6 of the Best Castles in Scotland

Scotland is bursting with hundreds of historic fortresses and impressive palaces that have opened their doors for public viewing. From ancient ruins to bloody tales of famous battles, a tour of Scotland's castles is a history buff's dream. Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of Kings, Queens, Dukes, Earls and Clan members?

Join us as we explore six of our favourite castles in Scotland and offer top tips to help you plan the perfect day tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

1.     Stirling Castle, Scotland

Visitors entering the inner courtyard of Stirling Castle

Experience the medieval city of Stirling and it's impressive 12th-century castle with an unforgettable day tour from Edinburgh.

The enormous structure stands proud atop the dramatic cliffs of a volcanic crag - giving it a strong defensive position in times of battle. Hop on a coach to enjoy a picturesque drive to Stirling before exploring the magnificence of one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland's history.

Before Scotland's union with England in 1707, Stirling Castle was a favourite for many of the Scottish royals as both a luxurious palace and a strategic fortress.

Did you know that Mary Queen of Scots' coronation was at Stirling Castle in 1542?

2.     Blair Castle, Scotland

Atholl Highlanders standing to attention outside white-washed Blair Castle

Discover over seven centuries of rich history with a visit to Blair Castle in breathtaking Perthshire.

Blair Castle is the ancestral home of the Atholl family who've watched their 13th-century palace evolve through the ages through times of peace and war.

Bizarrely, today’s Duke of Atholl commands his very own regiment of ceremonial soldiers. The Atholl Highlanders are the only legal private army in Europe.

Are you interested in learning about your ancestry? Blair Castle has access to archival records which go back hundreds of years. They're always excited to help visitors in their quest to trace their ancestors.

Enjoy a one-day tour from Edinburgh to Blair Castle and experience the natural beauty of Perthshire with Scottish Tours.

3.     Doune Castle, Scotland

Medieval Doune castle sitting at an elevated position surrounded by woods at a bend of the River Teith

Follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s biggest movie stars with a one-day tour to Doune Castle.

This Medieval stronghold near the quaint village of Doune doubled as Castle Leoch in Outlander and Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

For the Monty Python fans out there, this quintessentially Scottish fort features in the 1975 Holy Grail. Lose yourself in the history of Doune Castle and nostalgic moments from the film with a narrated audio tour from actor/director, Terry Jones.

Historians believe the original 13th-century fort was damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence before returning to its former glory in the late 14th century.

The castle’s iconic surroundings of Argyll and Loch Lomond offer the perfect setting to escape the busy city and reconnect with the great outdoors.

Fairytale Dunrobin Castle overlooking the formal gardens with a pond and waterfall in the foreground

4.     Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Are you looking to explore Scotland’s ancient castles from Inverness?

The so-called ‘capital of the Highlands’ is the ideal base to visit some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks and the dramatic architecture of Dunrobin Castle.

Described as a “jewel in the heart of the Highlands,” Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses.

Enjoy a stroll around the pristine grounds and a nosey around the castle’s museum to discover the ancestral history of one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses.

Dunrobin Castle has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland from as far back as the early 1300s.

Uncover the beauty of the north of Scotland with an unforgettable day trip to Dunrobin Castle, John O'Groats and the Northern Highlands.

5.     Ballindalloch Castle, Scotland

Autumn leaves contrast with the green lawn and blonde stonework of Ballindalloch Castle 

Ballindalloch Castle has been the ancestral home of the Macpherson-Grant family for almost five centuries.

Discover ancient family memorabilia from across the world, exquisite furniture and a wonderful art collection as you explore this impressive 16th-century home. Take a stroll through the immaculate gardens as you fill your lungs with crisp Banffshire air.

For the ultimate Highland experience, combine your visit to Ballindalloch Castle with a 'wee dram' of the water of life at the Glenlivet Malt Whisky Distillery.

 

6.     Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Visitors cross the bridge to reach Eilean Donan Castle

Located at the tip of Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, Eilean Donan Castle serves as a magnificent gateway to the wonders of the Isle of Skye.

The 13th-century fort sits on the tiny tidal island of Eilean Donan — home to a total population of just one person.

While the ancient walls served as a stronghold for the Mackenzie and MacRae clans for centuries, it has since opened its doors to the public.

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of 007 himself? You may recognise the Castle as the Scottish HQ of MI6 in Pierce Brosnan's 1999 'The World is Not Enough.'

Take a pit stop at Eilean Donan castle as you journey through the breathtaking countryside of the West Highlands on a day trip to the world-famous Isle of Skye.

Discover The Ultimate Scotland Castle Tour

Looking through the trees towards white-washed Blair Castle with the Perthshire Hills in the background

Immerse yourself in centuries of Scottish cultural heritage with unforgettable day trips by Scottish Tours.

Hop aboard a luxury coach as we take you to some of the oldest, grandest and spookiest castles in the world. After years of experience and insider knowledge, our award-winning tours will take you to the farthest corners of Scotland.

We're here to help you explore our beautiful country in style as you embrace the incredible history of the place we call home.

We believe everyone should experience the wonders of Scotland. Browse available tours and book online today.