Neil Forbes

Exploring Scotland’s Finest Castles

A Journey to Uncover the Best Castles in Scotland

Scotland’s ancient land is adorned with a treasure trove of castles, each bearing witness to its rich heritage and captivating legends. Amidst the breathtaking landscapes and dramatic coastlines, several castles stand out as must-visit destinations. In this blog, we embark on a quest to discover the best castles in Scotland, considering their historical significance, architectural magnificence, and the enchanting surroundings they call home.

Edinburgh Castle: The Iconic Fortress

Our exploration begins with the iconic Edinburgh Castle, proudly perched atop Castle Rock in Scotland’s capital. With panoramic views of Edinburgh’s historic skyline, this fortress boasts a history spanning centuries. Within its walls, visitors can marvel at the Crown Jewels of Scotland, wander through the medieval Great Hall, and explore St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle: A Historic Stronghold

A magnificent gem nestled on top of a rugged crag, stands as a testament to Scotland’s storied history. Its strategic location has witnessed pivotal events, from the coronation of Kings to epic battles. The castle’s imposing walls encircle centuries of intrigue, offering visitors a journey through time. The Great Hall’s grandeur echoes with whispers of royal feasts, while the Renaissance-era Palace unveils artistic splendour.  As you wander the cobbled paths, the panoramic vistas over Stirling Bridge and the surrounding landscapes unfold, reminding all of the castle’s enduring significance in Scotland’s history.

Eilean Donan Castle: A Highland Gem

Nestled in the heart of the Highlands, Eilean Donan Castle is a mesmerising gem. Situated on a small island where three lochs meet, it exudes a fairytale-like charm. With its picturesque setting and remarkable architecture, Eilean Donan Castle has graced numerous postcards and films. Cross the iconic stone bridge to enter the castle and discover its intriguing history, explore the restored rooms, and relish the panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and shimmering waters.

Dunnottar Castle: A Dramatic Cliffside Ruin

Perched dramatically on a rugged cliff overlooking the North Sea, Dunnottar Castle captures the imagination with its medieval tales of battles and daring escapes. As you explore the atmospheric ruins, wander through hidden passages, and soak in the breathtaking views along Aberdeenshire’s coastline, you’ll be transported to a bygone era filled with intrigue and adventure.

Balmoral Castle: A Royal Retreat

Balmoral Castle, nestled within the Cairngorms National Park, holds a special place in Scotland’s royal history. This enchanting residence, acquired by Queen Victoria in 1852, has been a private retreat for the British royal family ever since. Immerse yourself in the splendour of its grand interiors, stroll through the beautifully manicured gardens, and appreciate the tranquil beauty of the surrounding Scottish countryside.

Glamis Castle: A Storybook Residence

Glamis Castle, known as the childhood home of the late Queen Mother, is a fairy-tale castle steeped in history and folklore. Surrounded by magnificent gardens and captivating parkland, this stunning castle beckons visitors to explore its impressive architecture and remarkable interiors. Uncover tales of secret rooms, stories of ghosts, and legends of hidden treasures as you immerse yourself in the enchanting aura of Glamis Castle.

Floors Castle: A Stately Abode

Located in the charming town of Kelso, Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. Built in the 18th century, this stately abode showcases magnificent baroque and rococo architecture. Explore the opulent rooms filled with fine art and antique furnishings, wander through the delightful gardens, and soak in the serenity of the river Tweed flowing nearby.

Doune Castle: A Medieval Masterpiece

Doune Castle, situated near the village of Doune in central Scotland, is a medieval masterpiece that has gained fame through its appearances in films and television shows such as “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Outlander.” With its imposing keep and well-preserved interiors, Doune Castle offers a glimpse into medieval Scottish life and provides a fascinating experience for history and pop culture enthusiasts alike.

Conclusion: Scotland’s castles are a testament to the country’s captivating history and architectural prowess. Choosing the “best” castle to visit becomes a matter of personal preference, as each one holds its own allure and unique charm.

Whether you find yourself captivated by the iconic fortress of Edinburgh Castle, the Highland beauty of Eilean Donan Castle, the dramatic ruins of Dunnottar Castle, the regal retreat of Balmoral Castle, the enchanting aura of Glamis Castle, the stately grandeur of Floors Castle, or the medieval charm of Doune Castle, Scotland’s castles offer a journey back in time, allowing you to uncover the captivating stories and embrace the splendour of this remarkable land. Get in touch today and book your private tour!

Neil Forbes

Neil is the founder of Saltire Executive Travel, offering the finest in Holidays and day tours throughout Scotland, including Golf, whisky and castles with History.