Turrets, moats and a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape – stuff fairy tales are made of.
But if you travel to Scotland, you’ll see numerous ancient castles overlooking lochs and cities that are just as good as any fictional picture.
Travelers will gape in awe at these marvelous structures. Scottish castles are known for their striking qualities.
Coupled with a wonderful highland or Loch Ness setting, they are truly day dream-inducing.
For a start, get a 5 pound note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland and take a look at its back – You will see Culzean Castle standing sturdy on a cliff along the Ayrshire coast.
It sounds surprising but did you know this castle and the Kennedy’s have been linked for centuries now?
Like a typical fairy tale castle – Culzean has imposing turrets and battlements, made even more mystical by surrounding gardens and forests and an often turbulent sea beneath the cliff.
If you have a thing for romance, then Castle Fraser is for you.
Tagged as one of the grandest and most dreamy Scottish castles, Castle Fraser is the perfect venue for exchanging wedding vows and accepting proposals.
The castle was featured in a few documentaries and movies, the latest being “The Queen,” a movie top billed by Dame Helen Mirren to rave reviews.
Built at the height of Renaissance era, the castle covers 300 acres of well-maintained grounds and forest lands.
Unlike other castles that exude an imposing and majestic aura, Castle Fraser feels more like an ancestral home albeit a stately one.
The interior is decked with portraits of the Fraser family and various pieces of antique furniture.
If stories about the elusive Loch Ness monster feed your imagination, then head over to Inverness-shire where Urquhart Castle is.
From its structural design to its location in the Highlands, Urquhart is nothing short of dramatic.
In fact, its famed Grand Tower, which dramatically overlooks a vast Loch Ness, has made it one of the most visited Scottish castles and a top tourist draw.
Though no one knows for certain when the edifice was built, the ruins of a medieval wall seems to date back between the 13th and 16th century.
During the Scottish Independence, Urquhart played a pivotal role.
Another impressive castle found on the Highlands of Inverness-shire is Eileen Donan, which has existed since the 13th century.
Like Urquhart, the castle sits in the middle of a loch and has one of the most sought-after views in Scotland.
It location faces the Isle of Skye.
A footbridge connects this castle to the rest of Scotland.
There have been changes made to the castle over the years but it was not until the early 20th century that Eileen Donan started appearing in both small and big screens.
If you ever wonder whether there’s a castle that best represents Scotland, then it’s none other than Edinburgh.
This Scottish castle is by far the most popular with a record number of visits throughout the year.
Sited on top of Castle Rock in the heart of Scotland’s capital city, the castle is simply a formidable picture of power and might.
The castle has an ancient section that traces its roots back the 12th century.
One of the main reasons people visit Edinburgh is the crown jewels, available for public viewing on fixed schedules.
Located in Stirlingshire, Scotland, this castle is one of the largest in the history of Scottish castles.
Because the castle was constructed in honor of the Scot hero William Wallace, it is considered one of the most important historical structures.
The castle is known for its dark and bloody history, which is offset by the presence of elaborate gardens and luxurious interiors.
To access the castle, start from either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Currently, Stirling is a major tourist attraction.
Medieval festivities where children play dress up and characters hold morality places as well as family picnics have become commonplace in Stirling.
Scotland is home to a number of popular castles but of these Scottish castles, Edinburgh and Stirling sit at the top for the historical, cultural and architectural significance.
Edinburgh is the most renowned Scottish castle.
It continues to break its own record, having garnered 1.4 million visits as of last year. The castle currently offers guided tours for visitors.
Stirling, on one hand, edges Edinburgh in terms of history. William Wallace, Scotland’s national hero, led the Scots to victory against the English in the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The castle serves to remind them of their triumph and confirms their identity.
Many Scots were and still are inspired by Wallace’ heroic deed. Travelers interested in art, architecture and history will find both castles and their structures interesting and worth looking into.
Scottish castles are some of the most impressive works of architecture. But what makes them even more impressive is the rich history that surrounds them.
Though history is often tinged with controversy and unsavory things, these Scottish castles add beauty to our modern world and enrich the lives of individuals who want to immerse in art and culture.
They also remind us that there is still so much we can learn from the past even though a lot has changed at present.