Quantcast

Scotland Castles
Our Top Ten List

Scotland Castles have been built as fortifications for centuries. In those days everyone who could afford this kind of protection for his family and servants, built one of them. Some are real pieces of architecture in different sizes and conditions.

At some point they say, there were more than three thousand castles in Scotland, some became ruins over the times and some have been refurbished over the centuries and are still gloriously amazing. Here are our top ten.




Balmoral Castle  Located near the village of Crathie this has been one of the residences of the British Royal families since the middle of the 19th century

Balmoral Castle

Located near the village of Crathie this has been one of the residences of the British Royal families since the middle of the 19th century, when purchased by Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria. It is still the private property of the Royal Family.

Since it was bought it has been remodeled and expanded for generations of members of the Royal Family. Today it is a working estate including grouse moors, forestry, and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, highland cattle, and ponies.


Scotland Castles

Stirling Castle  This is one of the largest and most important of the Scotland Castles

Stirling Castle

This is one of the largest and most important of the Scotland Castles. It is located on Castle Hill which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation.

Since early times it has been a perfect fortification strategically guarding the River Forth. Most of its buildings date to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542.

This castle is officially an Ancient Monument and is managed by Historic Scotland as a tourist attraction.

Scotland Castles


Crathes Castle  This is a 16th century castle to the east of Banchory in the Aberdeen shire countryside.

Crathes Castle

This is a 16th century castle to the east of Banchory in the Aberdeen shire countryside.

This is a superb example of a tower housed of that period. Some of the rooms remain untouched and keep their painted ceilings and art collections.

The gardens surrounding the castle are exceptional and can be visited using the trails for tourists.

The premises are open to the public year round


Scotland Castles


Eilean Dona Castle

Eilean Dona Castle

This world renowned castle is located on an island and surrounded by awe inspiring scenery. Today it is one of the most visited in Scotland.

History says that it was first inhabited in the 6th century but later fortified on the 13th century. Since then at least four different versions of the castle have been built. It was totally destroyed during the Jacobite upraising in 1719 and remained in ruins for over 200 years when it was restored to its former glory during the first half of the 20th century.

You may explore most of the castle which has its own visitor center with all amenities.


Scotland Castles




Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

I can attest about this beauty that you may see it from wherever you are in the Capital of Scotland. It is located on the Castle Rock. This rock has been inhabited since the Iron Age.

There has been a Royal Castle on this rock since the reign of   David I in the 12th century and continued to be until the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

The castle houses de Honors of Scotland, the National War Memorial and the National War Museum of Scotland.

It is Scotland’s most visited tourist attraction with over 1.2 million of visitors a year. It is in fact a symbol of Edinburgh and Scotland.


Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

It is located beside Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. It played and important role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century and later held as a Royal Castle and was granted to the Clan Grant in 1509.

Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 to prevent its use by Jacobite forces, and subsequently decayed.

In the 20th century it was opened to the public becoming one of the most visited castles of Scotland.


Culzean Castle  This is the perfect place for those that love beautiful gardens, architecture and some history.

Culzean Castle

This is the perfect place for those that love beautiful gardens, architecture and some history.

This castle is surrounded by lush forests, gardens and surging seas.

It stands on a tall cliff overlooking the Firth of Clyde and has been associated with the Kennedy family since the 14th century and was totally refurbished by Robert Adams between 1777 and 1792.

You may visit the castle and view its features including Adam’s masterpiece, the oval staircase and his fine collection of furniture and pieces of art. 

After WWII, President Eisenhower was presented with the top floor apartment for life, for his contribution on the war. Now you can stay in that impressive Eisenhower apartment.

Culzean Castle and Country Park are owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland and admission is free for members.



Ballindalloch Castle  Known as the “Pearl of the North” it was built in the 16th century

Ballindalloch Castle

Known as the “Pearl of the North” it was built in the 16th century and destroyed by the Marquee of Montrose. It was then restored in 1645. It is located in the heart of Speyside, Scotland’s most prolific whisky region

General James Grant, of the American War of Independence, added a few extensions. Legend says that his ghost still haunts the castle.

It has been permanently occupied by the Russell and Macpherson-Grant families. Today, the castle is still occupied by Clare Nancy Russell and her family.  It is one of the most romantic castles in Scotland.


Glamis Castle  It is located near the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland.

Glamis Castle

It is located near the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public.

This castle has been the home of the Lyon family since the 14th century. It was the childhood home of the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen mother, wife of George VI and the actual Queen’s sister Margaret was born here.


Castle Fraser  This castle dates back to the 15th century and was the ternal home of the Fraser family.

Castle Fraser

This castle dates back to the 15th century and was the ternal home of the Fraser family.

Venture into the castle and climb to the high tower to get a glimpse of the surroundings and get a sense of life from the medieval to the Victorian period.

It was completed in 1636 but had many additions and alterations during the 18th and 19th centuries. It still retains the atmosphere of a family home.  


images credits

eilean donna by moralist
edinburgh by unukorno
balmoral by nick bramhall
stirling by city peek
urquhart by wknight94
crathes n/a
culzean by michel osmenda
ballindalloch by mike searle
glamis by maciklew
fraser n/a

all courtesy of wikimedia commons


From Scotland Castles go to United Kingdom Tourism
Go to European Castles

Go to Tuchman Travel Guide Home Page



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Copyright Tuchman Travel Guide 2012 - 2018
Eddy Tuchman

Site Map     About Us     Share your Story     Blog     Contact Us     Disclaimer