Castles in Scotland

It’s impossible to talk about Scotland without mentioning Scottish castles. From the opulent to the ruined, we have centuries of history with castles in Scotland. Nowadays, most castles are either private homes, public tourist sites, or converted accommodations. Many castles in Scotland have also been used in TV and film over the years, providing atmospheric settings to famous scenes. Whether you want to walk the halls of history or sleep in a stately room of grandeur, we’re certain we can help you plan the perfect trip to Scotland if you’re keen on castles!

To get the most out of your visit to Scotland, we recommend you consider crafting a tailormade tour. That way, you’ll see and do everything that you’re dreaming of, with the insider tips and professional guidance we can offer about our bonnie wee country. We know where all the most picturesque castles are and where historic moments have happened so you can walk in their footsteps. We love creating your dream trip, so reach out any time if you have any questions about our tours.

Popular Castles in Scotland

We have to start with some of the most popular castles in Scotland that you might recognize by name or through imagery. Edinburgh Castle is the most-visited in Scotland, and for good reason. It’s also the biggest castle in Scotland and has endured for nearly a thousand years, seeing some of the most important moments in Scottish history. If you’re spending time in Edinburgh, you can’t help but admire the castle from outside its walls. If you’re keen to explore inside, let us know so we can help you maximize your visit and minimize any time in a queue.

Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands of Scotland

There are so many other popular castles to visit in Scotland beyond Edinburgh. From Stirling to Loch Ness, from the Borders to Aberdeenshire…Scotland and castles just go together! 

Be inspired by some of our articles talking about Scottish castles

Visit Edinburgh Caste when you attend the Scottish Open this year

And these articles talk specifically about Edinburgh Castle, including when, why, and why not to visit!

Scottish Castles in TV and Film

If you’ve been inspired by TV shows and movies filmed in Scotland, then you’ll certainly want to explore the scenes and settings you’ll recognize from your favourite moments. Many of those scenes involve various castles around Scotland.

We have a few tours specifically catered towards fans of Outlander as well as The Outlaw King, with plenty more insight for casual film fans, too. Harry Potter, anyone? 

Be inspired by these tours and articles for more Scotland TV and film insights:

Craigmillar Castle

Best Scottish Castles for Family Travel

If the whole family is coming to Scotland, then you’ll certainly want to keep the kids entertained and happy. Happy kids, happy parents! The types of activities you do will, of course, depend on the ages and interests of the kids. But, generally speaking, castles are a big hit for all ages.

Stirling Castle

Some castles in Scotland are more appropriate for and geared toward entertaining the younger visitors than others. This is why it’s crucial to have insider information for trip planning and it’s why we recommend crafting a custom tour itinerary. You could spend endless hours researching and trying to figure out which attractions are best suited to your family, or you can just tell us your kids’ ages and interests and we’ll give you all the best options. It’s that simple!

To get you started, here’s some inspiration for the best Scotland itinerary for travelling with kids.

Lauriston Castle and Gardens

Castles in Ruins in Scotland

Not all of Scotland’s castles are in perfect condition, unfortunately. Over the centuries, a great many have fallen into disrepair. Perhaps due to changed financial circumstances or natural damage and erosion, many of these formerly stately homes and strong fortifications now lie in ruins. But even the ruins of castles in Scotland are stunning and photogenic!

Dunottar Castle

In fact, some of Scotland’s most popular castles are actually just ruins. You can wander the grounds and see images of what the structure once looked like, but there are many sites that could be, generously, called “open-concept” these days.

If you’re keen to see some of the most dramatic ruins, we have the inside track. Let us know and we’ll create a tailormade Scotland tour of our favourite spots that we know you’ll love. There are ruined castles along the dramatic North Sea coastline, some amidst woodland or rolling hills, and several on the shores of our iconic lochs. Whatever you fancy, we’ll do our utmost to help you experience it!

Urquhart Castle

Sleeping in a Castle in Scotland

There’s something incredibly romantic about sleeping in a Scottish castle. The history, the beauty, the grandeur of it all just sweeps you away into another time. There are plenty of castles in Scotland where you can now stay the night, from the Highlands and Islands down to the Borders. 

If you’re dreaming of staying in a castle in Scotland (or at least a very grand, historic estate), you can start with these articles and tours for inspiration:

Barcaldine Castle

Events at Scottish Castles

Dreaming of a romantic wedding at a Scottish castle? Or how about celebrating your honeymoon in real Scottish style? Castles can be the perfect venue for holidays and special celebrations. 

Be inspired to celebrate something special at a castle in Scotland with these articles:

Floors Castle

Our Be Inspired section is all about helping you plan your dream trip to Scotland. If it’s been useful, feel free to share it with others! We keep adding more resources here so you can check back at any time to get more insights into all things travel in Scotland. And, if you’re ready for your own dream-come-true holiday, let’s create a custom Scotland itinerary just for you. Reach out if you have any questions at all. We’re always happy to help.