Top 10 Scottish Castles

Our turbulent past made building a stronghold to keep pillaging neighbours at bay a wise move. It is thought there were once around 3000 castles dotted across the Scottish landscape, many still in evidence. From crumbling, ancient ruins to magnificent Royal Palaces, Scotland’s castles do not disappoint but too many to choose from and where to start? Here are ten of our favourites to help.

Tour Glamis Castle Scotland, home to Queens, and famously haunted

1. Glamis Castle

Childhood home to the HM Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother and birthplace of Queen Margaret, this 14th century fairy tale castle is also famously the setting to Shakespeare Macbeth and is still the most haunted. The Grey Lady and Earl of Beardie like to make their presence felt!

Visit Eilean Donnan Castle on the road to Skye

2. Eilean Donnan

The most quintessential and most photographed of the Scottish Castles. Of Iron Age origin, this castle in the most picturesque of settings on a small island in Loch Duich and connected to the mainland by a footbridge and has become one of our country’s most famous trademarks.

Drop by Stirling Castle in central Scotland on your private Scottish Tour

3. Stirling Castle

Resting spectacularly on a vertical volcanic rock mass since the 15th Century, this castle has been witness to much of Scotland’s murky past. Positively steeped in history, overlooking two of our most important battlegrounds, the crowning place of some of our King and Queens and murder scene of others, this is an essential stop on any historic tour.

Visit Craigievar castle on your Luxury Scottish Tour, nestled in the Cairngorms

4. Craigievar

This seven storey baronial tower nestled in the foothills of the Cairngorms is our favourite on the Aberdeenshire Castle Trail. It has been meticulously restored and today’s interior is pretty much as it would have been when Queen Victoria visited the castle in 1879.

Take a private tour of Cawdor Castle with its fantastic walks and gardens

5. Cawdor Castle

Home of the Thane of Cawdor of “Macbeth” fame, this romantic 15th Century castle has the most magnificent and extensive gardens including, a picnic site, nature trails and a pitch and putt course; all the ingredients for a great day out.

Tour the unique Urquhart Castle ruins at Loch Ness, on your private tour of Scotland

6. Urquhart Castle

Commanding the best views over the mighty Loch Ness and with 1000 years of history, these ruins easily make it into our Top Ten because the 5 storey tower makes a great vantage point for the thrilling possibility of a sighting of that illusive creature: the Loch Ness Monster!

Visit the iconic Falkland Palace on your tour of Scotland

7. Falkland Palace

The hunting palace for the Stewart Kings and a favourite retreat of the tragic Mary Queen of Scots. Her father, James V died in the Palace leaving Mary as Queen at just 6 days old. It is also home to the world’s oldest tennis court which is still in use.

Stop by Blair Castle, Scotland, with its historical artefacts and fabulous rooms.

8. Blair Castle

Impressive seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to Europe’s only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. Its huge array of historical artefacts can be examined with a walk through its magnificently furnished rooms.

Enjoy a private tour of Duart Castle, Scotland with Drumscot, near the Isle of Staffa

9. Duart Castle

Stronghold of Clan Maclean for 700 years, but due to its prominent location on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Sound of Mull, the fortification most probably dates back to the times of the Viking Raids. Another jewel in the crown of this little island which also has Tobermory, Iona and Staffa to offer.

Dunvegan Castle in the West of Skye is a magnificent sight, based right on the edge of the Cullin Mountains

10. Dunvegan Castle

An eerie castle in the north of the mysterious Isle of Skye, where better to find an ancient “Fairy Flag” with powers to bring victory over enemies in battle. Stronghold  of Clan MacLeod, the imposing  battlement rises up between the rugged landscape of the Cullin Mountains and the stormy North Sea. Breath taking.

If you are interested in a private tour of Scotland taking in one or more of these delectable Scottish dishes, Drumscot would be delighted to prepare a sample itinerary for your consideration. In the first instance please contact

DRUMSCOT, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TU, Scotland,

UK Tel – +44 (0) 1334 476376
Fax – 44 (0) 1334 476407
Toll free from US – 1 866 441 9936
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