With springtime finally upon us, castles and stately homes near Glasgow are beginning to reopen to the public.

While there aren't many of these sites left within the city boundary, there are plenty to visit under an hour's drive away.

If you're looking for historic gems to explore near the city, here are some of the most beautiful castles and estates.

The most beautiful castles and estates an hour's drive from Glasgow you can visit now

Here are some of the most beautiful castles and estates you can visit near Glasgow this spring and summer.

Find out more about these sites on the Historic Environment Scotland website.

Dumbarton Castle

Opening times: April 1 to May 10 - Daily except Thursday and Friday - 9:30am to 5pm (last entry 4:15pm).

Description: Founded in the fifth century, Dumbarton was once the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde.

Dumbarton Castle was placed at the heart of this powerful realm and sits upon a volcanic rock in the Firth of Clyde.

Historic Scotland members can visit for free with non-members aged 16-64 needing to pay £7.50 for admission.

Bothwell Castle

Opening times: March 29 to September 30 - Open daily except on Sunday and Monday - 9:30am to 5pm (last entry 4:30pm).

Description: Hotly contested during the Scottish Wars of Independence, Bothwell Castle was sieged with such hostility in 1301 that it was never completed to its original plan.

With its imposing donjon, it is one of Scotland's most impressive strongholds still standing today.

Crookston Castle

Opening times: April 1 to September 30 - Daily -  9:30am to 5:30pm (last entry at 5pm).

Description: Crookston Castle was built by the Stewarts of Darnley between the 14th and 15th centuries. It is the only surviving medieval castle in the City of Glasgow and stands as a reminder of the formally rural character of the area.

It is also where Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley were said to have met before marrying.

Mugdock Castle

Description: Mugdock Castle to the north of Glasgow was once at the centre of the administration of the lands of Mugdock.

While its true age is unknown, it is first mentioned in a document dating back to 1372, according to the Mugdock Country Park website.

Balloch Castle

Opening times: All year - 10am to 4pm

Description: Located on the southeast shore of Loch Lomond, the castle is surrounded by 200 acres of semi-natural woodland, parks and gardens.

The park is described by West Dunbartonshire Council as a "quintessentially [...] 19th-century private estate" that "was developed as a park at the beginning of the 20th century".

The design of the area remains largely unchanged from the early 1800s when the current castle was built.

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Newark Castle

Opening times: March 29 to September 30 - Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 4:30pm (last entry 4pm).

Description: Once overshadowed by the nearby Clyde shipyards of Port Glasgow, the castle and its Renaissance details have been rediscovered in recent years.

The castle is well-known for its former owner Sir Patrick Maxwell, a powerful friend of King James VI of Scotland, who notoriously murdered two members of a rival family.