Scotland boasts many hundreds of castles, some hardly there any more, some in ruins and many still intact and refurbished as visitor attractions. Whatever the state of repair, most of the castles were built in fabulous locations and have become the focus of tourists as they explore Scotland and learn more about the county’s intriguing historical stories.
Here we choose six great Scottish castle tours for you. Of course, there are many, many more and we might well write another blog in due course about six more great castles to visit! Do keep an eye on this website.
Caerlaverock Castle is an imposing moated triangular fortification that was built in the 13th century. It is located on the south coast of Scotland, some five miles south of Dumfries, on the edge of the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve.
The power of its size and location will impress you as and approach the castle, while a tour inside and an insight into its siege-filled and gruesome past will leave you will long-lasting memories.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this pinkish coloured castle would be better placed in a fairytale movie. In fact, the facade makes perfect sense because it is locally sourced ochre based harling.
Craigievar Castle is situated close to Alford in Aberdeenshire and was the seat of Clan Sempill and the Forbes family for 350 years. In the early 1960s it was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland.
The castle is set in the stunning rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains and boasts multiple turrets and gargoyles. You can go inside the castle.
This castle, located on the very edge of Ayrshire at the coast, is home to a fabulous historical story. It is know as Scotland’s White House thanks to the many visits of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Visitors to Culzean will love the castle’s dramatic clifftop setting, Robert Adam architecture and beautiful surroundings extending to a huge estate that includes woodland, landscaped gardens and a rugged shore.
If you fancy a truly luxurious night or two staying in a castle, why not park up the campervan or motorhome and book into the Eisenhower Suite at Culzean Castle?
See Culzean Castle
The subject of many films and TV dramas, including the fictional Castle Leoch for the TV adaption of the Outlander novels, Doune Castle in Perthshire is a medieval fortification that simply says: “Stronghold.”
It’s the high walls, 100ft tall gatehouse that includes a cathedral like hall, awe-inspiring battlements and all-round impressive architecture that makes this such an impressive building.
See Doune Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
One of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle is built on a small tidal island where three lochs, Duich, Long and Alsh, meet in the gloriously scenic western Highlands.
The castle reveals a troubled military past that actually saw it destroyed during the Jacobite conflicts. It was then rebuilt and underwent a restoration around 100 years ago including a footbridge connecting it to the mainland.
Visit Eilean Donan Castle
Situated on a cliff overlooking the Firth of Forth in beautiful East Lothian, Tantallon Castle is an incredible stronghold that was once the seat of the Douglas Earls of Angus, one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland.
Tantallon served as a fort for three centuries and endured three major sieges. Today, you can visit the castle and take in the amazing views from the battlements, admire the grand medieval architecture and learn about the history of this incredible building.
See Tantallon Castle