takes place. The
battle ended with Mary surrendering to the
forces of a number of Scots Lords. These Lords
wanted Mary to step down so her infant son
could become king.
Mary was then taken to Loch Leven Castle to
be held prisoner.
1568 - Mary escapes from the castle and
flees to England where she was imprisoned by
Elizabeth I, queen of England.
1587 - Mary is executed by beheading in the
Great Hall of Fotheringhay
Castle in central England
1675 - Sir William
Bruce, the famous Scottish architect,
bought the house, castle and lands at Loch
Leven from the Douglass.
1685 - Bruce built Kinross House next to the
old Douglas mansion, with views out to Loch
Leven Castle. The Douglas mansion was
Bruce preserved Loch Leven Castle as it
could be viewed from Kinross House.
1700s - Kinross Estate passed to the
1700s late - the Grahams also acquired
1800s - Kinross Estate was acquired by the
Montgomerys with the castle left to fall into
1939 - Kinross Castle was taken over by
Historic Scotland to serve as a tourist
attraction. Burleigh Castle was also acquired
by Historic Scotland to serve as a tourist
2010 - an English businessman named Donald
Fothergill bought Kinross House and Estate. The
house is now available for weddings and