Scottish people take great pride in their castles. According to many of them, wherever you might be in Scotland, there is a castle near you.
And how that cannot be true? At one point, there were about 3,000 castles spread across Scotland. That comes down to one per every 100 square miles. That’s a lot of castles to consider and making a list of the best is no easy task.
However, after looking at some data and considering the opinion of many Scottish people, we have narrowed the list to just nine castles. These castles are magnificent with their distinctive features.
1. Edinburgh Castle
The castle is located atop an extinct volcano, just right above Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. According to almost all Scottish folks, Edinburgh Castle is by far the most important castle in the country. Inside the castle, you can admire the crown jewels, Mons Meg, and the Stone of Destiny.
2. Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is one of the best-restored castles in Scotland to its Renaissance glory. Once it was a favorite castle with Stuart Kings and Queens. What’s even more fascinating about the castle is that tourists are welcomed by costumed servants, courtiers, and bodyguards.
3. Balmoral Castle
Queen Victoria once described the Balmoral Castle as “paradise in the Highlands”. For centuries and until the present time it belongs to the Royal Family. When none of the royalties are there, visitors can roam the charming gardens and enjoy exhibitions in one of the largest rooms in the castle.
4. Dunnottar Castle
Dramatic and spellbinding, these are the most used words to describe this marvelous castle that stands on a cliff-top. This formidable stronghold holds the memory of many important moments of Scotland’s history.
5. Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is a monument of the Jacobite lore and holds plenty of artifacts within its walls. One of the rarest artifacts is a sword which have been used at the battle of Culloden. Due to its position and architecture, Eilean Donan is also one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, if not the world.
6. Inveraray Castle
The facade of Inveraray Castle might not be as lavish as on some castles, but its interior is a story on its own. The mind-blowing interior incorporates neoclassical elegance with all its charm and splendor. The view of Loch Fyne will make everyone in awe, while the Beauvais tapestries are simply priceless.
7. Blair Castle
Blair Castle was once the seat of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl. Nowadays, it is the home of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s last private army. Its sprawling estate and opulent rooms are almost always open for tourists.
8. Braemar Castle
Braemar Castle is located in the Cairngorms National Park and once belonged to Clan Farquharson. This 17th-century fortress features castellated turrets, dungeons, spiral staircases, and a lot more. You can spend an entire day just exploring its inside.
9. Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle is known for its red sandstone walls, and it was the home of the late Queen Mother. Throughout history, it was home to many royalties and colorful characters. Shakespearian lovers know it from Macbeth.