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A Journey Of Discovery: Exploring Scotland’s Breathtaking Castles

by Holiday Yellowpages
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The mere mention of Scotland brings to mind images of highlands, kilts and ancient castles atop lonely hills. The Scottish castles still standing today are a reminder of the rich history of this beautiful land, and many can be visited by the public today. Rich in history, for many a exploration of Scottish castles is an exploration of their own ancestral history and a journey of discovery.

During the 13th century, raids from Vikings were a problem in Scotland. As a result, many of the castles that were constructed during this period. Many of these castles continue to stand today, accessible to tourists and others interested in seeing a chunk of Scottish history.

Another part of the reason that castles in Scotland are so breathtaking is due to the land itself. Compared to areas such as the UK, Scotland is full of dramatic changes in landscape, more than most other locations on the British Isles. When a marvellous and beautiful castle is set amid these dramatic landscape changes, the castle can go from “merely” beautiful to amazingly breathtaking. Here, then, are a few of the most breathtaking of Scotland’s castles.

Eilean Donan

Photo © Paul Beentjes

Built in the 13th century, demolished by the Royal Navy to root out Spanish Jacobites in 1719 and restored between 1919 and 1932, this castle is one of Scotland’s most famous. Eilean Donan has even appeared in several movies, including Highlander.


Photo © Darren James

Comlongon is different than many Scottish castles. The walls are nearly four meters thick and contain many interconnecting chambers. This makes the castle unique among Scottish castles as this is something no other Scottish castle has.

Drum Castle

Photo © PhilnCaz

Drum Castle is located near Drumoak in Aberdeenshire and served as the seat of Clan Irvine for centuries. The main tower of Castle Drum is considered to be one of the three oldest, unaltered towers in all of Scotland. The castle today is open for tourists during the summer months and the chapel, estate, and dining hall can be rented out for weddings or various corporate functions.

Edinburgh Castle

Photo © Grangeburn

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most important and most famous of the castles located in Scotland. The area around the castle has been inhabited since the 9th Century BC, and the castle itself was built in the 12th century AD. It served as a royal residence until 1603 with the Union of the Crowns. Edinburgh is the second most visited castle in Scotland. It served as a garrison in 1920 and there is still a ceremonial military presence here today.

Culzean Castle

Photo © Ian Angus

Culzean Castle is another of the most important castles in Scotland. It is so important that it is featured on the back of the 5 pound note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The castle was built in stages, initially by David Kennedy in the late 1700s. In 1945, the Kennedy family returned the castle to the National Trust of Scotland with the provision that an apartment be provided to Dwight Eisenhower in the castle. Today one room of that apartment includes an Eisenhower exhibit

With it’s dramatic landscapes and ancient castles, Scotland makes an excellent place to discover the past. This land has a history that is incredibly rich, and one of the best ways to experience that history is with a trip to one of these beautiful fortified settlements.

Sally writes for Reserve Apartments, Edinburgh Festival Accommodation specialists.

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