When we moved to Scotland we didn’t know we would stay here this longer – 4 years. What started as an infatuation, has now grown into an addiction towards this country that we currently call home. Living in Scotland is pretty much like being on a holiday. There’s lot of things that we love about this country – should we tell you how beautiful the lochs are, or the vast wilderness in the highlands and coasts where we got lost every other weekends, or the festivals that soaked the cities with tourists. The more we stayed here, the more we deciphered the mystery and secrets this country beholds, and it only surprised us every time.
We wanted to keep some exclusivity on Scotland while we continue our Castle series, and as promised in our last castle blog post, this is the last post on castle series. But we are very sure this post will only mesmerize you, and give you the ichy feet as you ponder over when the hell am I going to travel to Scotland?
Here’s our 12 favourite picks which we think are the best and beautiful castles in Scotland, and should not be skipped from your itinerary. We haven’t explored all of the castles listed here either, but we are getting there slowly, and we are sure to end up seeing all of them before this year during our weekend travelling.
One of the iconic and most visited monument in Scotland and the one that dominates the skyline of the capital city of Edinburgh. It’s impossible to ignore the sight of the castle while you are travelling around the city. A UNESCO heritage site, the castle sits on a dormant volcano hill.
A large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Balmoral Castle has been one of the summer residences of the Royal Family since 1852 when it was purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture and the castle surrounds gorgeous 50000 acres of land that includes gardens, grouse moors, farmland. The estate ground, garden and Ballrooms are open to public during Spring-Summer.
Located on a dramatic settings along the Ayrshire coast, it’s easy to see why Culzean Castle has been one of the most popular attractions in Scotland. Considered as architect Robert Adam’s masterpiece, the castle has impressive oval staircase, armory, circular saloon and gas house. There are also sea caves beneath the castle which are open to public only during summer. The castle surroundings are very huge and are Scotland’s first country park which has deer park, ponds, walking trails. Easily makes a great day out.
Dunnattor castle is a ruined medieval fortress located on a rocky headland on the north-east of Scotand, about 3 kms south of Stonehaven, it is nothing but a stunning landscape. The castle has played a major role in the history of Scotland, primarily because of its strategic location. The castle can be reached by steep narrow path from the car park.
Tantallon Castle is certainly one of the eye catching 14th century castle . Sitting on a small cliff along the shores of North Berwick overlooking BassRock, the semi-ruined castle is so photogenic whether seen from land or from the sea.
Not only famous for its architecture and history, but reputed as one of the most haunted and intriguing castle, Glamis castle was the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Located in the quaint village of Glamis in the Angus region, this castle has strong connections with Royal family. The castle was childhood home for The Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth), and her 2nd daughter Princes Margaret was born in this castle.
Yet another impressive castle located in Isle of Mull, Duart Castle dates back to 13th century. For over 400 years this has been home base for Clan McLean. The castle is surrounded by a landscape that looks beautiful in all angles with wide open coast.
One of the important castles in Scotland both historically and architecturally, Stirling Castle sits on an extinct volcano surrounded by steep cliffs. Several scottish kings and queens have been crowned here including Mary Queen of Scots, and the castle played an important role during Scottish Wars of Independence.
Visit to Isle of Skye is almost incomplete without visiting the Dunvegan Castle. Located in the west coast of Scotland, this castle is seat of Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for about 800 years, and it still is. Unfold the history, stroll around the castle gardens, or take a boat trip to visit the nearby seal colony or simply enjoy the landscape that Dunvegan offers.
A country house in Argyll county, Inverary castle is seat of Duke of Argyll, the chief of Clan Campbell since 17th century. It is surrounded by 16 acre garden and estate of 60,000 acres. This photogenic castle is one of the most visited castles in west of Scotland.
An iconic image of Scotland, Eilean Donan is one of the most photographed castles in the world, and it wouldn’t be fair to miss it out from your itinerary if you are planning a trip to Scotland. Located in a small island where 3 lochs meet (Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh), the castle is connected with land by a lovely foot bridge. This is one of the unusual view of the castle taken from top of the village hill.
We hope you’ve enjoyed touring the Scottish Castles. If you are planning on a vacation in Scotland, we recommend you to look through our Scotland travel guide for offbeat travel ideas and unexplored places.
What is your favourite castle among these? Have you visited any of the castles in Scotland?