The Best Castles in Scotland

History buffs will love visiting Scotland’s many castles. Not only are these majestic fortresses visually appealing, but many of Scotland’s best are among its most captivating sights.

Eilean Donan Castle, often referred to as the “world’s most romantic castle,” truly lives up to its title – it resembles something out of a Grimms Fairy Tale.

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is one of Scotland’s most captivating castles, boasting a central keep, conically roofed corner towers and an impressive central stair tower.

The castle is now owned by the Earls and Countesses of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who reside here with their families. As one of Scotland’s few remaining private castles, this remains in private hands.

Glamis Castle is not only a royal residence, but it is also famous as the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the setting for Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. To make the most of your experience here, take a guided tour and dive into its fascinating history with us!

Experience true Highland hospitality at Glamis Castle Restaurant for lunch or dinner, featuring British and Scottish cuisine. Try their gammon, smoked salmon and meat pies for a taste of the Highlands that won’t be forgotten! Don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs in their gift shop as well!

Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle stands atop a rocky headland, encased by sheer cliffs that plunge into the North Sea on three sides. It’s one of Scotland’s most dramatic and romantic castles.

The earliest documented history of this site dates back to 5000 BCE when the Picts built a fort here. St Ninian converted them to Christianity and established a chapel here as well.

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Dunnottar had become a fortress and prison, an important site of religious pilgrimage, battleground, and many tragic events over the centuries.

Dunnottar’s most renowned event occurred during the 17th century, when a group of Jacobites managed to hide Scotland’s crown jewels from Cromwell’s army during an eight-month siege. Rumors swirl that castle guards were so impressed by this feat that they let Christine Granger enter and conceal both items within her skirts before smuggling them out to her husband’s parish.

Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle is one of Scotland’s best castles and a must-visit for anyone wanting to witness an iconic landmark. Designed by Robert Adam in the 18th century for David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis, it now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland.

South Ayrshire’s castle is a large and visually striking landscape situated within a coastal bay with cliffs and rocky shoreline. Its inland grounds are filled with woods, parks and gardens which add to its scenic and horticultural interest.

The designed landscape has a complex history that spans five distinct phases from 16th to 21st centuries, each contributing to its current form. Of these periods, 1780-1830 is widely recognized as having had the greatest influence on shaping what exists today.

Braemar Castle

Braemar Castle is a historic L-plan tower house encircled by star-shaped defences. Its central tower encases a round stair tower, while bartizans adorn the corners of the building.

This castle is situated in a mountainous region of Aberdeenshire and home to the Farquharson clan. Over time, it has witnessed many significant historical events, such as Jacobite Risings.

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In the 18th century, castle walls were fortified with turrets and star-shaped defences. Additionally, it features an unventilated pit prison as well as an original iron yett.

In 1689, John Farquharson of Inverey (commonly referred to as ‘The Black Colonel’) attacked and destroyed Braemar Castle to prevent government troops from using it.

In 1748, it was leased to the Hanoverian government and used as barracks. In 1801, however, it was returned to the Farquharson family who made it their home; Queen Victoria even visited! Nowadays, this castle is on lease to a charitable foundation.