The magical castle an hour from Glasgow with multicoloured walls that has to be seen to be believed

The colourful Kelburn Castle
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


This summer we will all be looking for fun destinations for a wee day trip away from the city, and if you head south down along the Ayrshire coast, around an hour from the city, you'll discover one of the world's most colourful castles.

Found not far from the seaside town of Largs, the exterior of Kelburn Castle, which emerges from the green trees of the estate, really is a magical sight.

Covered in psychedelic murals and a riot of colours, Kelburn dates back to the 12th century and was given a striking makeover in 2007.

The owner, Patrick, the 10th Earl of Glasgow, was inspired by his kids to take a more modern approach to replacing the castle's concrete exterior (harling).

How the castle looked before its transformation.
How the castle looked before its transformation. -Credit:wfmillar/CCBYSA2.0

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Putting out a call, four Brazilian graffiti artists, some of the best in the world at the time, arrived to begin transforming the castle's plain walls into something incredible.

Inspired by the colourful murals and street art that have sprung up in cities around Brazil, twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, known as Os Gemos, together with Nina Pandolfo and Francesca Nunca used 1,500 cans of spray paint to create the design which features colourful cartoons.

Costing £20,000, the results are staggering and make for what has become one of the world's most unique castles.

Approved by the local council at the time, it was allowed on the basis it would be a temporary exhibit but would be removed when the castle was eventually reharled.

Over the past decade, the Earl has pushed for the mural to remain permanently and thankfully, it seems like it is now here to stay.

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Hugely popular with tourists, local residents and festival fans, the castle has a range of activities and events on offer throughout the year.

Kids will love not only getting to see the castle itself but also will enjoy the outdoor play areas including the Secret Forest, a fairy tale trail through the woodland, as well as an adventure course.

There is also a mini-zoo and a cafe for refuelling and is also popular with families with dogs too.

As well as being registered for weddings and civil ceremonies, it also offers glamping and camping options for those looking to stay on the estate.

Every year the family also host the Kelburn Garden Party, a hugely popular music and arts festival. Straddling late June and early July, you'll find all kinds of music across the seven stages ranging from dance, funk and disco to jungle, jazz and experimental pop music.

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