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I’ve dreamed of getting to see castles like Dunrobin Castle since I was a little girl (shocker, I know). Of course, I do make it a point to stop at every castle some rich person built for a random reason in middle-of-nowhere America. But it is not the same as wandering through halls and gardens that royalty – or at least their kin – walked through. It is hard not to feel some kind of magic when you are standing in front of a castle. But some castles are just far more striking than others. And Dunrobin Castle is your best bet for the jaw-dropping, fairytale-esque beauty you are hoping for just a day trip from Inverness Scotland.

Brooke jumping in the air near one of the fountains in the garden with the huge Dunrobin Castle in the background

When we arrived at this epic Dunrobin Castle about one hour from Inverness, I didn’t even try to contain myself. I jumped up and down, squealed, and skipped to the entry door. Not all castles are worth the entry fee, but Dunrobin Castle far exceeded our expectations – well worth the £12 each.

We had this gorgeous French-inspired castle on our radar since first arriving in Inverness weeks earlier. In addition to searching on Google Maps for our usual waterfalls and trails, I had added ‘castles’ to my search list for Europe. I hadn’t seen Dunrobin Castle on any blogs or brochures. But sure enough, when it showed up in my search, the photo hooked me. So, we waited and waited and waited until we finally had a sunny day to enjoy the gardens and falconry presentation. And it turned out to be one of the best days of our Scotland trip – couldn’t have timed it better!

Tower at Dunrobin Castle with a clock on each side

Dunrobin Castle Falconry Demonstration

Twice a day from the beginning of April until the end of September, Dunrobin Castle has a fantastic falconry demonstration. Luckily, they decided to extend it through the end of October this year, so we were able to enjoy it during our visit.

Dunrobin Castle Falconry Demonstration Falconer with a large white falcon on his arm

After seeing our fair share of wildlife shows at parks growing up, we didn’t expect more than a short overview of the birds they were showing. But, the falconry demonstration at Dunrobin Castle was much more than that. The falconer was amazing and had us laughing, gasping in awe, and learning the entire time.

Falcon flying over the small group of people at the Falconry Demonstration at Dunrobin Castle
Falcon flying towards the small group of people at the Falconry Demonstration while the falconer swings a toy around to show the agility of the birds at Dunrobin Castle

This master of his craft explained the differences between hawks and falcons, as well as how these majestic birds of prey are used for hunting. All the while, letting them fly right above the crowd – showing just how much he trusts the birds. At one point he also demonstrated a training technique they often use with the Falcons, where they swing a rope with a lure at the end. It was astounding to see how nimble these birds are!

The massive Eagle Owl flying off of a perch during the Falconry Demonstration at Dunrobin Castle
Eagle Owl on the arm of the falconer eating some meat at the Falconry Demonstration during our Dunrobin Castle Grounds Tour

In addition to hawks and falcons, he also brought out a gorgeous Eagle Owl – the largest in the world. After the falconry demonstration, we chatted with him a bit about how he got into falconry, and just about travel in general. Such a great guy! The entire experience was a highlight of our time at Dunrobin Castle and our trip to Scotland.

Dunrobin Castle Tour

The beautiful French-inspired Dunrobin Castle from the garden set behind the castle entrance. This is a perfect day trip from Inverness Scotland

Dunrobin Castle Grounds Tour

After the falconry demonstration at Dunrobin Castle, we wandered around the gardens. This lush, manicured lawn pushed up against the ocean is what dreams are made of. I can only imagine what it must be like to live in a place like Dunrobin Castle. And, let’s be honest, that’s really a big part of the fun.

The amazing and beautiful manicured garden at Dunrobin Castle with the sea off in the distance right behind the property
Looking up towards Dunrobin Castle from the Castle Grounds
Brooke and Buddy with some of the Dunrobin Castle gardens behind them

There are flowers, as well as fruit and vegetable plants, and maze-like landscaping. Within the garden walls, there is also a croquet court and museum with various artifacts. The museum does also include a large taxidermy collection (fair warning, if – like us – this is not your thing).

Brooke playing some croquet in the garden with the beautiful Dunrobin Castle behind her

Tour Inside Dunrobin Castle

Our time enjoying the Dunrobin Castle gardens and falconry would have made our admission well worth the price. However, getting to admire beautiful architecture and decor inside was a great bonus. Plus, during our Dunrobin Castle tour, we learned about the people who have lived here through the centuries.

The elegant dining hall which is part of the tour inside Dunrobin Castle
Buddy walking up the spiral stairs during our Dunrobin Castle Tour

Dunrobin Castle has been called home to the Sutherland family since the 13th century. This earldom is one of the ‘seven ancient earldoms of Scotland’ and they were one of the most powerful families in Britain.

Library and study with thousands of books at Dunrobin Castle near Inverness
Room with some of the old royal garments in it

We do enjoy our modern conveniences. But the more castles and historic places we explore, the more I find myself wishing I could just spend a few days experiencing what it was really like to dress, eat, and live like royalty so long ago. I won’t lie, just getting to walk the halls and gardens leaves me feeling quite pampered.

Read our other articles about our Scotland explorations here! And to learn how we traveled in Europe for five months on a budget by house sitting, read this guide.

Our Favorite Day Trip from Inverness: Dunrobin Castle

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