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Scottish castles we visited

There are many, very many castles in Scotland; from the old fortifications of the Picts to castles from the Victorian age. On most locations where castles or ruins stand, there already had been a castle or settlement before. And for the castles still standing today, one must revel in the immaculate and awe inspiring structural designs. Walking through the lavish beauty that is found inside, one can truly get lost thinking back to all the wonders that took place inside those very same castle walls, or perhaps you might think on a more practical level, just how many people would a commercial cleaning business need to employ to have one of these castles cleaned.
Below some pictures of castles we visited and if we could find it, a link to a website with more information concerning that castle. At the bottom of this page we put a few links to other websites which provide more information and pictures. We hope to extend our list with visited castles in the future. Information about the history can be found on our history page.
The castles are ordered alphabetically. For a listing of more than 300 castles, look here.
List of castles An alphabetic list of almost all castles in Scotland with links to websites with more information and pictures concerning that castle *** more than 300 castles listed now ***
House of Aigas, a small castle near Beauly A hidden country house, south of Inverness, at Loch Ness Standing on the shore of Loch Laggan, now used in a Scottish tv-series Build by the MacLeods of Assynt in the 16th century, now a ruin Clan centre of the MacDonalds of Sleat, Skye 19th century castle on the east coast, in the Borders A castle in very bad shape near Balintore in the Grampians Totally renovated castle on the east coast of the Highlands, near Tarbat A limestone-white castle near Pitlochry 19th century castle along Loch Tummel A small, but beautiful castle, build in 1628 16th century castle surrounded bylarge gardens A unique triangular castle in Dumfries, in the south of of Scotland A haunted castle, now one of the most luxury youth hostels The fairy tale-like 'MacBeth'-castle, near Inverness Popular castle with a mixture of turrets and spires 15th century castle, now a hotel Combination of a 13th century castle and a 17th century country house 15th century castle in Pertshire, south of Crieff Castle on a magnificent location, on a cliff, 50 meters above the sea Very large and beautiful castle, for the greater part build in the 19th century Ruin from the 16th century, clan MacDonalds, Skye Strategically situated castle near Oban Ruin from the 15th century, property of the MacDonalds since the 17th c., Skye Home of the chiefs of clan MacLeod, Skye Small but beautiful castle along Loch Earn An imposing castle, towering above the old town of Edinburgh Magnificent castle on a beautiful spot; don't miss it Not so old castle, with all rooms decorated and furnished as authentically as possible Castle with 5 turrets, symbolizing the 5 families who lived here Gate Lodge of Ardverikie Estate; personally we like to think this is also a (very small) castle A notable example of a Scottish tower-house of the late 16th century Castle near Grantown-on-Spey A ruin, also called the Peel of Strathbogie Well preserved 18th century castle 13th century ruin near Fort William Castle of sandstone, on a cliff overlooking river Ness Castle ruin on an islet in Loch Awe Ruins of a MacDonalds castle on Skye A compact and modest castle Castle where Mary, Queen of Scots was born Ruin on an islet in Lochindorb Towerhouse castle at Maybole, Ayrshire Robust castle near Aberfeldy Before called Barrogill Castle, bought by Elizabeth I, the queen-mother Ruin on the peninsula Ardnamurchan Ruin of an old Norman castle, Kuleakin, Skye Now a winery, between Beauly and Inverness Ruin of a 13th century fort Ruins of the 18th century buildings where a castle used to stand for centuries Castle on an islet in Loch Laich, Argyll Castle in Stirling, centrally situated in Scotland Ruin on the Applecros peninsula, Wester Ross Castle near Inverness, now a splendid hotel Castle at the mouth of Loch Tay Castle ruin near Thurso in the northern Highlands Castle ruin on an islet in Loch Moidart Nice ruin on the shore of Loch Ness Some pictures of a few other castles Several interesting websites about Scottish castles

House of Aigas
House of Aigas House of Aigas is a small castle, according to some more a countryhouse.The oldest part was build in1760 and replaced an even older house. In Victorian times the house was enlarged quite a bit. Now a fieldstudy centre is placed there and study groups from allover the world come to Aigas.
More photographs and information on the site of the Aigas Field Centre.
Aldourie Castle
Aldourie Castle Aldourie Castle When we drove around on the east side of Loch Ness we saw Aldourie Castle by accident. It lies hidden between the woods and we couldn't get much closer. This Victorian country house stands on the northeast side of Loch Ness. There is supposed to be a ghost in the castle, the Gray Lady. A better photograph can be seen here.
Ardverikie House
Ardverikie Castle Ardverikie Castle Ardverikie is build on an extensive estate on the shores of Loch Laggan, in the south of the Highlands. The estate is private property, but we were allowed to walk there, since we stayed a few days at the Gate Lodge of the estate. Queen Victoria had almost bought the estate in the 19th century, but due to the bad weather when she stayed there for a month, the deal was off. Rumours say it was because of the midges, but there are not many when it rains.
Ardverikie Castle The castle is now being used for a Scottish tv-series, the 'Monarch of the Glen' and has gotten the name Glenbogle. Most people will only see the castle from the other side of Loch Laggan. There are some parking places with nice views over the loch.
More information on this site.
Ardvreck Castle
Ardvreck Castle Ardvreck Castle Ardvreck Castle was build around 1590 by the MacLeods who owned Assynt since the 13th century. It burned down in the 18th century. The castle stands on a foreland in Loch Assynt, here seen from the north west. Every time we passed several painters were trying to paint the castle and the landscape.
Like in many other Scottish castles, it is possible to have your wedding in this ruin!
More information and pictures on this site or on the site of undiscoveredscotland.
Armadale Castle
Armadale Castle Armadale Castle Armadale Castle lies on the peninsula Sleat, on the island Skye. This gotic castle was build in 1815 for Lord MacDonald of Sleat. In 1855 it burned down. They are very busy making it a more attractive place for tourists. The castle was build against an existing building. Wedding pictures are being made behind the former entrance, now a small park.
Armadale Castle Armadale Castle From the castle you can see the mainland of Scotland. The gardens are very pretty, mainly because of the mild climate on this green part of Skye.
Armadale Castle Armadale Castle In the gardens is a new building, the Museum of the Isles, about the history of the Western Isles. It wasn't completely ready when we visited it. The buildings are being renovated since 1975, but you cannot enter every building.
More information can be found on this site of the clan Donald.
Ayton Castle
Ayton Castle Ayton Castle Along the east coast of Scotland in the Borders lies Ayton Castle, build in the 19th century to replace an older castle. To the right the gate to the castle grounds which now offers accommodation.
More information on this website.
Balintore Castle
Balintore castle In the Grampians, near the village Balintore, we saw this castle which really looks like it needs a new owner. Old photographs show what a beautiful place it must once have been, but it is inhabited since 1960 and since then it has been vandalised. People are busy to come up with a plan to buy and save it.
More information on this website.
Ballone Castle
Ballone Castle We accidentally saw Castle Ballone on the east coast of the Highlands, somewhere near Tarbat. Originally a 16th century castle which has been most of the time a ruin. At the end of the 20th century a local architect renovated it and now it is private property and inhabited. More information on this site.
Blair Castle
Blaire Castle Blaire Castle Blair Castle stands out by the limestone-white walls and can be seen in the distance while driving on the A9. The oldest part of the castle dates back to 1269, but there has been a lot added and rebuild later on. The castle is open to the public between April and October. We passed by in March, too early to come close to the castle. The duke of Blair Castle is the only Brittish subject who is allowed to have a private army, The Atholl Highlanders. The duke got this privilege from queen Victoria when she stayed at the castle in 1844. This estate has a very nice Gate Lodge.
More information and pictures on the official website of the castle.
Bonskeid House
Bonskeid House Bonskeid House Here a castle hidden in the woods, on the east side of Loch Tummel. We first thought it to be Fincastle House but an attentive reader (thanks Greg) told us he had worked there once and that it is Bonskeid House. The castle was build in 1881 for the Balfour family, has been a youth hostel for many years, but since a few years it is private property again.
More information about the history on this website.
Braemar Castle
Braemar Castle Braemar Castle Castle Braemar has been build in 1628 by the Earl of Mar, on the remains of an older fortress. John Farquharson of Inverey burned down the castle in 1689. Ater the Jacobite uprising in 1745 the government purchased it and rebuild it into a fortified castle. Later in the 18th century it was rebuild again into a L-plan Baronial castle, suitable for habitation. The castle looks fairly small, but is quite large inside, much bigger than we expected. The castle has been renovated over the last few years and is only opened between April and October.
More pictures and information on this website or on the official one..
Brodie Castle
Brodie Castle Brodie Castle Castle Brodie lies in a beautiful park of gardens and woodlands, nice for a walk. The castle was probably build around 1560, although the Brodie family owned the estate then already for a couple of centuries. had het land toen al honderden jaren in haar bezit. In 1645 the castle was heavily damaged by fire, but from 1730 restored again. In the 1970's the 25th earl of Brodie gave the castle to the NTS (National Trust of Scotland) since the costs to maintain the building became too high. Inside the castle there is a display of paintings (among them Dutch masters from the 17th and 18th century) and lots of porcelain. Unfortunately the castle was closed when we visited (open from sunday to thursday).
More information on castles.org.
Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle Caerlaverock Castle Caerlaverock is a castle in the south of Scotland, in Dumfries. It is unique because of its shape, triangular, with round towers on the corners. It dates back to the late 13th century and is now administered by the National Trust Scotland (NTS)
Caerlaverock Castle Caerlaverock Castle The castle has a triangular courtyard and around it apartements were build on several floors. The castle used to stand next to the coastline of the Solway Firth to defend the southwestern access to Scotland, but now it lies in a swamp.
Caerlaverock Castle Caerlaverock Castle The buildings are richly decorated which is also fairly unique in Scotland. To the right a ballista, a sort of catapult to throw heavy rocks into the walls of castles to make an entry or at least weaken the defences. Yoy can call it a medieval canon which was often used in the siege of a town.
Caerlaverock Castle Caerlaverock Castle Here two pictures with an impression how the castle would have looked like around 1290 and in 1640. The most eye-catching difference is the number of people living in the castle. In 1290 much more people could live there. Did the people in 1640 need more room and privacy?
More information can be found on the site of undiscoveredscotland.
Carbisdale Castle
Carbisdale castle A gloomy castle with many ghosts, but now a thriving and very luxurious youth hostel, one of the 60 the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) owns.
More pictures and information on this official website.
Cawdor Castle
Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle Cawdor is known as the place where MacBeth killed Duncan to take possession of the Scottish throne. There is just one problem: MacBeth killed Duncan in 1040 and Cawdor Castle originates from the 14th century. Maybe the murder took place in Inverness Castle but even that is not sure.
Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle The castle has been extended immensely in the 17th century and has been renovated splendidly and looks like a fairytale castle. The Cawdor family lives here for 600 years already. The castle opens in May for the public and we visited it in 2005.
You can look in the courtyard, the bedrooms, the living rooms and the kitchen, but also walk outside trhough the three different gardens: the walled garden, the flower garden and the wild garden.
Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle A small drawbridge lies over a narrow canal which is now dried up. On the estate is also a house which can be rented.
More pictures and information on this website.
Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle Craigievar Castle Craigievar Castle (17th century) is a compact and high castle with many small windows on several heights, so we couldn't make up how many floors it has. The upper part is a hodgepodge of turrets and spires. The castle is very populair and one sees it depicted on many souvenirs, but the mass of tourists have damaged quite a lot inside the castle.
More pictures and information on this website.
Dornoch Castle
Dornoch Castle Craigievar Castle At Dornoch, north of Inverness, where in 1722 the last witch of Scotland was burned, is also a castle, opposite of the cathedral. It was build in the 15th century and is now a hotel. Here a picture of the towers from the back side. More pictures and information on this website.
Drum Castle
Drum Castle Craigievar Castle Drum Castle is a combination of the original 13th century castle and a Jacobine country house from the 17th century. The woods around it are centuries of age. More pictures and information on this website.
Drummond Castle
Drummond Castle Drummond Castle Drummond castle was build in the 15th century by the clan Drummond of Stobhall. The castle is especially famous for its big and beautiful gardens. The castle is also used in the movie Rob Roy, legends of the mist.
Drummond Castle Craigievar Castle The motto of the clan is 'Gang warily', or go with care. This was probably more an advice to the outside world as how to behave towards the Drummonds than for the members of the clan itself..
More information and photographs on the websites of the Drummond Clan Crest, Drummondcastlegardens and visitdunkeld.com.
Dunnotar Castle
Dunnotar Castle Dunnotar Castle The oldest part of this very nicely situated castle dates back to the 12th century. The castle played an important role in the War of Independance against the English. Part of the castle was dismantled in the beginning of the 18th century to prevent the Jacobites to use it as a stronghold against the English.
Dunnotar Castle Dunnotar Castle Descending to sea level and climbing again almost 50 meters, you can reach this magnificently situated castle. In the 15th to the 17th century more and more buildings were build on the courtyard.
Dunnotar Castle Two important tragedies happened here: in 1296 the castle was besieged by William Wallace who let a few thousand English burn in the castle. In 1685 167 socalled Covenanters (men and women) were held prisoner in a small room, tortured and some of them were executed.
More pictures and information on home.clara.net/rabpert.
Dunrobin Castle
Dunrobin Castle Dunrobin Castle There was already a castle here in the 13th century, but nothing is left of that period. The castle looks beautiful and is well maintained. Most parts are build in the 19th century and we like the older, medieval castles better. We walked through the gardens and we liked them very much, but we didn't see the inside of the castle.
Dunrobin Castle Inside the castle, which lies nicely on the seaside, is a museum with several Pictish symbol stones. And, off course, the castle is haunted!
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Dunsgathaich Castle, ook wel Dun Scaith
Ruin of Dunsgathaich Castle Ruin of Dunsgathaich Castle Originally build in the 16th century and home of the clan Donald before they moved to Duntulm Castle (see below) in the 17th century. Not much is left of this castle. It is freely accessible, but at your own risk. We took a picture of it from the road, but it is possible to go over there.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Dunstaffnage Castle
Dunstaffnage Castle Dunstaffnage Castle At a very strategic place along the Firth of Lorn (near Oban) stands Dunstaffnage castle on a rock. It was build in the 13th century but became known as the place where Flora MacDonald has been imprisoned here after she had helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape out of Scotland in 1746.
More information and photographs on the websites of the Clan Campbell Society, Darkisle and castles.org.
Duntulm Castle
Duntulm castle ruins Duntulm castle ruins There was a Norman fort before this 15th century castle was build. What has been left of the building all dates back to the 17th century when the MacDonalds of Dun Scaith moved here. They abandoned the place in 1730 and later they moved to Armadale Castle (see above).
Duntulm castle ruins The ruin is freely accessible and with a clear sky you can see the remote islands to the west. The castle is located on the nortwestern coast of Skye, an important strategic place, certainly for invading Normans. There are (vague) plans to renovate the building somewhat, to attract more visitors to this part of Skye. We think this should be a success, considering the beautiful situation of the castle.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Dunvegan Castle
Dunvegan Castle Dunvegan Castle Home of te chiefs of the clan MacLeod since 1270 and thereby the longest inhabited castle by one family in Scotland (and maybe all of the United Kingdom). The castle is situated on an island, although you don't notice it when you walk there. To enter you have to cross the Fairy-bridge. The castle has a lot of connections with fairies, like the Fairy Flag which is supposed to have given victory to the MacLeods two times already.
The garden of Dunvegan Castle Dunvegan Castle The rooms you can visit have been redecorated and show important things from history, like the Fairy Flag. On the ground floor there is an excellent video presentation, by John MacLeod of MacLeod, 29th chief, himself. Throughout the centuries the building has been expanded and rebuild. The oldest part that has been preserved dates from the 14th century. The gardens are not very large, but pretty. Sometimes boat trips are organised to visit seal-colonies in Loch Dunvegan.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Edinample Castle
Edinample Castle Edinample Castle Edinample is private property, a beautiful white castle on the south side of Loch Earn and build in the 16th century. One legend tells that a monk in the 6th century, St. Blane, cursed the land and predicted that its owners would not fare well, another legend says that the castle is made of stolen tombstones and a which would have cursed the lord of the estate.Well, if the present owner has any of those problems, we are willing to take over the castle, for free!
More photographs and information on this page.
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle From it's high place on an extinct vulcano, the castle looks out over Edinburgh. The oldest part of the castle, St. Margaret's Chapel, dates back to the 12th century, although the stronghold of Eydin was mentioned already before 600 AD. Now one can see several different architectures because of all the renovations and additional buildings from later centuries.
Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle The castle lies on the highest point of the socalled Royal Mile, a number of streets that go from the castle down to Holyrood Palace through the old town, together almost one mile long. The castle itself is really impressive and worth visiting. There are several guided tours and museums and you can easily spend a few hours in this place.
Edinburgh Castle In the Great Hall is a museum of weaponry, the Crown Chamber has replica's of the Scottish crown juwels and the United Service Museum has a large display of uniforms worn by Scottish regiments throughout the ages. One can also see the Stone of Destiny, on which all kings of Scotland were crowned, after an absence of more than 700 years. In 1296 the Engelse king Edward I stole the stone and hid it in Westminster Abbey in London.
More information about the history of the castle can be found on the following websites:
edinburghcastle.biz, scotland-calling.com and edinburgh castle guide
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan castle The castle is build on an island between 3 Lochs: Loch Long, Loch Alsh and Loch Duich. It was build in the 13th century on the remains of an old fortress of the Picts. Originally it was a small fortress with a wall around it. Alexander II erected the castle to defend the area against Normans.
Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan castle This castle is one of the most photographed buildings of Scotland, mainly because of its scenic location. The castle was destroyed in 1719 by the English during a Jacobite uprising. At that moment it was occupied by a Spanish army who were in favour of the Jacobites.
Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan castle The present day building is a reconstruction, done by door John Macrae-Gilstrap between 1912 and 1932. There are several towers and fortified walls (up to 4 meters thick).
Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan castle From the castle and the surrounding paths around the castle one has a nice view on the point where the three lochs come together, a very important place in the past, strategically.
Eilean Donan castle Eilean Donan castle Some rooms in the castle have been furnished as in the old times (like the kitchen) and there are detailed information sheets (in 8 languages).
The scenic location and the apparent authentic character of the castle make it to a popular setting for movies. Parts of movies like Highlander and Braveheart have been filmed here. And even James Bond visited the place once.
For a good website with lots of information and pictures click here.
Fraser Castle
Fraser castle One of the grandest Castles of Mar was begun in 1575 by the 6th laird, Michael Fraser, and incorporates an earlier building. The castle was completed in 1636 and was the masterpiece of two great families of master masons, Bell and Leiper. Castle Fraser belongs to the same period as two neighbouring castles, Crathes and Craigievar.
Evidence suggests that before the castle was built, the site was occupied by a plain rectangular tower house not unlike the old tower house at Drum Castle. A very impressive castle; it took us hours to see all of the interior with all its authentically furnished rooms. Unfortunately, we didn't take more pictures on this visit, so you have to be patient until our next visit. More pictures and information on this webpage.
Fyvie Castle
Fyvie Castle Fyvie Castle is located 1½ km. north of Fyvie, near Turriff, in Aberdeenshire and has parts which date back to the 13th century. Five families have lived here since it was build which is symbolised by five different turrets on the castle. It is one of the finest castles in Scotland. This is a 13th century castle; there should be several ghosts, but we haven't seen or felt them. Since we visited more castles that day, we havent been inside this one. Maybe a next time. More pictures and information on this webpage.
Gate Lodge of Ardverikie Estate
Gate Lodge of Ardverikie Estate Gate Lodge of Ardverikie Estate This is not really a castle on its own, it is the gate lodge which belongs to Adverikie Estate where the series 'Monarch of the Glen' has been filmed the last few years. But in some sense it is 'our' castle. Sometimes we made a detour for 100 km., just to see this beautiful place. March 2003 we spend here a few days, because it is to rent. It was great to be lord and lady of a castle for a few days!!!
Gate Lodge of Arverikie Estate The tower of Gate Lodge 'Our' small castle; we happened to drive by and fell in love with it immediately. It is located near Loch Laggan. A few days later we made quite a detour, just to have another look at it. The first trime was in 2001 and since then we often passed it. It is the entrance to Ardverikie Estate. The Gate Lodge has three floors and a spiral staircase going through the turret connects the floors. The castle is for hire but you have to be really in time; we had to book one year in advance!
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Glenbuchat Castle
Glenbuchat Castle Glenbuchat Castle Glenbuchat Castle Glenbuchat castle was built in 1590 by John Gordon and his wife, Helen Carnegie. It belonged to the Gordons until 1738 when John Gordon, the prominent Jacobite, sold it to Lord Braco, later Earl of Fife. The castle is a notable example of a Scottish tower-house of the late sixteenth century. The main block is flanked by towers at diagonally opposite corners which increased both accommodation and security.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Grant Castle
Grant Castle Grant Castle Of Castle Grant we have seen only the outer walls, the gate and a gate lodge build into the wall. More information on the website of the Clan Grant Society. The castle lies near Grantown-on-Spey.
Huntly Castle
Huntly Castle Huntly Castle The castle, as it stands now, took several hundred years to build. The first structures were built around 1240 by Earl Duncan. It's name was The Peel of Strathbogie due to its location along major routes. In 1314, King Robert granted title to the lands to Sir Adam Gordon of Huntly, causing the name change. The castle then became the seat of the Gordon clan.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle Inveraray Castle Just outside the town of Inveraray stands the well-preserved castle with the same name from the 18th century and which is still inhabited by the head of the Campbell clan, also called the Duke of Argyll.
Only the rooms at the front are open to visitors and to be honest we found the entrance fee way too high for the few rooms one can visit. Photography is not allowed inside. More photographs and information op this webpage.
Inverlochy (old)
Old Inverlochy Castle Old Inverlochy Castle Near Fort William are two castles with the name Inverlochy Castle. The new one was build after the old one had become a ruin and is a few kilometers away. The new castle is now a hotel and the old one is still a ruin. The ruin dates back to the 13th century and has a simple plan: a walled sqaure with four towers on the corners. The walls are still standing but not all the towers.
Old Inverlochy Castle Old Inverlochy Castle This is one of the few castles that hasn't been altered much since the 13th century and gives a good idea how castles looked in that time. It is simple but very efficient.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Inverness
Inverness Castle Inverness Castle Inverness Castle was built in 1835 on the site of an earlier fortress. It stands on a low cliff overlooking the River Ness and the cathedral on the opposite bank. It is thought that 11th-century castle which featured in Shakepeare's play Macbeth was in fact located to the east of the present castle. Now the castle is the Sherriff's Court. There is a small exhibition. A next time we should take a look at the inside of the castle.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle Kilchurn Castle Surrounded by beautiful scenery stands Kilchurn Castle on an islet in Loch Awe, build around 1450. In the Jacobitie wars soldiers were housed here. In 1760 lightning struck the castle and it was abandoned.
More information and photographs on the websites of the Clan Campbell Society, Darkisle and undiscoveredscotland.
Knock Castle
Ruin of Knock Castle Knock Castle is located just off the main Broadford road on the way to Armadale and is easily visible from the road. Only ruins are left of this old MacDonald stronghold but it is still haunted by a 'Green Lady'. Some of the stone was removed in 1825 to build Knock Farm. On the website of darkisle there are 2 more photographs and only a little information.
Leith Hall
Leith Hall Leith Hall Leith Hall Leith Hall is a compact, but modest castle. The construction started in 1650 and belonged to the family until 1945 when they handed it over to the National Trust of Scotland for care. The grounds that belong to it have a surface of 115 hectares. The saying on the weapon above the gate says enough about this family: 'spare nought'.
More pictures and information on this webpage
Linlithgow Castle
Linlithgow Castle Between Stirling and Edinburgh lies Linlithgow where Mary is born in 1542 who was crowned as Queen of Scotland when she was only one year old. In the end she is executed in England in 1587. The official name of the building is Linlithgow Palace.
Have a look at marie-stuart.co.uk or heritage.me.uk for more information and photographs.
Lochindorb Castle
Ruin of Lochindorb Castle Barely recognisable as a castle, this ruin on an island in Lochindorb. The ruin lies on the east side of the Loch and can only be reached by boat. Until the 18th century the castle remained failry intact with 7 meters high towers. The name Lochindorb is supposed to be from the Gaelic and mean something like 'Lake of troubles'. And this neighbourhood certainly had some trouble when the infamous Wolf of Badenach, Alexander Stewart, lived in the area in the 14th terrorising the people. He had no problems murdering his own subjects or raping women.
Click here to read more information about this ruin.

Maybole Castle

Maybole Castle, Ayrshire Maybole Castle has been build around 1650 (or 1560 according to other sources) as a towerhouse, but not much is known about its origin. It has long been in the possession of the Earls of Cassillis. More information about the castle on the website of Maybole.
Menzies Castle
Menzies Castle Menzies Castle Menzies is an impressive Z-shaped towerhouse from the 16th century (open to the public from April to the middle of October). The Menzies clan died out in the beginning of the 20th century and the castle later became property of the Menzies Clan Society. They started renovating the building since 1971. The castle looks very robust and we could see many people at work. But we couldn't come closer since it was closed.
More information about the castle on the website of the Menzies Clan Society.
Castle of Mey
Castle of Mey Castle of Mey The castle of Mey is the most northern castle on the mainland of Scotland and was called Barrogill Castle for a long time before it got its original name back in 1952 when Elizabeth I, the queen-mother (who died in 2004) bought the castle. It was then in a very bad state and she had it totally renovated. She liked to spent a couple of weeks in the castle every year.. The castle was build in the 16th century but neglected for a long time until Elizabeth bought it. She had the castle restorted to the great state it is in now. Until her death it was one of her favourite places and the tour through the castle (in every room a guide is present with many stories to tell) brings it to live with a personal sphere. In no other castle we could imagine better that people really lived in a castle. Prince Charles still comes here from time to time and obviously the castle is then closed to the public.
More information about the castle on the website of the castle.
Mingarry Castle
Mingarry Castle De ruin of Mingarry Castle hebben we alleen vanuit the verte gezien op het schiereiland Ardnamurchan.
More information on this website.
Moil Castle, Casteal Moal
Ruin of castle Moil This castle was built by a Norse princess called "Saucy Mary", married to a MacKinnon chief, according to tradition. The legends say she was the first to ask toll for the passage of ships and that she laid a chain over the loch when captains didn't want to pay. In real history the late 15th century Clan Mackinnon moved from their earlier base at Dun Ringill, near Elgol to this place. The castle was abandoned in the middle of the 17th century when the MacKinnons moved to Kilmarie. The remains are in a very poor state. It was known as Dun Acainn or Dunakin in medieval times. For a website referring to Moil Castle, click here.
Moniack Castle
Moniack Castle Moniack Castle A castle that doesn't really look like a castle; it is more a country house. Since 1979 it is a winery where they make and sell wines, liquors, jams, jellies and sauces. We discovered it is a 16th century castle, but nothing about the history of it. Their wines are made from anything but grapes, for example from cherries, plum, elderflower, meadowsweet and birch. They also produce liquors based on sloe, strawberries and peppermint. The winery is free to visit all year from Monday to Saturday.
We found some websites concerning Moniack, but they are only about the products they sell, nothing about the history of it.
Roy Castle
Roy Castle Not much has been left of Castle Roy (also called Redcastle). It was probably build in the 13th century as a fort to protect a couple of wooden houses within the walls of which remains have been found. It is situated near Nethy Bridge. More information on this site.
Ruthven Barracks
Ruthven Barracks Now there are only ruins left of the buildings that were put here in 1719 to accommodate soldiers in the Jacobite wars. Before that there was a castle at this place from the 14th century where Alexander, the wolf of Badenach, lived. He terrorised the neighbourhood but legend says that the castle was in ruins after he had lost a game of cards from the devil and himself being dead. Obviously is is still haunting the place! More photographs and information on the site of undiscoveredscotland.
Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker Castle Stalker lies in the mouth of Loch Laich on a small rock in a beautiful scenery. The castle was abandoned in 1780, but renovations started in 1960. More information on the official website.
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle Stirling Castle Stirling Castle not only lies central in the heart of Scotland, it also guards the place where the Forth river (seperating the south and north of Scotland) can be crossed easily. The castle has been under siege for at least 16 times since the first buildings were build in the 12th century on the volcanic rock, dominating the landscape. We arrived there late in the afternoon and we didn't go inside, that will have to wait for another time.
More photographs and information op this page.
Strome Castle
Ruin of Strome Castle Ruin of Strome Castle Strome Castle was built by the MacDonald Lords of the Isles. The castle is first mentioned in 1472. Some of the walls are still standing but the ruin is in a poor shape. A sign forbids people to enter the place. In 1603 the castle was sacked and blown up by Kenneth MacKenzie of Kintail. A sign of the National Trust of Scotland states that it is forbidden to enter the premises because of the danger of a breakdown, so we didn't enter the place.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Castle Stuart
Castle Stuart The 17th century Castle Stuart lies along the road that leads behind Inverness airport. We have only made photographs from the road. It is now a 5-star hotel with 8 rooms and, off course, a ghost. More information on the official website.
Taymouth Castle
Taymouth Castle Near Kenmore we happened to pass this castle in the distance. It is a Victorian castle and was build near the remains of the Balloch Castle (from the 16th century). The estate is now a big golf course and we were told that golf originated here, at least in this area. Golf is still an important sport in Scotland.
More on the history of this castle on this website.
Thurso Castle
Gatelodge of Thurso Castle Near Thurso stands this gatelodge, the only thing that is still intact of Thurso Castle. The castle was build in the 17th century on a place where a Norse fortress has stood since the 12th century. In the 19th century the castle became part of a larger Baronial mansion by Sir Tollemache Sinclair. But it burned down and now is a ruin.
See also the webpage at castleuk.net.
Castle Tioram
Castle Tioram Kasteel Tioram lies on an island in Loch Moidart on the peninsula Ardnamurchan and can be reached over land only with low tide. It is a ruin and the owner, a bussiness man, has now started a foundation to raise money to rebuild it and open it to the public. The castle dates from the 14th century but was destroyed in 1715, probably to not let it fall into the hands of the enemy (the English).
More information on the website of Libby.
Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle Urquhart Castle There is some evidence of a prehistoric fort, long before a castle was erected on this place. It was constructed here because even then, the Great Glen from Inverness to Fort William was strategically important. The medieval castle was probably build around 1200 AD. The buildings that remain date from 1509. In 1692, it was deliberately blown up by the Grant clan, so the castle could not be used by Jacobites.
The tower of Urquhart Castle Urquhart Castle Urquhart Castle, an impressive ruin on the shore of Loch Ness. This place has been inhabited since 2000 BC. Excavations still take place. But the oldest part of the remains which still can be seen, dates back to the 12th century. The most impressive part is the tower which is situated to the edge of the cliff. One can climb the tower for a beautiful view on the lake.
Urquhart Castle Urquhart Castle Urquhart Castle The castle was alternately in Scottish and English possession and eventually was destroyed by the English in their fight against the Jacobites to prevent them to get it into their power.

Although the terrain is lower than the surrounding land, the castle still lies much higher than the lake. From this terrain one can climb down to Loch Ness, so the supply of fresh water can never have been a problem here.
Urquhart Castle View on Loch Ness From the castle terrain one has a superb view on Loch Ness and the bay of Urquhart, the place where most sightings of the monster have been.
More pictures and information on this webpage.
Other photographs
Still unknown Still unknown Allean House in the Tummel valley. Allean House became the Strathtummel Youth Hostel, but no longer functions as a YH.
Still unknown Still unknown The castle to the left is now in use as hotel and we saw it when we drove from the Maiden Stone to Easter Aquhurthies. The castle to the right is somewhere near Huntly.
An Tigh Mhor, Trossachs This nice castle is not really a castle. It was build as a hotel and is now owned by a holiday timeshare company as their "highland" home and called An Tigh Mhor. Since it is in the Trossachs it is quite a bit away from the Highlands, though. (thanks Alastair, for giving us this information)
Gate Lodge of Glenborrodale Castle Near the gate lodge of Glenborrodale Castle was a big sign that said trespassing was at your own risk. So we didn't enter the premisis. More photographs on this website. We read somewhere that it is possible to sleep in the castle, so we don't quite understand the no-trespassing sign.
Country house near Cove West of Helensburgh lies a peninsula where we saw this castle / country house on the west coast (10 km. north of Cove) along Loch Long. A nice place to live!
Country house in Helensburgh In Helensburgh (northwest of Glasgow) we saw many country houses and castle-like buildings. This is one of them .
Fairburn House Oak Hall, Ballater To the left Fairburn House, a nursery home on a nice location. A castle-like country house, near Beauly. To the right Oak Hall in Ballater, another castle-like country house.

Interesting websites about castles in Scotland


Castlesontheweb Site with information, construction drawings and much more on Scottish castles
Castles of Scotland Pictures and information
Dark isle Nice and extensive site with pictures and information about castles, abbeys and country houses
Castlexplorer Alphabetical list of castle in Scotland and England
Tour-scotland A list of a lot of Scottish castles
UK castles Castles in the UK
England & Wales Photographs of castles in England & Wales
There are many more interesting websites about prehstoric Scotland, which all can be found easily with a search engines...
© Teije and Elisabeth 2000 - 2014
Travel through Europe and Africa

with Elisabeth and Teije