What is Castle Bagging?

Castle bagging near Loch Lomond Waterfront

If you’re staying near Loch Lomond Waterfront and fancy a day out exploring Scottish history, you’re in luck. For those seeking convenience private bus tours from Loch Lomond Waterfront offer a hassle-free way to explore historic landmarks in and around the area. Sit back, relax and find out about Scotland’s past as you explore the countryside on a Scottish castle tour, perfect for castle bagging and history enthusiasts.

Scottish castle history

Scotland is covered with amazing castles and many are just a stone’s throw away from Loch Lomond Waterfront. Scottish castles have been around since the early 13th century. They were built because Scotland had a turbulent history and having strong forts was important. Nowadays these castles are like time machines, showing off Scotland’s tough history. They are reminders of Scotland’s heritage and what the country has been through.

What is castle bagging?

If you’re a big fan of castles, you might want to give castle bagging a go. It’s like collecting stamps but with castles instead. The goal is to visit as many castles as you can and tick off your list. It’s a fun challenge that history buffs and adventure seekers can both enjoy.

Dumbarton Castle

Just 30 minutes drive from Loch Lomond Waterfront you’ll find Dumbarton Castle. This castle stands proudly on a volcanic rock overlooking the River Clyde. Dumbarton Castle has a long history that goes back to the Dark Ages when it was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. Its strategic location has made it survive throughout Scottish history, making it a must-visit on your Scottish castle bagging tour. The castle’s impressive location on a rocky outcrop, along with its strong walls and defences, show just how strategically important it was.

Dumbarton castle building on volcanic rock aerial view from above Scotland.
Aerial view of Dumbarton Castle on a volcanic rock.

Balloch Castle

Balloch Castle and Country Park is a must-see when staying at Loch Lomond Waterfront. A short 25 minutes drive at Loch Lomonds only country park stands Balloch Castle. Sat on the shores of Loch Lomond with beautiful views over the loch. When you visit Balloch Castle, take advantage of grounds, the country park covers over 200 acres and provides stunning views of the waters and plenty of activities to enjoy.

Balloch Castle Country Park looking over Loch Lomond.
Beautiful views looking over Loch Lomond from Balloch Castle.

Stirling Castle

Stirling, located just under a 40-minute drive from Loch Lomond Waterfront, is one of Scotland’s most impressive stone castles, making it a great place for castle bagging enthusiasts to visit. It’s a symbol deeply tied to Scotland’s history. The castle’s significance peaked in the 1500s, but it’s been fortified since ancient times due to its volcanic crag. Situated on stunning landscapes, Stirling Castle sits overlooking the historic city of Stirling. Take a stroll through its grounds and dive into stories of royal and military history.

Stirling Castle from the West in late afternoon autumn sunshine.
Stirling Castle from the West in late afternoon autumn sunshine.

Linlithgow Palace

Drive for 1 hour and you’ll arrive at a favourite residence of Scottish royalty, Linlithgow Palace now stands as a ruin. Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. The palace offers a glimpse into the past. Wander through its corridors and courtyards, imagining the people that once filled the halls. Linlithgow Palace stands on a low hill above a small inland loch. The name Linlithgow means ‘the loch in the damp hollow’.

Linlithgow Castle Ruins by the lochside during sunset
Linlithgow Castle Ruins, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Buchanan Castle

Just a quick 10 minute drive from Loch Lomond Waterfront, Buchanan Castle stands in ruins within the grounds of a golf course near Drymen. Once the proud family home of the Duke of Montrose from Clan Graham, it continues to serve as the Clan Graham’s seat to this day. While it’s no longer safe to explore its interiors, you can still admire the exterior of this historical site. Despite its dilapidated state, Buchanan Castle adds an exciting stop to any castle bagging adventure, surrounded by tales of hauntings.

Buchanan Castle Ruined Old Haunted Prison Hospital in Scotland.
Buchanan Castle ruins a spooky hot spot in Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle

Although a bit further afield, Edinburgh Castle is well worth the day trip. Perched on Castle Rock, it dominates the cities iconic skyline and offers views over Edinburgh. This is one of the must-see attractions in Edinburgh, with a network of ancient buildings to explore within the castle walls. Delve into its historical past and you can even see some of the Crown Jewels here.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, from Princes Street Gardens, with the Ross Fountain in the foreground
View of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street Gardens, with the Ross Fountain.

These are just a few of the Scottish castles close by to Loch Lomond Waterfront. Check out our full castle guide. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring! Scottish castle tours from Loch Lomond Waterfront are perfect for day trips. Don’t forget to tick these Scottish castles off your castle bagging list!

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