It is hoped that when lockdown is finally lifted, the sunshine will encourage those interested in Ayrshire’s rich history to visit some of the districts most impressive castles and surrounding areas.

Here is our round-up of some of the best Ayrshire castles that should definitely be added to your summer to-do list!

Dunure Castle, Ayr

This medieval fortress is located in South Ayrshire, approximately five miles south of Ayr and nearby to the village of Dunure.

The castle ruins are spectacular, showcasing the main fortress that once belonged to the Kennedy family.

Dating back to the 1200s, this castle definitely brings ancient history to life to all those who visit.

Boasting spectacular views across the Firth of Clyde, this castle will be a favourite for those who enjoy the natural Scottish landscape.

Irvine Times: Dunure Castle. Dunure Castle.

Culzean Castle, Maybole

Culzean Castle is immersed in Scottish history, all of which can be explored throughout its lavish drawing rooms and opulent halls.

Situated on the remarkable Ayrshire cliffs, the castle is an exquisite example of some of the best 18th century architecture.

The castle also holds one of the largest collections of British military flintlock pistols in the world.

The surrounding country gardens are also picture-perfect for an exciting day out for all of the family.

Irvine Times: Culzean Castle.Culzean Castle.

Ardrossan Castle, Ardrossan

Ardrossan Castle is a historical hidden gem. Mostly made up of ancient ruins; the castle provides a vivid insight into what life would have been like inside the 15th century walls.

The kitchen and cellar are still visible to visitors who are particularly interested in this period in history.

Once owned by Clan Barclay, parts of the castle were destroyed in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

This castle is perfect for those who enjoy walking around delicate ruins.

Irvine Times: Ardrossan Castle. Ardrossan Castle.

Kerelaw Castle, Stevenson

This ancient castle is definitely one to visit, with many of the impressive features still perfectly intact.

A variety of detailed gothic windows can be still be seen around the southern wall of the castle and the brick and stone foundations all remain original.

With a housing estate built around the castle grounds in the mid-sixties, Kerelaw Castle is a pocket of history to be discovered in a relatively modern setting.

Irvine Times: Kerelaw Castle.Kerelaw Castle.

Seagate Castle, Irvine

Seagate overlooks the oldest street in Irvine, which once existed as the main route through the town.

This castle is a sort of rare hybrid between a large mansion and a castle, it is in impeccable condition – considering it dates back to as early as the 12th century.

It has three stories to explore and one round tower containing an ancient staircase.

This castle is unquestionably atmospheric, with lots to read and discover.

Irvine Times: Seagate Castle.Seagate Castle.

Sorn Castle, Sorn

Dive into medieval history as you explore the grounds of Sorn Castle.

With acres of land and an ancient tower, this castle is a favourite for weddings and private functions.

Enjoy a walk around one of East Ayrshire’s most historic attractions as you learn about the castle’s past.

Now privately owned by the McIntyre family, this castle still stands as it once did centuries ago and is an impressive day out for all who visit.

Irvine Times: Sorn Castle.Sorn Castle.

Mauchline Castle, Mauchline

Although the remnants of this castle are not open to the public, it is still a special castle to observe from afar.

The castle is originally believed to have been built as early as the 1400s, primarily as residence for Melrose Abbey.

Immersed in Ayrshire history, allegedly it was inside Mauchline Castle that Robert Burns married Jean Armour. Despite the ruins being part of a family home, you can still catch a great glimpse of the castle from Burns House.