In Scotland you can find a castle or what remains of it almost in every place! Some are really fascinating and suggestive, others are simply ruins that are not at all unforgettable.
In this post you can find a list of the best castles of Scotland in Poppackers' opinion!
the castle of edinburgh
The Castle of Edinburgh, built on top of an hill in the middle of the city, has been overlooking Edinburgh since the XI century. It is a well conserved fortress that hosts different attractions as the Great Hall and the Honors of Scotland ( the crown jewels ).
The entrance ticket is quite expensive ( £ 17 per person ) and it includes free guided tour of the castle. If you want to visit the Castle of Edinburgh on your own you can rent and audioguide paying £ 3.50 more.
A tip for your visit: buy your tickets online in order to avoid long queues at the entrance.
An anecdote: the Castle of Edinburgh hosts the most ancient building in the entire city of Edinburgh. As a matter of fact, the St. Margaret's Chapel was built in 1130 ( almost a thousand of years ago ) and it has been survived for all those years despite the many sieges and bombings that threatened the castle.
Stirling is History, Stirling is William Wallace, Stirling is Scotland!
The Stirling Castle is a mandatory stop for anyone who wants to visit Scotland and for anyone who is interested in its history or in Medieval history in general.
Due to its strategic location, the Stirling Castle has always been the favorite residence of the Kings of Scotland and it was the perfect scenario of William Wallace's heroic gestures and of the great Independence Wars fought among the XIII and the XIV centuries.
The Stirling Castle is a real fortress made of different buildings, the most famous and glorious one is surely the Great Hall where the Scottish court gathered in Medieval times.
The ticket costs £ 15 and it includes an interesting guided tour that lasts almost a hour and helps you to better understand the original majesty of this place.
A tip for your visit: look for a parking sport in Old Town of Stirling that is well conserved and surely worth a visit. You can buy the castle tickets at the visitor centre in the Old Town.
An anecdote: inside the royal apartments you can bump into strange characters that wear medieval costumes! Don't worry ... those are Stirling Castle guides that will help you during your visit answering to all your questions and giving you some uncommon information about life in Stirling Castle.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is likely the best castle in Scotland and embodies the perfect mix between nature and human work. This wonderful castle is located in the Western Highlands on a small isle in the charming Loch Duich, surrounded by Cullin Mountains.
It is such a scenographic place that it was used as the set of different important films like Entrapment or 007 - The World is not enough.
If you are photographers ... then be prepared to spend a lot of time here trying to catch every aspect of this amazing place.
We didn't visit the Eilean Donan Castle inside since, despite his external beauty, we read that there's nothing special nor traditional inside.
A tip for your visit: the Eilean Donan Castle is located near Dornie along the A87 and it is a nice stop coming from or going to the Isle of Skye. The view from the parking is amazing and, as said before, we suggest not to pay £ 7.50 to visit it inside.
An anecdote: at the beginning of XX century the Eilean Donan Castle was almost destroyed, then McRae family decided to restore it and nowadays the family uses it as its summer residence..
The ruins of Dunottar Caste are located few kilometers far from the small town of Stonehaven, overlooking the Northern Sea. This is such a charming place that the famous Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli chose it as the set of his "Hamlet".
A simple and quick path leads to the castle from the parking area. If you want to visit the ruins you have to pay £ 7 per person, otherwise you can admire the Dunottar Castle and take a lot of pictures of it form a close cliff.
A tip for your visit: pay attention to closing time ( 5.30 PM during Summer ). If you don't want to buy ticket then follow the path form the parking area and reach the cliff that is located on the right of the castle that overlooks a nice beach. A perfect place for relax and pictures.
An anecdote: despite its present status, the Dunottar Castle once was one of the most important castles in Scotland. Here the Honors of Scotland ( crown jewels ) had been hidden for centuries.
This is another place that will immediately bring you to Medieval Times. Castle Stalker is a recently renovated keep placed on a tiny island in the middle of Loch Laich along the coastal road the reaches Oban ( Western Highlands ). Actually Castle Stalker is a private house and it is not open to visitors, unless you arranged your visit. Since it's easy to miss Castle Stalker we give you some indications to spot it along the road: Castle Stalker is located on the A828, if you are going North you will find it 2 kilometers after Kinlochlaich, if you are going South you will find it 3 kilometers after Polanach.
The suggestive ruins of Castle Sinclair are located in the Northern Highlands, few kilometers far from the small town of Wick. Surrounded by cliffs overlooking the sea and the Orkney Isles, Castle Sinclair is in a wonderful setting. You can easily reach the ruins of Castle Stalker with a short walk from the parking area. The are no entrance fees and the visit of Castle Sinclair is truly relaxing and pleasant.
A curiosity: Actually on the internet and also in Scotland, the Castle Sinclair is better known as Castle Sinclair Gringoe because the ruins include those of Castle Gringoe, built in the XV century, and later united with Castle Sinclair in the XVII century.
Visit Scotland considers the Kilchurn Castle as one of the most charming castles in the entire country. The ruins of Kilchurn Castle are located in a serene, relaxing and unknown place close to the town of Dalmally on the edge of the gorgeous Loch Awe. You can reach the Kilchurn Castle thanks to a quick and easy path that starts from the parking area, which is a bit hidden. The parking area of Kilchurn Castle is located on the A85 3 kilometers far from the town of Dalmally.
There are no entrance fees, so you can visit this castle freely taking all the time you need.