When it comes to fairytale architecture, you can’t beat Floors Castle. This sandstone delight is picture perfect. Add to this, magnificent grounds with tree plantations dating back centuries, and a prime position on the banks of the River Tweed, and you have one very special Scottish castle.
Picture the quintessential Scottish castle – think turrets and towers set in beautiful woodlands – and the chances are that Crathes Castle fits the bill.
Set on the north side of the Dee Valley and just 12 miles from the city of Aberdeen, Crathes ranks among one of the best preserved and most authentic Scottish castles of them all.
Add to this amazing interiors, magnificent gardens and great play parks for the kids and you’ve got a great day out.
Tucked away to the north of Dundee and a stone’s throw from the Cairngorms National Park, sits one of Scotland’s most fascinating castles. Glamis Castle with its impressive array of turrets, towers and battlements is the very picture of a fairytale palace. And, as in the best stories, this castle comes with a long list of legends and ghosts. As well as a rich mixture of architecture and myths, Glamis also offers plenty of history, royal roots and fine gardens.
As well as defences against hostile forces, Scottish castles were also built to provide accommodation for the aristocracy. One of the best examples of castle accommodation in Scotland comes in Balmoral, renowned the world over as the Queen’s holiday home. Sitting in acres of those landscapes Scotland does so well, Balmoral Castle ranks among the most famous in Europe.
Next in our guide to the best Scottish castles, we visit one of the most elegant with a simply stunning location. Culzean Castle, located 12 miles (19km) south of Ayr on Scotland’s wild west coast, lays claim to one of the most spectacular in the country. Designed as the ultimate castle accommodation in Scotland, this fine building takes extravagance to a whole new level.
As far as castles go, it’s difficult to imagine a more remote and dramatic location than Dunnottar. Perhaps with the most impenetrable position of all Scottish castles, this one sits on top of its own cliff peninsula on the road to Aberdeen, defended on all sides by the forces of nature. Dunnottar Castle also comes with a good dose of dastardly history with an intrepid mix of torching, smuggling and pillaging.
When it comes to location, Urquhart Castle ticks the boxes for both strategic and scenic. Dominating a rocky promontory on the iconic Loch Ness, the castle takes in the whole of the Loch and the surrounding countryside. Situated just south of Inverness, it also makes a prime spot on the route to the Highlands.
As far as Scottish castles go, they don’t come more romantic than Eilean Donan Castle. Perched in a stunning location at the head of no less than three sea lochs, the Castle features as one of the most photographed spots in the country. Its iconic status ranks alongside bagpipes, tartan and the Loch Ness Monster as symbols of Scotland.