The precise quantity of castles in Scotland is unidentified – the basic agreement being around 3,000. There are much more Scottish castles than anywhere else in the British Isles. Which, thinking about the amount of historical UK cities there are with castles, is a remarkable title. Visiting castles is the very best method to submerse on your own in historical Scotland, whether you select a middle ages citadel, tower home, or imperial home.
Most Beautiful Castles in Scotland
This overview is full with the very best castles in Scotland. These are one of the most amazing castles, and also all have special specialties or tales to their name. Buckle up since you remain in for some major castle ideas.
1. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle requires a little intro. As most likely one of the most popular castle in Scotland, the middle ages castle rests on Castle Rock in happy display screen in the facility of Edinburgh Old Town. Edinburgh Castle is the 2nd most seen destination in the UK, so you ideal think that tickets publication out rapidly and also groups group in peak periods. We recommend scheduling your tickets below for skip-the-line gain access to prior to you go.
Because of this, Edinburgh Castle is best-visited off-season. With less individuals about, you can truly absorb Scotland’s background. Edinburgh Castle has thousands of exhibitions, consisting of The Honours of Scotland, also known as the Scottish crown gems.
Admittedly, it would certainly be criminal for Edinburgh Castle not to make our listing. Not just is it the middle ages castle that has actually endured for centuries in Scotland’s funding city. Edinburgh Castle is additionally among the best-preserved castles in Scotland. For a complete day out with a lot of academic and also helpful information, you can’t fail with Edinburgh Castle. And benefit factors for any person that locates someplace to remain in Edinburgh with sights of the castle on Castle Rock.
Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm Entry Fees: $22
2. Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is one more main structure in Scottish background. The castle goes back to the 12th century and also was when a Renaissance imperial palace – filled with high-ends like a terrific hall for rounds and also indulging and also an imperial searching lodge. Situated in Stirling, Stirling Castle was additionally tactically utilized as a garrison throughout the Scottish Wars of Independence. Stirling Castle rests on a volcanic rock on a raised viewpoint. Because of this beneficial setting, several fights were dealt with around Stirling Castle, consisting of Stirling Bridge and also Bannockburn. Stirling Castle was a center of dispute.
Today, Stirling Castle is interesting for site visitors fascinated by Scottish background – specifically pertaining to the Wars of Independence. It is bordered by combat zones. While in Stirling Castle, site visitors can visit the various areas and also obtain included with the much more amusing elements like trying out duration outfits and also talking with the costumed personality stars.
Stirling Castle is enjoyable and also family-friendly, in spite of its mournful background. It made an area on our listing for its web links to the Wars of Independence. Only a couple of castles in Scotland supply such crucial understanding right into this duration of Scottish background. So don’t forget Stirling Castle.
Hours: 9:30 am – 5 pm Entry Fees: $18
3. Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is just one of one of the most significant castles in Scotland. The castle continues to be rest on a 160-foot rock ignoring the North Sea, which is thought to have actually been the initial prepared castle. The earliest components of the castle go back to the Early Middle Ages, while the making it through components that site visitors see today are dated to the 16th century. Despite its destroyed state, Dunnottar Castle is just one of one of the most popular castles in Scotland. It talks with a shed period of Scotland and also is an absolutely enchanting enhancement to our top Scottish Castles.
Dunnottar Castle has actually seen the similarity Mary Queen of Scots and also William Wallace cross its limit. And with over 1000 years of background, it is just one of the very best locations to experience historical Scotland. The castle lies in the seaside community of Stonehaven, along Scotland’s eastern shore. It is a two-hour drive from Edinburgh, however we recommend investing a couple of evenings there. Especially because it is near the Cairngorms National Park.
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm Entry Fees: $11
4. Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle is just one of one of the most gorgeous middle ages castles in Scotland. The castle has more than 650 years of background and also is claimed to have actually motivated Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. The genealogical proprietors of Glamis Castle are the Strathmore family members, that have actually lived there because 1372. It is also claimed to have actually organized Mary Queen of Scots and also was the youth house of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. At Glamis Castle, the Queen Mother additionally brought to life Princess Margaret.
The long web links to royals gotten Glamis Castle an area in our overview. It is involving to check out, with a terrific understanding right into historical Scotland. It is just one of the only castles in Scotland to welcome its literary web links, as well, including a Macbeth Trail, which brings the play to life. The castle is positioned outside the town of Glamis, a 20-minute drive north of Dundee.
Hours: March-October: 10 am to 5 pm Entry Fees: $9
5. Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle is an imperial home – also known as component of the collection of imperial castles coming from the British royal family members. Prince Albert acquired the castle for Queen Victoria in 1852, and also Balmoral Castle was notoriously a preferred place for Queen Elizabeth II. What lots of people don’t understand, however, is that the initial Balmoral Castle was considered ‘too small’ for the royal family members. Prince Albert really appointed a brand-new castle to be integrated in 1856. Balmoral Castle is an attractive location to read more regarding the British royals. Its close web links to the British monarchy made it an area on our listing.
Balmoral Castle lies in the Cairngorms National Park near the town of Balmoral. It is an attractive location to check out along the River Dee, and also it is very easy to see why a royal searching lodge was included. Balmoral Castle is bordered naturally.
Hours: April-July: 10 am to 5 pm Entry Fees: $20
6. Eilean Donan Castle
Chances are you’ve seen a photo of Eilean Donan Castle currently. The castle rests on a tidal island in the middle of a convergence of 3 lochs. The loch setup is enchanting (that understands, perhaps the Loch Ness beast has a relative?), and also Eilean Donan Castle is conveniently among the very best castles in Scotland for a breathtaking area. The 13th-century castle was when the garrison of the MacRae family members. Still, it was unfortunately ruined in the battle throughout the Jacobite Uprising. Only in 1932 was the Scottish castle recovered to its previous magnificence and also open up to the general public.
Eilean Donan Castle is gorgeous to check out. If you do, you need to quit at the several beautiful point of views around the loch coastline. Inside, you can take excursions of the areas and also shows. But the major draw is the visual and also the truth that such an essential castle was reanimated from anguish with improvements.
Hours: February-December: 9 am to 6 pm (differs by month) Entry Fees: $13
7. Braemar Castle
The 17th-century Braemar Castle is a renowned prepared castle in the center of the Cairngorms National Park. It has actually had some popular site visitors, consisting of the existing British royal family members. Clan Farquharson is additionally among one of the most famous clans in Scotland, so seeing their genealogical family members house is a must.
The castle has actually seen several ‘background’ numbers of Scotland, from the conventional holder for Mary Queen of Scots to warriors of the Battle of Culloden. Braemar Castle is amazing to check out and also find out about the opposite of background. The side of background that included day-to-day individuals, not simply significant numbers and also the rich.
Braemar Castle is simply a rock’s toss from the Scottish Highland Games. If you check out at the correct time of year, take into consideration incorporating both. It deserves keeping in mind that for a duration of 2023, Braemar Castle will certainly be shut within for restoration. Check the web site for updates.
Hours: TBC Entry Fees: TBC
8. Cawdor Castle
Cawdor Castle is one more genealogical house main to Scottish background. Shakespeare followers might identify the castle from Macbeth’s ‘Thane of Cawdor’. And truthfully, Cawdor Castle is never ever much from tales or tales. That is why we included it to our listing. The middle ages castle really includes a tower developed around an epic holly tree. According to tale, the initial Thane of Cawdor fantasized regarding a donkey bring a funds of gold. In his desire, the donkey put down at the very best location for a brand-new castle, where it would certainly for life succeed. The thane did the only sensible point – reenacting his desire and also developing the brand-new castle at the holly tree where the donkey quit.
Cawdor Castle is interesting to check out and also has an actually interesting background. You can check out on a self-directed or guided excursion, discovering the premises and also inside. In the little town of Cawdor, Cawdor Castle is around a 20-minute drive from Inverness.
Hours: April-October: 10 am to 5 pm Entry Fees: $17
9. Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle is extravagant and also luxurious – what even more do you require to understand? The castle goes back to the 16th century, and also its premises include a deer park. Families will certainly enjoy rising near the pleasant deer. Culzean Castle is the best location to check out with kids for that ‘classic castle’ experience. Inside, the highlights of Culzean Castle are the gorgeous illustration area and also oblong stairs. Once possessed by Clan Kennedy, Culzean Castle is currently the residential property of the National Trust of Scotland. This suggests that while the castle continues to be embellished as an exclusive home, it continues to be open year-round for public gain access to.
Aside from the castle having deer you can fulfill, our favored aspect of Culzean Castle is its clifftop area. The castle rests ignoring the Firth of Clyde and also the Isle of Arran. Just southern of Ayr, Culzean Castle is a simple outing from Glasgow, simply a hr’s repel.
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm Entry Fees: $12
10. Dunrobin Castle
Dunrobin Castle is the biggest in the Northern Highlands. It is an exclusive home of several titles – from among the earliest lived in castles in Scotland to one of the most north of Scotland’s excellent residences. Dunrobin Castle has actually housed the very same family members for over 700 years. We enjoy the amount of connections it needs to Scotland’s background and also the background of the UK. Dunrobin Castle was a marine healthcare facility in WWI. It has web links to the Houses of Parliament via its common engineer, Sir Charles Barry.
Its background returns also additionally, however, because the earliest components of the castle go back to around 1275. A check out to the castle’s on-site gallery is a must. It is just one of one of the most helpful and also traditionally intricate castles to check out in Scotland. Regarding seeing, Dunrobin Castle is very easy to press right into a North Coast 500 journey. Dunrobin Castle rests on the shore ignoring the Moray Firth. It is simply outside the eastern Scottish town of Golspie. Check out our Dunrobin Castle overview below for even more ideas and also crucial information.
Hours: April-September: Entry Fees: $16
11. Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle is rather distinctive. No, seriously, the Scots baronial-style castle is brilliant pink. The pink Scottish castle is reported to be the ideas behind Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle – every youngster’s desire enhancement to our leading Scottish castles. Craigievar Castle is gorgeous to check out.
The castle’s charm is what got it an area on our listing; it is just one of the very best castles in Scotland if you desire a unique visual. And situated in Alford, a town in between Cairngorms National Park and also Aberdeen, it has a breathtaking area in the Scottish Highlands.
Craigievar Castle go back to 1626 and also has Jacobean touches throughout. Having endured the defend Scottish freedom, Craigievar Castle has plenty of amazing exhibitions regarding Scotland’s background. Visitors can visit the several areas and also shows. And when you’ve checked out within, you can go out to identify wild animals like ache martens and also deer outside on its premises.
Hours: Dawn to sundown Entry Fees: $17
12. Dunvegan Castle
Dunvegan Castle is a spectacular Scottish castle on the Isle of Skye. The castle is the residential property of Clan MacLeod and also, like several castles in Scotland, is shrouded in custom and also stories of magic. The most valued ownership in Dunvegan Castle is the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, which is claimed to hold enchanting powers of assured success in fight.
The silk flag is thought to go back to the fourth century and also originates from Syria or Rhodes. Dunvegan Castle is just one of one of the most interesting castles in Scotland. Occupied by the very same family members for over 800 years, it has plenty of tales and also tales travelled through generations. It is additionally thought to be the earliest constantly lived in castle in Scotland.
You can take a self-directed or guided excursion via Dunvegan Castle. It is a fantastic place to obtain an extra intimate preference of Scottish background. We enjoy the aspect of magic and also superstitious notion.
Hours: April-October: 10 am to 5:30 pm Entry Fees: $19
13. Floors Castle
Floors Castle is just one of the very best castles in Scotland on the Scottish boundaries – simply a hr from Edinburgh. Set on an attractive estate, the 52 acres include a Victorian Walled Garden and also Millennium Garden. Plenty of timberland and also waterfront routes zigzag the estate’s premises. Floors Castle is as a lot a day outdoors as an interior destination. This states a great deal thinking about Floors Castle is the biggest lived in home in Scotland. We enjoy just how much there is to do at Floors Castle, and also its myriad of pop-up occasions and also tasks is one more factor we included it to our overview.
Floor Castle go back to the 18th-century. It was originally dealt with by the initial Duke as a ‘country house’ or screw opening when running away the needs of Parliament in London. Nine Dukes later on, the castle was ultimately open up to the general public in 1977. It is an amazing castle, constantly holding a brand-new task or occasion.
Hours: May-October: 10:30 am to 5 pm Entry Fees: $21
14. Blair Castle and also Gardens
Blair Castle is just one of one of the most historical of Scotland’s castles. Home to the Atholl family members for over 7 centuries, it has actually endured several of Scotland’s darkest hrs. The castle’s 30 areas have actually seen several of one of the most significant political leaders and also soldiers. Dating back to 1269, Blair Castle has a remarkable display screen of depot throughout – a suitable nod to Scotland’s stormy past. Its historic relevance is exactly why it made our listing.
Blair Castle and also Gardens lies near the little town of Old Blair, simply below the Cairngorms National Park. It is extremely beautiful to check out. The national forest background is something else. If you have a couple of days to invest in the location, Cairngorms National Park is well-combined with Blair Castle. Inside, the castle’s style extends several ages. Some includes blend you back to middle ages Scotland, while others talk with much more current Victorian designs.
Touring Blair Castle is interesting since it has such a lengthy background. You can plainly see the various impacts of each period. It is a superb Scottish castle with events throughout for a museum-like experience.
Hours: April-October: Monday-Sunday 10 am to 5 pm Entry Fees: $20
15. Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle is just one of the very best castles in Scotland. Why? It has actually been house to the Clan Campbells for generations. The existing Clan Campbells hold the title of the Duke and also Duchess of Argyll. It is additionally so gorgeous that it was selected as the collection for the 2012 Downtown Abbey Christmas unique. We needed to include it to our listing.
Rather than being constantly readily available, like Edinburgh Castle, seeing Inveraray Castle is far more intimate. You’ll visit all the personal areas and also floorings, finding out more regarding its previous proprietors and also designers. The castle itself has gorgeous Scottish baronial design.
The castle is near the town of Inveraray, on the borders of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. It is feasible to check out as an outing from Glasgow, Oban, or perhaps to include it right into a Scottish journey.
Hours: March-September: Thursday-Monday 10 am to 5 pm, October: Thursday-Monday 10 am to 4 pm Entry Fees: $19 Mauchline Castle: A rectangle-shaped tower home in East Ayrshire. Caerkaverock Castle: A moated triangular castle near Dumfries. Duart Castle: A castle by the Sound of Mull possessed by Clan Maclean.
From the Scottish Highlands to the facility of action-packed Edinburgh, the castles in Scotland are something else. Visiting a Scottish castle is an initiation rite. Castles are so linked in Scottish background that it is near difficult – or ought to be thought about therefore – to leave them out of a Scotland plan.
Looking for even more ideas in advance of your see to Scotland? Check out our North Coast 500 overview and also our best overview to the ideal cities in Scotland. Otherwise, delight in seeing as a number of these ideal castles in Scotland as feasible. You won’t regret it.