Like Twilight, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, we have realised that we have so many favourite Scottish places that the final chapter has to be split into 2 parts. Before the final part about Scottish hills we want to cover our favourite castles.
I was lucky enough to be born and brought up in Aberdeen. The area surrounding the city is known as “Scotland’s Castle Country” according to Visit Scotland and boasts over 300 castles. That means that I have seen an awful lot of castles in my time! My tastes run to ruins. To me, they have always seemed more romantic, more evocative of history.
Here then is a personal list of favourites.
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- Kildrummy Castle – A wonderful setting on upper Donside, with ornamental gardens on the other side of its moat. It has ties to Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Independence.
- Tantallon Castle – A lovely red sandstone ruin perched on a cliff near North Berwick. You can still get to the top of the walls for great views out to sea and Bass Rock.
- Huntly Castle – A very peaceful setting for a ruin of what was as much a renaissance palace as a traditional castle. It has some beautifully carved stonework.
- Slains Castle – Just north of Aberdeen, this is really a ruined country house. Right by the sea, its ruins were Bram Stoker’s inspiration for Castle Dracula.
- Castle Tioram – This hidden gem is on a tidal island in Loch Moidart on the west coast. Unfortunately it’s not open to the public but the setting is beautiful.
- Dunnottar Castle – My personal favourite, this has it all. It sits on top of a massive rock sticking out into the North Sea near Stonehaven. It’s a huge site with towers, dungeons, cliffs, rocky beaches, puffins and bags of history (William Wallace, Covenanters, the Scottish crown jewels and all).
- Urquhart Castle – This is the big one in the Great Glen. It sits in a beautiful location on the shores of Loch Ness and has a great visitor centre too.
You can find out about other castles to visit on our website.
Next time (and finally) it’s our favourite Scottish hills.