Interested in knowing about medieval Scottish castles or planning to visit one of them? Well, this article is a must-read for you, and keep reading to know everything about medieval Scottish castles. Do you know how many medieval castles there are in Scotland?
Well, according to a recent study, there are nearly 2,000 to 4,000 castles in Scotland, one for every 100 square miles. Out of all the castles in Scotland, if we talk about particularly medieval castles, then the number is approximately 1,000. Out of all the castles, some act as luxury accommodations, some tourist attractions, some wedding destinations, and some, unfortunately, are just left to ruins.
To help you out choose medieval castles out of all options available, we have listed some of the best castles in Scotland. So, without any further ado, let’s start with the list of 9 Medieval Scottish Castles.
Best Medieval Scottish Castles:
Let’s start the list with Edinburgh Castle, unquestionably the most exciting historic site in Western Europe. Edinburgh Castle is the most popular and important castle in Scotland, known as the ‘Defender Of The Nation’. It is the scenery and location of the castle that sets it apart from the rest.
Edinburgh Castle’s scenery is known for taking away breath and capturing the imagination of its visitors. At Edinburgh Castle, there are many things that you can see and do. Firstly, you can go for exploring the number of highlights that the castle has to offer. The highlights include the Great Hall, the Crown Jewels, Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny, St Margaret’s Chapel, the One o’clock Gun, and a lot more.
Secondly, you can follow an itinerary and pick a route around the castle. You can go for picking a route on the basis of the time that you have in hand and as per your interests. Thirdly, you can make a quick pit stop to eat and enjoy mouth-watering delicacies while you’re at the castle.
Edinburgh Castle is in the heart of Scotland’s dynamic capital city. It is set atop a craggy extinct volcano high above Scotland. conveniently located. One of the best things about the castle is that it’s conveniently located, and can be reached by bus, tram, and train.
Timings: 9:30 AM-5 PM
Contact: +44 131 225 9846
Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
The next entry that we have on this list of medieval Scottish castles is Stirling Castle. It is one of the largest and oldest castles in Scotland. It is also one of the most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. If you are planning for a great outing with your family, then Stirling Castle is one of the best options you can go for.
The architecture of the castle is one of a kind and is a mix of the Renaissance, Gothic Revival, and Scottish baronial times. The castle is one of the best options for family outings because of offerings such as quality restaurants, gift shops, fun games & cultural activities, and many more.
Last but not least, the staff here are very friendly, well-trained, and helpful to make sure families visiting have a great time. Stirling Castle dates from approximately the early 12th century and sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag. To be more precise and also as the name suggests, the castle is located in Stirling.
Timings: 9:30 AM-5 PM
Contact: +44 1786 450000
Location: Castle Wynd, Stirling FK8 1EJ, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
Just like Stirling Castle, when it comes to old Scottish Castle, Dunnottar Castle is again one of those names that top the list. Nestled upon a rocky headland on the northeastern coast land lies this hidden treasure of Scotland. Today, Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress perched atop a 160-foot rock.
We say it to be a hidden treasure because once this dramatic and evocative cliff-top ruins were an impregnable fortress. The castle was the fortress of one of the most powerful families in Scotland, Earls Marischal. Steeped in history, Dunnottar Castle is one of the most romantic and haunting places in Scotland.
If you are one of the photographers out there, then the castle is no less than a paradise for you. If you are a history lover, then this is one of the dream destinations you would ever have wanted to visit. Over, irrespective of who you are and from which part of the world you are, this is an iconic destination you must visit.
Timings: 10 AM-2 PM
Contact: +44 1569 766320
Location: Stonehaven AB39 2TL, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
“Also Check: 10 Most Popular Medieval Castles in Europe“
Inverness Castle is an 1800s red sandstone castle that you can consider visiting with your friends, family, and loved ones. The castle sits on a cliff and offers visitors lush grounds and mesmerizing views of the River Ness in Inverness. The castle dates from 1836 and as of today, it is a Category A listed building.
Be it the people, the sounds, the smells, the food, or the land, here you’ll be able to fully experience the spirit of the highlands. This is the reason that there’s a project ongoing named the Spirit of the Highlands.
As a part of this project, the Inverness Castle buildings are being transformed to become a gateway for highland tourism. Inverness Castle will soon in the future bring together creativity, well-being, culture, heritage, natural environment, and language of Scotland.
Location: Castle, Inverness IV2 3EG, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
Situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus is one of the most famous medieval Scottish castles, Glamis Castle. Well, the castle is famous for being the ancestral seat to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Not just this, the castle is also famous as it has been an inspiration for Shakespeare.
Inspired by the castle, Shakespeare wrote one of his most popular works, Macbeth. Last but not least, the castle has also a deep connection to today’s royal families. Glamis Castle is the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth as well as the birthplace of HRH Princess Margaret.
If you are a history lover, then Glamis Caste is no less than a paradise for you. The castle will take you on a journey into history dating back to 1372 and six centuries of stories. The castle further boasts spectacular gardens, Douglas first soaring towards the skies, a kitchen, restaurants, a gift shop, and more.
Contact: +44 1307 840393
Location: Forfar DD8 1RJ, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
Next up, on this list of medieval Scottish castles, we have Linlithgow Palace. We are sure you must have heard of the ancient town of Linlithgow. Well, this palace is a gem in that same ancient town of Linlithgow.
Linlithgow Palace was once a majestic royal residence of the Stewarts. The peel around the palace is a large grassed park. Further, the palace is surrounded by a 2.3 miles long circular path of compacted gravel around the loch. Also, there are a number of benches and picnic tables on the peel, which makes the palace perfect for outings.
One of the best parts about Linlithgow Palace is its location. Well, it’s because there are many places worthy of visiting nearby. The list of such places nearby includes Curloss Abbey, Torphichen Preceptory, Cairnpapple Hill, Kinneil House, and many more.
Contact: +44 1506 842896
Location: Kirkgate, Linlithgow EH49 7AL, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
Balmoral Castle is again one of the old Scottish castles out there you can definitely consider visiting. It has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased by Prince Albert in the year 1852. It was in the autumn of 1842, that Prince Albert along with Queen Victoria two and a half years after her marriage first visited Scotland.
While they were in Scotland, they went to visit Perthshire and then Ardverikie. Eventually, Prince Albert decided to seize the opportunity to purchase Balmoral and bought the palace for Queen Victoria.
While you are at Balmoral castle, you can go for various expedition tours, get mesmerizing views of red squirrels, place floral tribute outside the Main Gates, and much more. One thing that you should be aware of about Balmoral Castle is that it’s fully operational during the springs.
Contact: +44 1339 742534
Location: Balmoral Estates, Ballater AB35 5TB, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
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Falkland Palace & Garden
Falkland Palace & Garden is a fine Renaissance palace that offers a unique experience of a royal ‘pleasure palace’ with a Victorian twist. If you are looking for a place for weddings, corporate events, and private parties in Scotland, you need not look any further.
Falkland Palace & Garden is the perfect place out there in Scotland you can definitely consider. There are many things that Falkland Palace & Garden has to offer to its visitors. Well, the offerings include a garden, a chapel royal, conservation works, an orchard & wildflower meadow, and more.
There’s a tennis court on the estate, which isn’t any ordinary court but one of Britain’s oldest courts built for James. Also, you can go for exploring a Royal Hunting Lodge, which was once used and beloved by Mary, Queen of Scots.
Contact: +44 1337 857397
Location: East Port, Falkland, Cupar KY15 7BY, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
With Tantallon Castle, we come to the ninth and last entry on this list of Scottish castles. Tantallon Castle is a ruined medieval fortress that sits atop a promontory opposite Bass Rock. Tantallon Castle dates back to the mid-14th century and was built by William Douglas.
The mighty fortress stronghold of influential Douglas Earls of Angus for nearly three centuries. The fortress is conveniently located 5 kilometers east of North Berwick, in East Lothian, Scotland. One of the best parts about Tantallon Castle is located such that there are many places worthy of visiting nearby.
The list of such places nearby includes Chesters Hill Fort, St Martin’s Kirk, Lauderdale Aisle, Doon Hill, Seton Collegiate Church, and Dunglass Collegiate Church. In addition, there are also two castles nearby you can visit including Dirleton Castle and Hailes Castle.
Timings: 10 AM-4 PM
Contact: +44 1620 892727
Location: North Berwick EH39 5PN, United Kingdom (Get Directions)
With all these said, we come to the end of this list of “Medieval Scottish Castles”. These were our top 9 picks for castles in Scotland you can definitely consider visiting this year. You can consider visiting these castles in Scotland without much thought or second thoughts.
As the knowledge part now comes to an end, it’s time for you to plan a visit to these Scottish castles along with your friends, family, and close ones. Before we end, we have last few suggestions in store and things to remind you.
We would suggest that you visit the websites of these aforementioned castles and have a detailed look at various information related to timings, restrictions, operational months, etc. We would suggest that you book the tickets for your preferred castles in advance. This way you’ll be able to guarantee your entry without any last-minute struggles and guarantee the best prices.
We would like to remind you to save this list of Scottish castles for future reference and share it with others you know looking for the same. We would like to remind you that you can anytime let’s know about your suggestions, queries, and any other confusion about Scottish castles by commenting below.