Turnberry Castle

Though it’s up for some debate, Turnberry Castle is the probably birthplace of Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s hero king. It was home to his mother, Marjorie, the Countess of Carrick. In a twist of fate similar to Murray’s at Bothwell Castle, it was Bruce himself who ordered that the castle be demolished in 1310 to prevent it being of use to English forces. The castle never recovered, so what we see is, extraordinarily, the remains of an original early 14th century stronghold.

I was in constant awe while exploring the ruins. It was clearly a place of tremendous strength, and like many of my favourite castles incorporates cliffs and crags into its architecture. One such feature was a sea gate, which allowed ships to sail into a protected harbour built into the castle itself. How cool is that! Unfortunately, you have to deal with the golf course surrounding the landward side of the site – but if you can block that out, you’ll find Turnberry to be an incredibly evocative castle to visit.