There are a wide range of Scottish castles with beautiful features and an extensive amount of history, as well as a few with some famous hauntings and royal connections. When visiting Scotland, it’s worth taking in some of these beautiful Scottish castles, which include Edinburgh Castle, Kinnettles Castle, and Balmoral Castle, as well as many others that speak to Scotland’s long military history. More on these castles, and others, can be found below.
One of the most distinctive sights in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital’s city has a prominent place on Castle Rock over the city, and has long been tied into its history – a World Heritage Site, Edinburgh Castle was built in the 12th century, but has roots going back centuries more. Today, Edinburgh Castle is the home of the Scottish Crown Jewels, and the National War Museum, and attracts about a million visitors a year.
Another historic Scottish location, Stirling Castle was first built in the 16th century, and sits near to the River Forth – over the years the Castle has played a central role in the Wars of Independence, and currently holds period re-enactments, as well as events in its Great Hall.
The home to the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Glamis Castle is part castle and stately home, with extensive parks and gardens; located in Forfar and near to the Grampian Mountains, Glamis also has several haunted legends, and regular tours.
Located near Dundee, Kinnettles Estate can trace its origins back to the 15th century, and has been converted from a mansion into a luxury boutique hotel, capable of hosting weddings alongside private accommodation – Kinnettles also serves afternoon tea, and includes self catered cottages on its grounds.
Known as the ‘Pearl of the North’, Ballindalloch Castle was built in 1546, and sits on the Rivers Spey and Avon; Ballindalloch Castle is home to the Macpherson-Grants, who have been the estate’s owners since the 16th century. The current version of the castle features a walled garden, as well as a golf course, and a tour of the castle grounds.
This castle is distinguished by being located on the mouth of three lochs, and has stood in some form since the 13th century – Eilean Donan has associations with Clan Macenzie, and received significant rebuilding work in the 1920s – today the castle is open to visitors, and offers access to the Lochhalsh Woodland garden.
Now chiefly known as the Scottish residence of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle was first developed in 1390, and was expanded in 19th century as it became a holiday home for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Balmoral can be toured, and includes formal gardens and guided walks through the key sites in the castle’s history.
Originally a tower house that was subsequently built up through Royal Family connections, Abergeldie Castle is located in Crathie, Aberdeenshire; it includes a still intact round tower, and is within a short drive of Balmoral. Prince Albert leased the castle in 1848, with Abergeldie sharing Balmoral’s reputation as a Royal getaway into the 20th century.