One thing Scotland is definitely famous for is the number of castles scattered all over the country. There are so many you could basically make a whole trip from exploring only them and not minding any other attractions! However, if you want a lovely, fulfilling holiday and only have the time for several of them, let’s introduce you to our top 7 must-visit castles in Scotland!
1. Edinburgh Castle
Naturally, proudly standing at the top of our list and the top of an extinct volcano above Scotland’s capital city is Edinburgh Castle. The oldest part of this iconic landmark was built in the 12th century, with other pieces coming together gradually over time. We suggest a guided tour to learn about its origins and to see the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, the One O’Clock Gun, and the National War Museum of Scotland.
2. Balmoral Castle
Described as a “dear paradise in the Highlands” by Queen Victoria, Balmoral Castle is famous for remaining a private home of the Royal Family. The castle is depicted as a perfect example of Scottish baronial architecture and was named an A-list building in Scotland. Balmoral Castle is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite Scottish getaway.
Check out Scotland tours for further inspiration!
3. Blair Castle
Near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire stands the beautiful, white-washed Blair Castle. Its construction was started in the 13th century, and it has seen many fascinating events throughout the years, building a rich historical foundation. The Castle was also home to Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders.
4. Inveraray Castle
The famous Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell. Do not stay on the outside when you get there; take up the challenge of climbing 176 steps to the top of the tower to see the dramatic panorama of Inveraray and Loch Fyne, and, of course, the Arrochar Alps.
You can also get some new, fun experiences taking up day trips from Edinburgh, so we urge you to check that out!
5. Glamis Castle
Get ready, historians and literature lovers! Glamis Castle is a fairytale-looking fortress in the city of Angus, and it has been one of the best examples of Scottish heritage, housing many public figures over the years, one of them being the late Queen Mother. It is also featured in Macbeth, the famous play by William Shakespeare, and even has a sculpted canvas dedicated to it.
6. Stirling Castle
This is by far one of the most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. Throughout the Wars of Independence with England, the Castle was fought over and went many times from one host to another. The Renaissance castle was also home to some of the most famous people in Scotland, including Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI, and I. Stirling Castle goes almost hand in hand with Edinburgh Castle regarding its popularity.
7. Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar is a medieval fortress, destroyed in 900 AD, located upon a rocky headland on the north-eastern coast of Scotland. Because of its strategic location and defensive strength, it has played a significant role many times throughout the history of Scotland. Still, it is most famous for being a place where the Crown Jewels were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army in the 17th century.
There you go! Even though visiting all of the castles is impossible, take your time and see at least some of those mentioned above. Be ready to be blown away by their exciting input to the history of Scotland.