If you’re visiting Scotland, and are looking to get the best experience possible, there’s one thing you absolutely have to do: visit a castle. Scotland’s castles are just as beautiful as the country itself, and there are plenty of great castles that every traveler should see at least once in their lifetime. Don’t believe us? We’ve listed some of our favorite castles in Scotland below!
Traveling to Scotland? Then be sure to include a stop at one of its most iconic castles. Since it is such a popular tourist attraction, there are several castles that have been reconstructed from historical documents and these re-creations are said to be very accurate replicas. With all of its tourism, it’s no wonder that Castle Bruce is a top destination for travelers from all over the world. These tourists arrive in droves each year in hopes of soaking up some of its beauty and grandeur. Whether you’re an art aficionado or someone who loves history, a visit to Scotland’s beautiful castle will certainly not disappoint!
The location of Castle Bruce, overlooking one of Scotland’s most famous tourist destinations, offers an excellent scenic spot. For over three centuries it has acted as a castle, military post, and private estate for rich tourists. Throughout the years, Castle Bruce has been invaded by entities including Vikings and Jacobites. While English lords occupied the castle until 1975, now there is something for everyone to enjoy, with over 20 rooms and 3 miles of passageways to explore. Tour guides offer tours through the visitor center or you can explore on your own with a map found on its website. It also offers seasonal events such as Christmas plays or Halloween parties during your visit! We hope to see you there!
The Castles at Rosslyn Chapel
The Home of Oldest Tree in Britain is Set Within a Beautiful Scenery: The beautiful scenery that surrounds Rosslyn Chapel is perhaps most famous for its haunting combination of standing stones, including an ancient tree known as The Stirling Dagger. The oldest tree in Scotland’s neighbor to Rosslyn Chapel is thought to have been planted as early as 2063 BC by druids and Pict tribesmen who worshiped within Rosslyn chapel’s walls. The tree still stands tall today, albeit now protected from vandalism by a fiberglass casing that contains photographs from nearby tourist sites.
While The Home of Oldest Tree in Britain is protected by a giant tube, Rosslyn Chapel’s local St. Mary’s Kirk and its parish are currently at risk due to shifting ground and rains. Currently, plans are underway to install a floating sinkhole barrier beneath nearby Henderson Street by 2019. Such measures will hopefully save this historical place where the Stirling Dagger has stood since time immemorial.
The classic romantic gesture is flowers, but Dumfries House and its adjacent gardens have a more striking option. Spend time wandering through 14 acres of private grounds to find out why it’s been called one of Scotland’s most splendid treasures. Situated in Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries House is one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited homes. It’s also where you’ll find what experts consider to be Scotland’s best preserved 18th-century garden — known for its romantic grotto and breathtaking waterfall. The first Duke of Queensberry was said to have fallen in love with his wife when he saw her walking across grounds just like these. You can do it too!
Make a special trip to visit one of Scotland’s most beautiful sights and take a moment to appreciate its rich history. The castle itself was built in 1686 by William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry, with subsequent generations leaving their own marks on it until 1837 when it became a house museum.
The Blair Castle, a picturesque castle situated on top of an isolated highland hill, is nestled in Aberdeenshire of Scotland. Although only added to UNESCO World Heritage list in 2015, it has been popularly visited since its construction. The 10th Duke of Atholl welcomed all visitors and tourists as long as they follow some rules while they visit his beautiful castle. If you are planning to go here but confused with things that you should take note before embarking your journey, you may read through my travel guide below and learn more about Blair Castle.
The castle is composed of three wings including North, East and West Wings. The North Wing is connected to a two-story octagonal tower built in Victorian times as a dwelling place for servants and staff. The rooms were renovated into 8 different rooms that serve both private and public functions including family dining room, entrance hall, drawing room, music room and library. With some inconsistent décor including dark wooden panelling on the walls and dirty fireplaces protruding through flat ceilings, there are still lovely antique furniture pieces on display, such as the spectacular Louis XV panels on display in the music room with master craftsmanship from renowned Scottish cabinet makers.
Caerlaverock is one of many castles in Scotland. However, Caerlaverock is different from other castles because it was built as a defensive fortress instead of a place for royalty to live. In fact, when you visit, you’ll see that most of its rooms are small and cramped—not exactly ideal living conditions! Located in northern Scotland, near Carlisle and along Solway Firth, Caerlaverock was built as a defense against English invasion after King Edward I conquered Wales. Fortunately for Scotland—and unfortunately for tourists—this happened centuries ago and no major battles have been fought there since!
These days, Caerlaverock is maintained by Historic Environment Scotland and is open to the public. The site has no guided tours, but audio guides are available for a small fee. For $1 per adult, visitors can rent an audio guide that will take them around all of Caerlaverock’s rooms in about 15 minutes! And, if you have more time to spend at Caerlaverock, or are curious about Scottish history in general, there are other historical sites nearby worth checking out. If you travel two miles north from Caerlaverock, towards Bowness-on-Solway, you’ll find another castle just as well-preserved called Boltons Tower!
With its stunning sceneric backdrop, Crathes Castle sits on a quiet corner of Scotland’s River Dee. With lush gardens and expansive grounds, it is easy to see why so many choose to spend their vacations at Crathes. The original castle was built in 1627 but has been renovated multiple times. If you’re looking for a taste of history, a stroll through its medieval rooms offers just that! The castle also includes a famous water fall as well as majestic views of both sides of the river. It may not be as big or elaborate as some other castles in Scotland but we think Crathes provides exactly what any traveler wants from a vacation: Peace and serenity!
If you’re looking for an exciting getaway with plenty of thrills and opportunities for adventure, consider visiting one of Scotland’s other world-famous castles. Stirling Castle, for example, sits high on a hill with a river on either side and offers a fantastic view. Not only is it a visual feast but it also is where a number of historically significant events took place, such as the birth of Mary Queen of Scots in nearby Linlithgow Palace in 1542 and her wedding to Prince Francis in Stirling Castle in 1558. Castles typically have many secret passageways and hidden chambers that have been used as dungeons throughout history. This makes them exciting places to visit!
Built in Scotland in 1520, Dunvegan Castle has been a historical place and family residence for over 600 years. It is often considered one of Scotland’s most beautiful castles, a consequence of its many colorful additions to its original structure. The castle is also home to one of Scotland’s oldest jewelry collections, so it’s important to take note of any and all notable pieces when you tour through. If you get hungry or need a break from taking photos, make sure to try out their restaurant; it serves typical Scottish food and offers amazing water views from almost every seat!
From Dunvegan, there are a number of other things to do. As you walk down from the castle, you’ll find an array of waterfalls and rock formations to take your pictures by; almost everyone who visits these falls says they are some of Scotland’s most beautiful sights. After exploring these waters, be sure to stop in at another castle just up ahead—this one has been rumored to belong to witches and wizards! It is also one of several castles that you can tour in order to see how others lived back then and how they were constructed. Next on your list should be visiting Skye, which is especially beautiful during sunset.