Our top 5 Scottish castles

Wherever you are in Scotland, you are never far away from one of our magnificent historic castle or ruin. Castles began to be built in Scotland around 1200AD and some of the great Scottish castles were constructed over the next 200 years. There are far too many to mention but here is our pick of the top five in Scotland. 

A VIEW FROM THE BATTLEMENTS OF STIRLING CASTLE (DATING FROM MEDIEVAL TIMES AND THE PLACE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS CORONATION) TOWARDS THE FLOODLIT JAMES IV'S ARCH, STIRLING. PIC: P.TOMKINS/VisitScotland

A VIEW FROM THE BATTLEMENTS OF STIRLING CASTLE 
PIC: P.TOMKINS/VisitScotland

  1. Stirling Castle

    25 miles away

    Dating back to the middle ages and just a half hour drive away is Stirling Castle. This prestigious castle is one of the largest in Scotland and stands proudly on top of Castle Hill which is surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides.

    It played a prominent role in the Scottish wars for independence and has been home to several kings and queens including Mary Queen of Scots who was crowned here. From the seven gunned Grand Battery to the Renaissance Palace and surrounding moat there is plenty for all the family to explore.

  2. Edinburgh Castle

    60 miles away

    Edinburgh Castle is perhaps one of Scotland’s most famous icons. Similar to Stirling, Edinburgh Castle sits high above the city atop a 350 million year old volcanic rock. Edinburgh Castle is home to many attractions such as the Crown Jewels, The Stone of Destiny and Prisons of War. A trip to the castle isn’t complete without experiencing the One O’clock Gun – a tradition that dates back to 1861. The Gun fires every day except Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday. Both Stirling and Edinburgh castles are easy to combine in to the same day trip.

  1. Eilean Castle

    161 miles away

    Built on land that was inhabited as early as the 6th century, Eilean Castle marks the joining of three salt water lochs. The castle was first constructed in he 13th Century and since then at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded. Visitors can explore virtually every part of the Castle and is one of Scotland’s most visited attractions.

  1. Dunnottar Castle

    126 miles away

    Dunnottar Castle probably offers the best ‘wow factor’ of all our castles. The ruined cliff top castle sits high above the North Sea on a rocky outcrop that is almost detached from the mainland. It can be easily accessed by a short hike along the footpath from the castle car park on the mainland. However, the more adventurous can approach the castle from Stonehaven Harbour and enjoy a 1.5-2 hour walk through the fields and along the coastal paths taking in some breathtaking seascapes along the way.

  1.  Inveraray Castle

    52 miles away

    A favourite among kids, Inveraray Castle is a must do family trip. Sitting on the shores of Loch Fyne, the castle we see today was inspired by Blenheim Palace, Oxford, which one day became the childhood home of Winston Churchill. The extensive weaponry collection will fascinate children whilst adults can enjoy a bight to eat at the castle tearoom or the famous and original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.

 

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