Destination UK

A Private Tour of Glamis Castle

Posted on
February 16, 2017

For February half term we are staying in Angus and no visit here would be without visiting the ancestral home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and birth place of Princess Margaret – Glamis Castle.
Glamis Castle
From the moment you approach the castle along the long mile long driveway, framed by manicured gardens and great Oak trees and with an abundance of pheasants, you know you are approaching a very special place.
Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat of the Lyon family since 1372 and has grown and been added to over the centuries.
Pauline, our tour guide, was a wealth of knowledge and filled us in on the history of the castle whilst engaging the kids with tasks of finding the Lions, and the one room without a lion, and a few more interesting stories about the castle.
With 125 rooms, Glamis Castle is huge, but during the tour you see just a handful as Glamis is still a family home. These rooms include:

  • The Dining Room
  • The Crypt
  • The Drawing Room
  • The Chapel
  • The Billiard Room
  • King Malcolm’s Room
  • The Royal Apartments
  • The King’s Room

Unfortunately photography is not permitted inside the castle but from the moment you enter it is full of “Wow” moments around every corner.
You start in the dining room where the table seats up to 40 guests and is decorated by a stunning silver tall ship (a nef). The carpet is covered in Lions, the walls lined with oak panelling and the history of the family is told throughout; by stained glass on the windows, carved wood on the panelling and painted heraldic shields.
Glamis Castle
The crypt was probably the kids favourite room. It represents the ancient heart of the castle and was filled with interesting things to look at including suits of armour, weapons, hunting trophies and the Secret Room of Glamis with its very own ghost story!
The Drawing room is considered the most splendid apartment in the castle and has a stunning arched ceiling, the most magnificent fireplace I have ever seen and paintings on display from floor to ceiling.
Glamis Castle
The Chapel is said to be one of the finest private chapels in Northern Europe and features paintings by the Dutch artist Jacob de Wet. The most celebrated picture is of Christ wearing a hat which is one of only six in the world.
The next room on the tour was the billiard room which is much more informal than some of the other rooms, but beautiful nonetheless, then we headed to King Malcolm’s room which was filled with beautiful hand-painted bone china (I was rather keen to leave this room with 3 bouncy children in tow).
Glamis Castle
It was the royal apartments that Hubby and I found most fascinating. The Queen Mother used to visit Glamis regularly throughout her life and the sitting room was like that of any other family home, filled with fascinating family photographs, some with handwritten names and dates on them. The kids loved her bedroom and the secret of how to open the armoire which had no handles!
The final room in the Royal Apartments was the King’s Room. It is now dressed like a bedroom as is home to the oldest piece of furniture in the castle – the Kinghorne bed which was made c.1660 but was once King George VI’s study.
Glamis Castle
Our final room of the tour was the Guard Room, complete with a spy hole and a bear on a skateboard type contraption. He was an old family pet who was sadly killed by a cow protecting her calf but was so well-loved they kept him.
We didn’t get to explore the gardens as the gardeners were hard at work, but we did find a playground for the kids to stretch their legs.
Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle re-opens to the public on 1st April 2017 with lots of exciting events planned for the coming year.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Glamis Castle for a private tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  1. Reply

    Sharon Parry

    February 16, 2017

    I just love stately homes and castles! You can feel the history oozing out of the walls! If only they could talk! This looks a great one to visit, I’m adding it to my list!

  2. Reply

    Ana De- Jesus

    February 16, 2017

    How lucky that you got a private tour I am so jealous! I loved history as a kid and still do so Glamis castle would be right up my street. Isn’t it gorgeous as well?

  3. Reply


    February 16, 2017

    The Castle is spectacular- another reason to visit Scotland! I adore medieval history and architecture- it is so mysterious!:)

  4. Reply

    Mina Joshi

    February 16, 2017

    I love visiting castles and historical buildings. You were very lucky to get a private tour with a guide. A good guide can really make a visit memorable.

  5. Reply


    February 16, 2017

    The castle grounds look amazing and a great family day out

  6. Reply

    Nikki Thomas

    February 16, 2017

    What a shame you couldn’t take photos inside, it sounds like a lovely place. I think it is important to take kids to places like these as they are so interesting and they can learn so much. Plus the gardens are usually great for running around too.

  7. Reply


    February 17, 2017

    omg what a beautiful place! There are many beautiful castles around the country. I really recommend to visit the one in Peak District , the Chatsworth House x

  8. Reply


    February 17, 2017

    What a lovely place. Looks like a great day. I bet it will look beautiful in Spring when the flowers are out too.

  9. Reply


    February 17, 2017

    Sounds amazing and I’d love to go! Shame you couldn’t take pictures but means I’ll have to go 🙂

  10. Reply


    February 17, 2017

    Looks and sounds amazing! I love a stately home but having a tour would be wonderful!

  11. Reply


    February 17, 2017

    Wow, it looks so impressive from the outside, that’s what you call a castle! I’d love to see the place one day myself, it sounds amazing inside.

  12. Reply

    Verily Victoria Vocalises

    February 17, 2017

    Wow! What an absolutely beautiful place – so majestic. How wonderful that you had the place to yourself too x

  13. Reply

    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    February 17, 2017

    What a majestic building! Such a shame that we can’t get a glimpse of inside but i guess I’ll have to visit myself!!

  14. Reply

    Tessa Robinson

    February 17, 2017

    Wow, looks like such a great day. I love castles so this is definitely now on my to do list 🙂

  15. Reply

    Jen Walshaw

    February 17, 2017

    We are at the stage where the boys would HATE this. They used to love castles and stately homes when they were little, but are tweens and don’t we know it. I on the other hand would love to visit,

  16. Reply


    February 17, 2017

    I love visiting castles and the Glamis Castle looks so beautiful!

  17. Reply

    Melanie Chadd

    February 18, 2017

    It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Glamis is only just down the road from me and it really is a pretty place to visit. Looks like you had a good day?

  18. Reply

    Cass Bailey

    February 18, 2017

    My two would love this as they enjoy exploring places like this! I wish you;d been allowed to take photos as I would have loved to see inside x x

  19. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    February 18, 2017

    Wow the castle looks amazing. I would love to go on a private tour too.

  20. Reply


    February 20, 2017

    I love when you get that knowledgeable backgorund to what you see. Places come to life and you can imagine people living there and being… humans!
    The gardens will be another adventure for you, perhaps during the summer season when the trees are green and there are flowers.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog