If you travel to Scotland, you’ll see numerous ancient castles overlooking lochs and cities that are just as good as any fictional picture. Turrets, moats, and a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape are what castle lovers’ dreams are made of!
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 daydream-inducing.
Culzean Castle is pictured on the back of the five-pound note that was issued by the bank of Scotland, Culzean Castle stands on a cliff along the Ayrshire coast. This castle has been linked to the Kennedy clan for centuries.
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 of 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 the 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 was built. From its structural design to its location in the Highlands, Urquhart is nothing short of dramatic.
Urquhart Castle Ruins
In fact, its famed Grand Tower, which dramatically overlooks a vast Loch Ness, has made it one of the most visited castles in Scotland and made it a top tourist attraction! Though no one knows for certain when the edifice was built, the ruins of a medieval wall seem to date back between the 13th and 16th centuries.
During the Scottish Independence, Urquhart played a pivotal role.
Another impressive castle found in 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. Its 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 on both small and big screens.
If you ever wonder which castle best represents Scotland as a country, then it has to be Edinburgh Castle. This Scottish castle is by far the most popular in Scotland 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 to 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.
Not to mention it is also an impressive piece of architecture, a place often visited by knights and nobles. 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 as characters, as well as family picnics have become commonplace in Stirling.
Most Famous Scottish Castles
Scotland is home to a number of popular castles but of these Scottish castles, Edinburgh and Stirling sit at the top for their historical, cultural, and architectural significance.
Edinburgh is the most renowned Castle in Scotland. 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.
William Wallace was a Scottish knight, born in 1270 and died in 1305.
Many Scots were and still are inspired by Wallace’s heroic deed. Travelers interested in art, architecture, and history will find both castles and their structures interesting and worth looking into.
The Battle for Stirling Bridge in the Battle of Bannockburn
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.