We’ve written about the UK’s beautiful castles before. And for good reason – these historic buildings capture everything romantic about our wonderful country.
However, this week, we wanted to focus in on the rugged and handsome castles of Scotland. With its extraordinary scenery and fascinating political history, Scotland and its castles are an unmissable experience for anyone looking to truly explore everything the UK has to offer.
Many of these historic fortresses can be seen on one of Haggis Adventure’s many fantastic day trips from Edinburgh. So, strap on your highlander’s boots and head out for an adventure that will be remembered for centuries.
1. Eilean Donan
This 13th-century keep is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning castles in the UK. It’s situated on an island at the exact point at which three different lochs intersect and the visual effect is breathtaking. So much so that this unique location was used as a setting in the popular Netflix series Outlander. Step back in time and visit this uniquely beautiful castle with a fantastic tour from Haggis Adventures.
2. Tantallon Castle
You’d be mistaken for thinking that this striking structure was leftover from a Game of Thrones film set. In fact, it’s the last medieval curtain wall castle ever constructed in Scotland. Its interesting shape is positioned up against the sharp cliff edge in order to protect the valuable nobleman’s dwellings at its centre. The curtain wall itself is over 15 metres high and built from the local red sandstone of the region. It was used as a military fortification in both the First Bishop’s War and Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland.
3. Glamis Castle
Although you may not recognise a picture of Glamis Castle, you may well recognise the name. It was the fictional residence of the Thane of Glamis – better known as Macbeth. King Macbeth was a real monarch that ruled during the dark ages. However, he has no historical connection to this lovely castle, which looks more like Hogwarts than a military fortification. Today, the castle is surrounded by beautiful estate gardens which you can explore at your leisure with a day ticket.
4. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is so impressive it looks as if it was hewn from the mountain itself. It has survived many wars and sieges throughout history, continuing on as a symbol of Scottish resilience throughout the ages. Over the years, it’s been used as a military base, a hospital, a jail and a palace. Few buildings in the whole of the UK are as storied or as fascinating. On your visit, make sure you take the time to see the famous Stone of Sconce – the red sandstone pedestal used in the coronation of Scottish kings and queens.
5. Balmoral Castle
This famous castle has been a residence of the British Royal Family since 1852. Even though it’s still used as a holiday home by the Queen and her family, members of the public are able to visit the castle on guided tours. And it’s well worth a visit, too. The beautiful grey stonework and regal appearance of the castle make it feel like something straight out of a Disney movie. Highlights of your visit will include the formal gardens, the castle ballroom, and the surrounding untouched parklands.
You can also visit Edinburgh and its beautiful castle on our majestic rail tour to Edinburgh from London. Visit the Scottish capital in a day and grab a dram of whiskey whilst yer at it!