One of the best things about Scotland is that a castle is always nearby, no matter where you are. Scotland’s castles are among the most famous in the world and are as much a part of the country’s scenery as its pristine lochs and towering mountains.
Up to 3,000 castles are thought to have existed in Scotland at one time, or around one for every 100 square miles. You can stay in a castle, did you know that? Other opulent estates permit a fantastic stay in their old chambers, and some even permit camping outside on the lovely grounds.
The must-see and most stunning castles in Scotland, in no particular order, are on our list of epic castles. Some of these castles are located in the Scottish Highlands, while others are dispersed throughout Western Scotland. Some of these castles are accessible from Edinburgh as day trips. We are confident that reading this content will enthrall and motivate you to visit Scotland.
One of the most well-known castles to visit in Scotland is Balmoral, which serves as the Scottish residence of the Royal Family. The preservation and repair of this lovely homestead, which Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria in 1852, remain of the utmost significance, with every square foot of the grounds spotless.
The grounds serve as those of a rural residence more than the baronial construction with its ornate towers. The settings have a lovely fountain surrounded by a stone semi-circle, and some Victorian glasshouses add to the floral appeal. Take a guided tour of the grounds to see the serene monuments and lovely cairns.
The ruins of Urquhart Castle, a well-liked tourist destination in the Scottish Highlands, contain remnants of its medieval past. Below it, views of the serene Loch Ness sparkle. Watch out for the monster!
One of Scotland’s once-largest castles, Urquhart is a fortress that provides insight into a real historic operational castle. Visitors come to view Urquhart’s splendor, which includes the dinners that can be easily imagined in the great hall, the magnificence of the adjacent chambers, and the eerie atmosphere of the prison cell.
Take a wander around the grounds and admire the life-size trebuchet outside before taking one more look towards the loch.
The Victorian Inverness Castle sits tall on a rocky outcrop on the banks of the River Ness; take a stroll up the winding path that leads there. The fortification underwent numerous modifications between the 11th and 19th centuries, resulting in the current fusion of neo-Norman architecture.
Cromwell’s clock tower amazingly still stands as a stark reminder of the castle’s devastating past (https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/attractions/castles/great-scottish-castles/).
The Eilean Donan is situated in the western highlands of Scotland, at the confluence of three sea lochs, on a small tidal island. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the nation, this castle dates back to the thirteenth century and is famous for its unique design. The environment and views are truly breathtaking.
The dinner hall features striking wooden ceiling beams, while the lodging room’s arched masonry houses Scottish and castle artifacts. To see the quiet waters, enter the kitchens and climb.
Glamis castle, which served as the scene for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is renowned not just for its design and history but also for being one of the eeriest and most fascinating castles. This castle, situated in the tiny Angus village of Glamis, has a long history with the Royal family. The Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth) spent her formative years in the palace, where she also gave birth to her second daughter, Princess Margaret.
This majestic stronghold, perched atop Castle Hill after Edinburgh’s well-known Royal Mile, looks spectacular and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
It is simple to explore the castle and find hidden gems like the Great Hall’s great wooden beams and St. Margaret’s Chapel’s elaborate arches. Visit the crown jewels in the Crown Room and take in an accurate portrayal of a valiant battle that happens just around the one o’clock gun.
Take in the tales of kings and outlaws that help make a trip to Edinburgh Castle in Scotland a delight. The keep entrance.
The Scottish Highlands’ Stirling Castle, prominent in the nation’s history and architectural heritage, is perched atop a hill. The steep walls fully protected the building on all sides.
The tranquil mood of the Royal Chapel, which dazzles with its expertly crafted frieze that depicts the coronation, contrasts with the lavish lifestyle evident in the Royal Palace at the castle’s peak occupancy.
Enjoy the creation in the Great Kitchens, enter the Great Hall, a space suitable for a king or queen, and stroll through the St. Anne Gardens to take in their breathtaking splendor.
The walls of Kelburn Castle are covered in graffiti art, making it most likely the only castle of its kind in the entire United Kingdom. This castle may be found in Western Scotland, close to the beach community of Largs, and is about 1.5 hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Water streams, miniature cascading waterfalls, a secret woodland, gardens, and farmland are all scattered across the entire castle and country park.
EXPLORE CASTLES IN SCOTLAND
Castles are awe-inspiring and audacious, and Scotland offers a wide range of locations, sizes, and architectural styles to share with tourists.
You should include a trip to a Scottish castle on your agenda, as they range from still-intact strongholds to equally mysterious and stunning ruins.
Visit our Scotland Guide to find out more information, ask questions, or get additional ideas for your ideal trip with one of our Luxury Scotland Vacations.