Last Updated on 8 July, 2021 by Veronica
Today, I want to show you the best castles in Scotland that YOU have to visit on a road trip through this fantastic country, and I’m sure you will want to visit them.
As many of you already know, Scotland is one of my favorite countries in the world. Yes, I know it has cloudy weather, it’s rainy, and it’s cold, but Scotland has that magic that has bewitched me and made me love it and always want to come back.
In addition, I love castles, and in Scotland, there are many and for all tastes.
Scotland’s Most Beautiful Castles
Best 20 Castles in Scotland
Scotland has an incredible amount of castles scattered all over its surface, and it is believed that there were over 3000 at one point! Can you imagine that? I honestly don’t know how long it would take to visit all the ones left standing.
Here, I will tell you a little bit about the castles of Scotland that we have visited. Yes, it’s about 20 or more! The order in which they appear is as we visited them, not by preference or beauty.
In the comments, you can leave me your opinion and tell me which ones you have visited or which ones you would like to visit.
Edinburgh Castle was one of the first castles we visited on our road trip through Scotland. It is located above a hill from which you have a 360 degrees’ view of the city, and it is so large that it even looks like a village.
The visit to the castle can be done on your own, with a professional guide, or with an audio guide. The ticket price is 20 euros and the guided tour 33 euros (including ticket skip the line).
Midhope Castle arrived by chance simply because I was looking for the places where Outlander was filmed in Scotland, and we arrived at this small abandoned castle, which seems to be used as a warehouse today.
I hope someone returns the splendor of past days to this beautiful castle of Scotland.
You cannot enter and make a visit; you can only visit the outside.
Also, quite close to Edinburgh, here we find this fortress castle that takes your breath away. It is in a privileged location and has to be spectacular when the tide rises! Do you know this Castle in Scotland?
The entrance fee is 6 pounds, and it’s free if you have the Explorer Pass.
Stirling Castle is also located on a hill, but this time in the town of the same name. Again, the castle is impressive, and when we arrived an hour or two before the castle closed, there were few people, and we enjoyed it a lot.
It’s inevitable to compare Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle; I think I prefer Stirling’s, what about you?
To get to Campbell Castle, we had to go through a narrow road and then follow a path on foot. We honestly did not find the entrance, but the road was very nice with a small river in the middle of the vegetation.
A beautiful castle in Scotland is Doune Castle. When we visited it, we arrived before it was opened and walked the hiking trails of this area in the middle of nature.
A few films and series, such as Outlander, were shot in this castle.
You can visit the inside; the audio guide is included in the ticket price, which is 6 pounds, or free with the Explorer Pass.
We arrived at Kilchurn Castle on a rainy day. It one of those days of the typical Scottish Highland weather.
Kilchurn Castle is in ruins and can be visited. It is in a fascinating environment, you arrive by a dirt road, and it is advisable to go with the appropriate footwear.
The best picture you can take of this castle is not in front of the castle; it is actually from the south shore of loch awe.
Stalker Castle is located on a lake and therefore only accessible by boat. We took advantage of this wonderful place to set up the tent and sleep with some unbeatable views.
In Scotland, camping is free, but you have to carry a sleeping bag in accordance with the temperature and be respectful to the environment by not leaving a trace so nobody would notice you’ve been there.
It’s a blast to sleep in front of this wonderful castle in Scotland.
Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness
The castle ruins found in Loch Ness are those of Urquhart Castle. You can visit this castle surrounded by these dark waters.
We did the visit along with the boat ride on the Ness. So you take a little tour of the lake, and then you have an hour to visit the castle, and you will be picked up again and visit something more of Loch Ness.
Right in front of a place where we dined beautifully well is Inverness Castle. It is very well preserved from the outside, but it was late, and we didn’t enter to visit it. From here, however, there are beautiful views of the River Ness.
Inverness Castle is quite modern and was built in 1836. However, it can only be visited in the summer months since there are offices of the city government inside, and they only allow the visit to tourists in the summer season.
Castle Leod is located in the picturesque little village of Strathpeffer in Easter Ross. This is the castle where the head of the Mackenzie Clan lived, and the same family has lived in it for over 500 years! I think it’s a super romantic castle.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is probably one of Scotland’s most photographed castles. It is located in an exceptional place; you reach the castle by a bridge.
The first fortification in this place is from the thirteenth century to defend itself from the Vikings. You can also make it your place to get married, for a small fee, of course.
It’s beautiful and deserves a visit. The entrance fee is 7.50 pounds.
On the Isle of Skye is Dunvegan Castle, which belonged to the MacLeod Clan. Inside, you’re not allowed to photograph, but you can sense its family’s atmosphere.
It is also in a beautiful location, you can visit its gardens and surroundings, and if the weather allows you, you can ride a boat on the lake and see the colony of seals that lives nearby. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky as there was a lot of wind, and it wasn’t possible to navigate.
The entrance fee for the Castle and its gardens is 13 pounds and the ticket for the boat to see the seals cost 7.50 pounds if you bought the entrance to the castle.
Sinclair Castle Girnigoe is located north of the Highlands; we arrived at it when we were driving the North Coast 500, a circular route that runs through the north of Scotland and is awesome, totally advisable to make it with no rush.
The ruins of Sinclair Castle are located on the edge of a cliff. You can reach it on foot, leaving the car in a parking lot next to a lighthouse. You can also enter for free and stroll through its ruins.
If you like fairytale castles, this looks like something taken out of a Disney movie. The Earl of Sutherland had it built as a summer house.
They now have a curious museum with relics and pieces that the family has acquired over the years.
We arrived at Dunrobin Castle on our road trip on the NC500; it’s a few miles from Inverness. You can visit the inside and the gardens. The price of the ticket is 11 pounds.
Another fairytale castle is Brodie Castle. It is also close to Inverness, but on another road, the A96.
It belonged to the Brodie clan for more than 400 years, and it is very close to several places where some of Scotland’s most tragic events happened, such as the Culloden battlefield.
The entrance fee costs 10.50 pounds, but we arrived early, and it was closed at those hours, so we didn’t visit the inside; instead, we just took a walk in the area.
We arrived at this castle on our route through the Speyside and the whisky route. The name of this castle also gives its name to the Balvenie distillery, where whisky of the same name is made and is a few steps from Glenfiddich Distillery.
Balvenie Castle is in ruins, but you can visit it. In the twelfth century, it was built as the house of Count Buchan, and in the fifteenth century, it became an exquisite accommodation, but now it has been left in ruins.
The price of the ticket is 5 pounds.
On our way to Aberdeen, we met this beautiful pink fairytale castle. They say this castle inspired Walt Disney to create Cinderella’s castle. Could this be true?
Craigievar Castle was built in 1575 and completed in 1626, and used as a family home until 1960.
No electric light has been installed on the floors above at the wishes of its previous owner, so all the artifacts out there are seen in the natural light of the day you visit.
Entry 12.50 pounds.
Fraser Castle, fairytale castle in Scotland
We continue visiting Scotland’s castles on our route to Aberdeen. In this case, we came upon Fraser Castle, a fairytale castle built in 1450 and was the home of the Fraser family for more than 400 years.
You can visit it and get to know many ghost stories…
The price of entry is 10,50 pounds.
After we visited the granite city, Aberdeen, we kept our route to know the castles of Scotland. On this occasion, we went to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. In the photo, you can see that it is located on a kind of islet attached to the earth by a narrow path.
This castle was the home of Count Marischal, one of the most powerful families in Scotland at the time.
If you want to know more about its history, I leave you this link to Dunnottar Castle so that you can continue to know the Castles of Scotland, since it dates back to the 3rd century.
You can visit the inside of Dunnottar Castle; the entrance fee is 7 pounds.
Edzell Castle and gardens
Between Aberdeen and Dundee are the ruins of Edzell Castle. It was the home of the Lindsay family from the 16th century. In 1604 Sir David Lindsay built these peculiar gardens.
The striking thing about the gardens of Edzell Castle is its walls, each dedicated to a different theme, which is a very peculiar thing for this time.
One wall was dedicated to the planets represented by deities, another to liberal arts such as grammar, rhetoric, dialectic. The 7 virtues are represented (3 Christian virtues and 4 ancient Greek virtues) that could be viewed as the religious wall.
Entry 6 pounds.
The last of Scotland’s castles that we visited on our road trip was Glamis Castle; it is quite close to the previous one. As you can see, it is a fairytale castle with its pointed towers and very well preserved structure.
It was the home of Counts Strathmore and Kinghorne, the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and where the Queen Mother spent her childhood.
Without a doubt, it is a castle full of history that deserves a visit.
The entrance fee is 9 pounds.
Do you like The Castles of Scotland? As you can see there are a lot of castles and for all tastes! From Scotland’s fairytale castles to menacing fortresses to ruined castles in beautiful locations.
Tell me which one you liked the most! Do you have any favorites?
Prepare your trip to Scotland
- Road trip to Scotland in 15 days
- 1 day on the Isle of Skye
- 5 days on the North Coast 500
- Visit Loch Ness
- Places where Outlander was filmed in Scotland
- What to see in Edinburgh
Book Your Trip
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel, hotel, or apartments on Booking.com.
Best companies for activities
Check out Civitatis.com and find the best tours in English (French, Spanish and Italian)
Are you looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too! (Is in Spanish yet)
Disclosure: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.