• Kelly

30 Must Visit Castles in Scotland this Summer

Updated: Feb 19


Scotland is just a magical place in itself, it has history and mystery. One of our favourite things to do is visit Castles. You just can’t beat a good castle, picnic and taking in the history of the place you visiting. We have always been into history and now that we live in Scotland it is the perfect excuse to go explore!

We have put together a list of 30 of what we think are the best Castles to visit in Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle – The obvious one when you think of Scotland and Castles. Right in the heart of the Capital. “Edinburgh Castle is alive with exciting tales of its time as a military fortress, royal residence and prison of war. Arrive early to avoid horrendous ques during Peak season.”

Stirling Castle – Without a doubt, one of my Favourites. We spend all day here when we visit. “Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture.”

Craigmillar Castle – The “Other” Castle in Edinburgh, this really is worth the visit . “Mary Queen of Scots famously used the castle as a safe haven in 1566. Ironically, its owner, Sir Simon Preston, a loyal supporter of Mary, would turn her jailer just a year later” *Please Note Limited Parking *

Tantallon Castle – A really lovely Castle, fantastic views of Bass rock, lots to explore. “The castle was home to the powerful Red Douglas dynasty, which often clashed with the Crown.” 

Urquhart Castle – The last Castle we visited, very pretty. “Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Control of the castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence.”

Dunnottar Castle – Stunning. “This dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Steeped in history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination for visitors the world over.”

Dunrobin Castle – Absolutely fantastic Castle, almost fairytale like. “Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Dunrobin Castle is also one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and later, the Dukes of Sutherland. “

Black Watch Castle & Museum – “Located in the city of Perth, Scotland, The Black Watch Castle & Museum is one of the top visitor attractions in Perthshire and includes the Copper Beech Cafe, the Museum Shop and the Regimental Museum.”

Floors Castle & Gardens – Luckily right on my doorstep! Absolutely gorgeous Castle. ” Floors Castle was designed by leading Edinburgh architect William Adam for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe in 1721. Built on the site of an existing building called the House of Floris, Floors was originally a plain but symmetrical Georgian country house.”

Blackness Castle – When we visited it was extremely windy so we left early. Check the weather before you go. ” Mighty fortifications make this 15th-century castle look like a ‘ship that never sailed’. Blackness was never just a peaceful lordly residence – its enduring roles were as a garrison fortress and state prison. “

Dirleton Castle – I really enjoyed my visit here last year, lovely walk through the gardens. ” The Nisbet family built a new mansion house nearby to live in and made the picturesque castle ruins the central feature in their new designed landscape. They also breathed new life into the splendid gardens, now home to the world’s longest herbaceous border. “

Culzean Castle – Substantial Castle. Really pretty. ” This glorious 260ha estate was once the playground of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis – a man who was keen to impress with his wealth and status. “

Drumlanrig Castle – ” If you like delving deep into history, soaking up the finest culture, exploring beautiful countryside – or adrenaline-fuelled mountain biking – you’ll love a day at Drumlanrig Castle. From activities for kids to salmon fishing, you’ll find a raft of activity awaiting you. “

Glamis Castle – ” The expert guides will help you follow in the footsteps of Mary, Queen of Scots, James V, Bonnie Dundee, the Old Jacobite Pretender to the throne James VIII, the ill-fated Janet Douglas and of course tell the story of the bitter-sweet life of Mary Eleanor Bowes. “

Fyvie Castle – ” This magnificent fortress in the heart of Aberdeenshire is a sterling example of Scottish Baronial architecture. Inside, the rooms are filled with antiquities, armour and lavish oil paintings “

Caerlaverock Castle – ” Its fairytale appearance means the castle is also a popular filming location. Caerlaverock features in The Decoy Bride, a romantic comedy starring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald. “

Doune Castle – ” Today, you can walk in the footsteps of rulers both real and fictional. Doune is a popular filming location and has featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander. “Slains Castle – ” On the coast of Cruden Bay lie the remains of Slains Castle. The original castle has been reconstructed may times since its construction in 1597 by the Earl of Erroll. The ruin you see today is the inevitable result of the castle’s location and various misfortunes becoming the owners over time. “

Kilchurn Castle – ” Kilchurn Castle was built in the mid-1400s by Sir Colin Campbell, 1st Lord of Glenorchy”

Castle fraser – “Stand before one of the largest tower houses in Scotland. Discover quirky features such as the Laird’s Lug, hidden trapdoors, secret staircases and a spy hole!”

Duart Castle – ” The position of Duart was well chosen, it is sited on a high crag at the end of a peninsula jutting into the Sound of Mull. It commands the channel between Mull and the mainland, entrances to Lochs Linne and Etive and the neck of the Firth of Lorne as it meets the Sound of Mull. “

Eilean Donan Castle – ” As one of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan is recognised all around the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish highlands. “

Balmoral Castle Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848″

Cawdor Castle – “Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century, built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. An ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree.”

Craigievar Castle – “Discover the beautiful pink castle said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.Admire an impressive collection of artefacts and art, including Raeburns, armour and weapons.”

Thirlestane Castle – ” The historic seat of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale, Thirlestane is one of the oldest and finest inhabited castles in Scotland.”

Kinloch Castle – ” The Kinloch Castle is a castellated Tudor style castle located in the Kinloch village on the Isle of Rum off the west coast of Scotland. It was built by Sir George Bullough in the late 19th and early 20th century as a luxurious retreat. “

Aberdour Castle – “See the large and imposing suite of buildings from the 12th to the 17th century with the grand hall-house, thought to be the oldest standing stone castle in Scotland. “

Balloch Castle – “First recognised as a country park in 1980, it was originally developed in the early 19th century. Both the park and Balloch Castle were built by John Buchanan, a partner in the Glasgow Ship Bank. “

Jedburgh Castle & Jail – We love this place, especially at Halloween! ” The museum gives visitors a taste of what life was like in a 1820s prison. You can walk through the original cell blocks, see some of inmates and their conditions and follow their stories.”

Tag me in your pictures if you visit any. Let me know which Castles you think are worth a visit in Scotland.

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