Scotland is a country with an impressive heritage! It’s culture, music, food and countryside all make this wondrous country great! Most visitors to Scotland will no doubt want to take in at least one of the picturesque castles that are dotted across its beautiful landscape.

Whenever I visit Scotland I always try to visit one local castle… even if it takes a little drive or train journey – so I decided to share my (not so) secret, favourite castles.

Fairy tale castles to visit in Scotland


1.) Edinburgh Castle

In the heart of Edinburgh, this castle sits on-top of the plug of an extinct volcano!

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2.) Dunnottar Castle

Head to Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven to watch the perfect ocean sunset. Come rain or shine, this medieval castle always gives all visitors a perfect vista over the north-eastern coast!

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3.) Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle is situated in Royal Deeside. It’s one of the largest (in use) castles in East Scotland! A favourite of the Royal Family, this castle is a regular retreat for the Queen to escape the hustle and bustle of Buckingham Palace! 🙂

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4.) Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle has been open to the public since Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne (who live there) granted access to visitors. It’s a great place to enjoy the architecture of medieval Scotland! Pair this beautiful castle with some Tea and Scones and you have yourself a truly British day out…

…Just beware of the ghostly ghouls, this castle is apparently haunted!

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5.) Drummond Castle & Gardens

Drummond Castle and gardens provide one of the best examples of formal terraced gardens in the whole of the UK! It’s expanse of land and space also gives this vast estate truly beautiful grounds to appreciate!

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6.) Stirling Castle

One of the largest and historically important castles in the whole of Scotland!

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7.) Craigievar Castle

Once home to the  Clan Sempill and Forbes family, Craigievar Castle is now a beautiful example of a harled castle in Scotland.

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8.) Abbots Tower

Technically not a fully fledged castle, Abbots Tower is what I like to call a faux-castle! 🙂 It’s fairytale beauty and architectural charm makes it well worth a visit! Castle or tower… Abbots “Tower” is a great piece of Scottish history.

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9.) Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle in Dumfries. Truly, a favourite of mine!

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10.) Cawdor Castle

Based in Naim, Cawdor is a castle that has grown throughout the centuries! It is best known for the connection to William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth!

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11.) Culzean Castle

Little needs to be explained with this beautiful castle… just take my money and let me visit 😉

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12.) Eilean Donan Castle

This castle seems to be on every Scottish postcard! The picturesque charm is reason enough to visit this magical castle! Truly breathtaking! 🙂

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13.) Inverness Castle

Based in the centre of Inverness, this castle is great to explore one of the more “modern” Scottish castles… and by modern I mean 200-300 years old! 🙂

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14.) Dunrobin Castle

Why not stay in Dunrobin Castle and have a perfect, luxury island retreat!

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Read More On Creating Your Own Ultimate Adventure In The Highlands of Scotland! 


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Castle with snow in Scotland



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  • Jill Owen

    Really feeling the wanderlust over here! These are AMAZING.

    Warby Parker x Pop-in@Nordstrom in San Francisco

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Absolutely!!! 🙂

  • Emma

    I’m obsessed with castles so definitely want to visit all of these – I hadn’t heard of Dunnottar so it’s definitely added to the list.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitelu Emma! The more the merrier!

  • Hardy and Hay

    Another great post, guys! Stirling Castle looks like my favourite of all these: it looks like exactly the kind of place to pitch a tent with a good view of it, sit in the dark and take a torch to read Grimm’s Fairy Tales – the original, gory ones! Stirling Castle is going on my bucket list, for sure!

    🙂
    Flora
    http://www.hardyandhay.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Flora! That sounds like such a great idea too!!! 🙂

  • Bradley Becker

    If only you could afford to have your descriptions proofread. Compare it’s with its: your numbers 9 and 10 are OK, but not 8 or 12. I find this rather distracting; number 8 is also spoilt by the singular verb makes for a plural subject, and number 9 could actually stand an s at the end of favourite: one of my favourite castles, but one of my favourites. All the same, thank you for the spectacular views: I could hardly reach the end before drooling for the trip from Switzerland!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hey Bradley

      You are totally right! Apologies that it became distracting. We will change that ASAP… I must make sure not to write too late into the night or at the very least drink more coffee 🙁

      Once again, thank you for highlighting the grammatical error. I Will rectify this as we speak! 🙂

      So glad you like the post! We maybe needing some advice on places to visit in Switzerland soon!

      Lloyd

  • Frontier

    These look like great travel destinations to discover Scotland!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitely! Scotland is great for it’s amazing castles and history!

  • Great destinations for travelling! I love every single picture.

    x M.

    http://nevermindnm.blogspot.com/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitely! Gotta love Scotland. 🙂

  • I can’t believe Sterling Castle exists… I must go there! I love this list.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I know, right? Its absolutely fantastic!

  • I’ve never been to Scotland, but I’ve heard of Sterling Castle and how they have costumed performers who bring history to life. I would love to go visit it one day.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitely a worthy addition to your place to visit Carmen. Its such an impressive castle

  • Serena

    These are stunning! Have you visited all the castles on this list?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hi Serena, between both of us, we’ve covered most of them as we used to live in Scotland before.

  • Belinda

    It all looks fab. My brother visits Scotland quite often and is there now. Great pictures

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Nice! Do you go up often too Belinda?

  • Lorraine Greig

    No. 14 is actually Dunrobin Castle.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Lorraine!!! My bad. 🙂 Nice spot – much appreciated.

  • I’m heading up to Scotland next week with a car so I’ll be sure to check some of these out. Already has Stirling and Edinburgh covered though!

    Ben | http://www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Nice! Gotta ask though Ben – which of the two is your favourite?

  • Natalie Minniss

    Stirling and Eilean Donan are my favorite! We got a private tour of Eilean Donan in November, something I’ll never forget! Still need to see Dunnottar Castle!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Eilean Donan is absolutely fantastic isn’t it Natalie? 🙂

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  • judiabbott

    Been to most–have attended banquets and a wedding in Eilean Donan (with the MacRaes), but I love little Braemar Castle.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Wow! That’s so amazing. Ahhhhh would love to do that. I bet it was the most magical experience ever! Is there any that you’d recommend overall?
      Lloyd 🙂

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  • going in August … can’t wait! :))

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! You’re going to love it! 🙂

      Let us know what you get up to – we’d love to hear your plans! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Marian

    I am so glad I found your post. Headed to Glasgow next week and really want to see at least one castle. Thanks!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Have an amazing time in Glasgow, Marian! You’re going to love it!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • me as always

    You forgot Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Dunvegan Castle is gorgeous isn’t it! Wish we could have included every castle… I think our post would have been 200 castles in Scotland lol! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya ☺️