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15 Best Castles in Scotland to Visit in 2023

Beautiful Castles in Scotland

The exact amount of castles in Scotland is unknown – the general consensus being around 3,000. There are more Scottish castles than anywhere else in the British Isles. Which, considering how many historic UK cities there are with castles, is an impressive title. Visiting castles is the best way to immerse yourself in historic Scotland, whether you pick a medieval fortress, tower house, or royal residence.

Most Beautiful Castles in Scotland

This guide is jam-packed with the best castles in Scotland. These are the most exciting castles, and all have unique claims to fame or stories to their name. Buckle up because you are in for some serious castle inspiration.

1. Edinburgh Castle

Best castles in Scotland Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle needs a little introduction. As probably the most famous castle in Scotland, the medieval castle sits on Castle Rock in proud display in the center of Edinburgh Old Town. Edinburgh Castle is the second most visited attraction in the UK, so you best believe that tickets book out quickly and crowds flock in peak seasons. Because of this, Edinburgh Castle is best-visited off-season. With fewer people around, you can really take in Scotland’s history. Edinburgh Castle has hundreds of exhibits, including The Honours of Scotland, aka the Scottish crown jewels.

Castles in Scotland Edinburgh Castle Fountain

Admittedly, it would be criminal for Edinburgh Castle not to make our list. Not only is it the medieval castle that has survived for centuries in Scotland’s capital city. Edinburgh Castle is also one of the best-preserved castles in Scotland. For a full day out with plenty of educational and informative details, you can’t go wrong with Edinburgh Castle. And bonus points for anyone who finds somewhere to stay in Edinburgh with views of the castle on Castle Rock.

  • Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Entry Fees: $22

2. Stirling Castle

Best Castles in Scotland Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is another central building in Scottish history. The castle dates back to the 12th century and was once a Renaissance royal palace – full of luxuries like a great hall for balls and feasting and a royal hunting lodge. Situated in Stirling, Stirling Castle was also tactically used as a stronghold during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Stirling Castle sits on a volcanic rock on an elevated vantage point. Because of this advantageous position, many battles were fought around Stirling Castle, including Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. Stirling Castle was a hub of conflict.

Today, Stirling Castle is fascinating for visitors intrigued by Scottish history –…

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