As a mountainous country in the north of the island of Great Britain, Scotland is famous for many things as we’re sure many of you know that, but its marvelous medieval castles still remain at the top of our favourite list. Part of the country’s rich heritage, the Scottish castles fascinates thousands of visitors each year with their amazing architecture and long interesting histories, so no visit to Scotland would be complete without seeing at least one of them.
The range of style, sizes and features offered by Scottish castles is unsurpassed if we think that there were constructed around 3000 castles over 900 years as historical records say, probably more than any other country in Europe. Dating from the late medieval era, most of them are built on hills along natural waterways, by important trade crossroads, and near precarious approaches on cliffs, featuring massive stone towers with high curtain walls.
Their long and colorful histories are often told to be surrounded by pride, struggles, intriguing tales and secrets. Today, Scottish castles are considered some of the most romantic destinations in Europe and perhaps in the world taking into consideration the breathtaking scenery where they are located. Here you have a list which will take you round 7 amazing very popular examples, a true lesson in Scottish history and culture. We ensure your that the reality far surpasses the images.
- Located in Edinburgh City Center, it’s the most accessible of Scotland’s castles (in terms of travel time) showcasing most fantastic views of Edinburgh
- One of the most important fortresses in Scotland which served as a royal residence
- It had a turbulent history, being involved in many historical conflicts from 14th century to 1745
- It hosts various events all year round to help visitors to discover its vast history
- Things to see: Great Hall, The Crown Room, Mons Meg (one of the world’s oldest cannons), The National War Museum Scotland, One o’ clock Gun, Prisons of War exhibition, Royal Palace, Scottish National War Memorial, etc.
Eilean Donan Castle
- Set on an small island with majestic scenery, the shores of Loch Duich, it’s one of the most beautiful and photographed castles in Scotland
- Constructed in the mid of 13th century as a defence against Viking invaders, the castle have been built and re-built several times during centuries
- Things to see: Banqueting Hall, exhibitions, recreated kitchens, a small museum
- Located on a high volcanic rock and is a magnificent fortress
- It’s the most important Scottish castle in historical terms, a great symbol of Scottish independence
- It played a prominent part in the conflict between England and Scotland in the 13th and 14th centurie; its most famous battle is undoubtedly the Battle of Bannockburn
- It was the centre of art, culture and celebrity in the 16th century and once you got in, you step into a world of plots, passion, intrigue and high fashion of that times
- It hosts also various events
- Things to see: The Royal Palace, The Stirling Tapestries, The Chapel Royal, Regimental Museum, The Great Hall, The Palace Vaults, The Great Kitchens, Argyll’s Lodging, etc.
- Located between Inverness and Fortwilliam, overlooking famous Loch Ness
- Although now it is a ruin, the castle was one of Scotland’s largest castles and one of the grandest and most impressive fortresses in Scotland and extremely popular among tourists nowadays
- It was held by noble families Durward, MacDonald and Grant and like many other castles, it has a bloody history from the 13th to 17th centuries
- Things to see: an outstanding array of medieval artefacts, kitchens and Great Hall, Gatehouse, The Grant Tower, etc.
- It’s a magnificent property relatively modern, built around 1854 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
- It stands as a private home of the British Royal Family who visit it each autumn for around two months, as well as less formal visits throughout the year
- Each year thousands of people visit the castle’s fine gardens and woods, being impressed by its splendid wildlife and architecture
- Things to see: silver statues by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, Minton China and artefacts belonging to Kings and Queens throughout history, Art Exhibition, Carriage Hall Exhibition, Garden Cottage, etc.
- Among scenic rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains, this fairytale-like castle is an example of the best of Scottish Baronial architecture
- The castle is widely recognised as one of the best preserved and most authentic tower houses in Scotland
- After a major conservation project, it’s opened to public again
- Things to see: The Great Hall, a musicians gallery, a secret staircase connecting the high tower to the Great Hall, Queen’s Bedroom, servants’ quarters and of course several splendid plasterwork ceilings
- Originally dating from 1590, this unique castle is located on 600 acres of beautiful countryside with woodland walks, inviting sandy beaches, terraced gardens and charming follies,which create a romantic backdrop for modern events nowadays
- From 1759, it was the principal seat for the Scotland’s oldest families- The Kennedy Family
- During years, famous architects were commisioned to make improvements to the castle
- It can be visited during summer
- Things to see: The Library, The Dining Room The Oval Staircase, The Round Drawing Room, Lady Ailsa’s Boudoir, etc.