Castles in Scotland, famous around the world

Famous castles in Scotland including some really fairytale ones.

Castles in Scotland from Edinburgh to the wild highlands. You will feel the wings of history and taste the history and perhaps even the whiskey – of an amazing proud and hospitable nation.

EDINBURGH, UK Tourists visiting Edinburgh Castle

EDINBURGH, UK Tourists visiting Edinburgh Castle

Scotland has the captivating power of sheer natural, often raw beauty. Maybe a reason why the Britsh Queen has always loved Scotland for the serene beauty, the hunting, the family gatherings at the Balmoral.
On a trip to Scotland, one of the most interesting points of interest for a visitor to include are definitely the castles. Scotland castles have the looks and aura that reminds one of the fairy tales. So, if you are planning a trip with family or friends, castles are a clear option to include. If you are visiting Scotland along with your family, take your children along with you to watch the ancient castles of Scotland! They will love you for it. Real Harold Potter material.

There are quite a lot of castles throughout Scotland. When visiting Scottish castles,  visitors will have to pick a limited number,  as it will be impossible to visit them all during a holiday stay. While the area in which you are staying will certainly be a factor as to which castles you’ll visit, also look for the castles that offer the amenities that cater to your family. This is also why offers you a selection to consider for your holiday plans

History is a truely important part of Scotland and dear to the Scottish people, so historical buildings and objects have been kept safe and restored and are on display for you to enjoy.


Edinburgh, Scotland view of the busy entrance to Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh, Scotland view of the busy entrance to Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in the UK and the most popular tourist attraction in Scotland. Built-in Castle Rock, a dormant volcanic cliff in the heart of the city, it is approached from the east by the steepest slope of the Royal Mile, a picturesque and lively artery used by street artists during the Edinburgh Festival in August, which cuts the old town to Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament at its feet. The esplanade is also in front of the castle, a large open square that is filled with seating benches to accommodate the castle concerts in July and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August.

As Scotland’s most famous castle, Edinburgh served as both a royal residence and a military stronghold. Its history is fascinating and complex, with the oldest chapel, St. Margaret’s, dating back to the 12th century, with the Great Hall added by James IV in the early 16th century, and the Scottish National War Memorial erected after the First World War. Perched on top of Castle Rock’s cliffs, the easily defensible place was born in 1745 and the statues of two Scottish icons, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, flank the main entrance. The ramparts offer breathtaking views of the new city and the Firth of Forth.

Inside the castle, you’ll discover many Scottish historical artifacts, including weapons, clothing and even the “Scottish Crown Jewels,” known as the Honors of Scotland. The castle is also home to the Scottish War Memorial and the Scottish National War Museum.

The Great Hall and the 12th-century St Margaret’s Chapel, which is the oldest surviving structure still in the castle and in Edinburgh, were also in the spotlight. From the terrace and the towers of the castle, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.

A popular time to be at the castle is the gun firing that takes place at 1 pm (except Sundays and holidays) on most days of the year. This practice began in 1861 when a muzzle-loading cannon was fired every day to serve vessels in the harbor as an essential timekeeping device.

The weapon is being shot for tradition and display today. If you’re interested in watching the gun shooting, be sure to head inside the castle to the Mill’s Mount battery well before 1:00 to secure a decent viewing place.

Balmoral castle in Scotland, holiday home of British royalty

Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the holiday home of British royalty

Balmoral Castle

Acquired by Queen Victoria in 1852, Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire has since been the Scottish home of the British royal family. The queen and her family usually spend their summer on the estate, which opens its grounds, gardens and Castle Ballroom to the public from April to July each year.

Built-in 1855, the current Balmoral Castle was designed by William Smith, architect for Prince Albert and Aberdeen, for Queen Victoria. The largest room in the castle, the Castle Ballroom, is the only one open to the public and serves as an exhibition space. It is always used for receptions when the royal family is in residence, although the other rooms of the castle are private rooms of the queen and cannot be watched.

The gardens were developed under the initial supervision of Prince Albert and have since been enlarged by successive members of the royal family. Explore French gardens when Balmoral Castle is open and discover a large number of Victorian greenhouses containing potted plants from around the world. Garden Cottage, formerly used by Queen Victoria as a refuge for writing diaries and treating state correspondence, is in the middle of the gardens and its interior has changed little since the Victorian era.

The ballroom, which contains an exhibition of paintings, works of art, porcelain, the collection of Balmoral tartans and other objects of the castle. It is the largest room in Balmoral and the only one really open to the public. The rest of the interior is a private residence. Exhibitions in the ballroom change from year to year, so if you’ve ever visited once, you’ll probably see something different the next time you come.

The courtyard of Carriage Hall with its exhibits of the Royal Heraldry, commemorative porcelain and displays of native wildlife in their natural habitat. Once again, exhibitions are likely to change from year to year in this area.

A formal three-acre garden with several Victorian greenhouses, a vegetable garden, and a water garden.

Garden Cottage – The retreat of Queen Victoria, where she wrote her diary and often had breakfast. It’s not open to the public, but you can take a look inside through the window. It is organized much as it would have been during Queen Victoria.

Luxury Land Rover Safaris – Guided tours of the area’s wilderness in the Cairngorm Mountains are offered morning and afternoon during the opening season. Participants are offered the loan of high-quality Swarovski Optik binoculars to observe wildlife during visits.

Ranger’s Walk

When Balmoral Castle is open to the public, Ranger Service offers a series of easy guided walks. Throughout the fall and winter, hikes ranging from easy hikes to family outings to mountain hikes are also planned. The walks are free but must be booked in advance. Normal admission for a visit to Balmoral applies.

Visit the Balmoral

Cawdor castle and its magnificent laburnum arch and river - Scotland

Cawdor castle and its magnificent laburnum arch and river – Scotland

Cawdor Castle

Discover the romantic Highland Castle, home of the Cawdor Thanes dating back to the 14th century.

Located about 5 km southwest of Nairn, Cawdor Castle was built around a 15th-century tower house, originally owned by the Cawdor clan before passing to Campbell in the 16th century. Although famous for its literary link to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the current events of the 11th century on which the play is based must take place many years before the construction of the castle. However, the castle has its own unique tale surrounding its construction. According to legend, the castle is built around a thorny tree, identified since as a holly dating from 1372, that visitors can still see today in the dungeon.

Discover the sumptuous interior of the castle and discover the impressive living room, its walls adorned with portraits of generations of Campbell, the Tapestry Room with its precious wall hangings, the dining room with its magnificent stone fireplace and the old kitchen which preserves a range of antique kitchen tools.

A visit to Cawdor Castle can be exciting, educational, seasonal or exploratory, or better yet, you can do everything by doing whatever is available. Why do not you, since access to the castle, gardens, grounds and nature trails are all included in the price of your entry?

The walled garden, the flower garden and the wild garden all have their unique charms and styles. They form a charming set of family walk environments, perfect for all ages and all levels of mobility.

Their 3-hole golf course has 9 holes and is great fun for those who love the game.

The 5 varied nature trails range in length from 3 to 5 miles, each offering different terrain and garden experiences, with different but equally stunning views to admire along the way. Fortunately, there is a very simple rule here if you lose your way: follow the flow of the nearest burn and you will not be able to find the castle eventually, because they all go to this one. Thank you, nature!

You can also go fishing for salmon on the Findhorn River if you have acquired a license.

Visit Cawdor Castle


Eilean Donan Castle at sunset, Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland, United Kingdom. It is the most visited castle, situated on an island at the confluence of three sea lochs.

Eilean Donan Castle at sunset, Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland, United Kingdom. It is the most visited castle, situated on an island at the confluence of three sea lochs.

Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan means the island of Donan (a religious figure of the twelfth century). Eilean Donan was the most important bastion of the MacKenzie clan from the 13th century until its destruction in 1719. Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Above the entrance to the castle, there is a Gaelic inscription that translates as: As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. In the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription on John Murchison of Auchtertyre, killed at the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. On the upper floor of the castle are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh, Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. There is also a sign with the names of the constables (guards) of the castle engraved on it.

Eilean Donan Castle was built in 1220 and belongs to the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae clan that settled in the area came from Beauly Firth, where they protected the Fraser clan. They acted as bodyguards for MacKenzie leaders. Although there were a number of conflicts, the MacKenzies maintained Eilean Donan until the 16th century. The MacRaes became for the first time gendarmes of the castle in 1511, with much control over the surroundings. A quarrel between the MacKenzies and the Dunvegan McLeods over Donald Gorm MacDonald’s disputed claim to Lord of the Isles died when he attacked the castle with 50 galleys. Duncan MacRae was shot with one arrow that killed him. The castle was garrisoned by government troops, then taken over by the Jacobites before the battle of Sheriffmuir.

In 1719 he was held by the Spanish Jacobites. Three English frigates entered Loch Duich and bombarded the castle with guns until it was in ruins. The castle ruined them for nearly 200 years. In 1911, John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the castle and began renovating the castle over a period of twenty years, for a total cost of a quarter of a million pounds. Local materials have been used as much as possible.

Eilean Castle Donan is an iconic building and one of the most photographed sites in the British Isles. As such, it is not surprising that it has appeared in many movies and television programs, including “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” (1970, with Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely), “Entrapment” (1999), with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta. -Jones), the James Bond classic “The World Is Not Enough” (1999, with Pierce Brosnan and Robert Carlyle), “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007, with Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen) and “Made of Honor” (2007, with Patrick Dempsey)

Eilean Donan Castle is located on an island in the middle of 3 lochs – Loch Alsh, Loch Long and Loch Duich – and is surrounded by the Highland Mountains. If you climb the hill overlooking the castle, you will see the Isle of Skye. The castle is next to the village of Dornie and about 15 km from Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge to the Isle of Skye to the north. The castle is on the west coast of Scotland, about 90 km north of Glencoe and about 180 km from Edinburgh. You can take the train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and take a taxi to the castle. There is a bus line from Glasgow in front of the castle once a day.

Blair Castle in Perthshire Scotland, an Autumnal scene with snow-capped mountains.

Blair Castle in Perthshire Scotland. An Autumnal scene with snow-capped mountains.

Blair Castle, a brilliant example of castles in Scotland, you should not miss

Blair Castle is nestled in the spectacular landscape of Highland Perthshire and is home to 19 generations of Stewarts and Murrays of Atholl. Unique among the Scottish castles, the story told here will take you from a Mary Queen of Scots visit to the Civil War and the Jacobite cause to the Culloden disaster after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s stay in the castle. You will hear how the fortunate legacy of an island infested with smugglers has helped turn the castle into a comfortable home and how a visit from Queen Victoria has led to the creation of the only private army still alive in Europe.

In August, Blair Castle in Scotland hosts a country fair with horse trials.

In August, Blair Castle in Scotland hosts a country fair with horse trials.

The Atholl Highlanders display, rich in Scottish cultural history, architectural design, period furniture, family portraits, landscape paintings and colorful military past. Highlights include the Victorian Ballroom decorated with 175 pairs of wood, the lobby that displays the weapons used during the Battle of Culloden, the classic Georgian style of the photo staircase and the grandfather of Drawing and State lounges. Dining Room.

An amazing celebration of Queen Victoria’s love affair with Blair Castle and the Scottish Highlands.

Queen Victoria’s personal belongings to Duchess Anne, who has become a long-time friend, are also on display. A superb collection of dresses and outfits worn during the filming of ITV’s Victoria is also on display.

The gardens of Blair Castle

The castle estate comprises a magnificent 4-hectare enclosed garden, recently restored in its original Georgian style, consisting of fruit trees and vegetables, as well as a Chinese bridge, a Gothic madness and a contemporary sculptures dating back to the 18th century. A peaceful wooded grove with some of Britain’s tallest and most beautiful trees sits next to the ruins of St Bride’s Kirk, the last home of Jacobite ruler Bonnie Dundee. Around the park, visitors can see the local wildlife and admire the scenic views of the Highland Perthshire, while younger visitors can explore the adventure playground and Red Deer Park.

Explore hidden parts of Blair Castle Park on a guided tour of a 90-minute Vintage tractor and trailer. Watch the animals that live in the compound, including Red Deer, Highland ponies and Highland cows, as you follow the trail of the estate across fields and farmland.

Atholl Estates, which stretches over 150,000 hectares at the foot of the Cairngorms, offers excellent hunting opportunities for grouse and many other outdoor sporting activities. Fishing is one of their specialties. You can fish for salmon and loch. The estate has three salmon fishing courses on the Tummel, Garry, and Tilt rivers, as well as a hill lake for wild brown trout. The season starts in April and continues until mid-October.

The grouse shooting at Atholl Estates is a challenging but extremely rewarding sport set in one of Scotland’s most scenic landscapes. There are few experiences that offer the camaraderie, the decor and the sport of standing grouse shooting.

Visit Blair Castle

Visit fairytale castles all over Europe

Visit Scotland and Ireland with Traveltalk

Scotland, an appetizer

500 inner and outer Hebrides. A precious part of Scotland

Inverness and the Loch Ness monster in Scotland

Scotland from the sky

Northern Ireland, a tour of the perhaps most dramatic nature


Map overview

Latest travel articles