Scotland is known for its beautiful landscape, with green fields and hills, old buildings and country vibe. History plays an important role in the Scottish environment. A big part of this, and a focus of national pride, is the numerous grand and majestic castles. For a local, castles are part of the Scottish identity, and for a tourist they are an absolute must-see and must-visit.
Castles in the History of Scotland
Castles in Scotland have been throughout history the residence of nobles and lords. Defence and strong sight lines have always been important aspects of castles, hence the high built structures. The first castles of Scotland were knowingly built in the 11th and 12th centuries. Throughout the centuries the structure and architectural trends of castles have changed to fit the times and their needs. There have been more than two thousand castles erected in Scotland, all though not all of them have survived the test of time, and some are only found in historical writings and records. The remaining castles have become protected sites, as now they are seen as an important part of the culture and of future history.
Most Famous Castles in Scotland
As Scotland has hundreds of well-looked-after castles working now as tourist attractions, deciding on a top three list is understandably challenging. These three castles are one of the most visited and well known and each is certainly a must-see, should you visit Scotland and be close by.
1. Floors Castle
This is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. The fair size and looks of this Kelso situated castle makes it a sight to see. It is today the home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburg and their family.
2. Dunrobin Castle
Dunrobin castle is a real treat for all architecture lovers! This French design castle is situated on the northern coast of Scotland, near Dornoch, and is the most northerly of the great Scottish castles. It has a stunning postcard look, with typically Scottish beautiful green surroundings.
3. Kilchurn Castle
This Argyll (near Dalmally) castle is one of the most breathtaking and scenic castles in Scotland. It was built in the late medieval period, and is today one of the most photographed castles in Scotland – for good reason!
Other famous castles and tourist attractions to visit:
- Culzean Castle and park (Near Maybole in Ayrshire)
- Kelburn Castle (near Largs in Ayrshire)
- Fyvie Castle (near Turrif in Aberdeenshire)
- Drummond Castle Gardens (near Crieff in Perthshire)
- Brodie castle (Morayshire parkland)
- Dirleton Castle (North Berwick in East Lothian)
- Castle Fraser (Inverurie, Aberdeenshire)
- Caerlaverock castle (near Glencaple in Dumfries and Galloway)
- Blackness castle (near Linlithgow in West Lothian)
When visiting these sites, remember to respect the old structures. Tours and tourist booklets, as well as the Internet, provide a good amount of knowledge on these unique sites and their history. And lastly, don’t forget your camera, as these castles are truly some of the most breathtaking and photogenic in the whole world!