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Scotland Castles

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Aberdour Castle
Fife
Aberdour
Tel. 01383 860519
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-end Mar, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun, 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; 14th century castle built by Douglas family; extended in 16th and 17th century; walled garden and circular dovecote.

Auchindoun Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Two miles south of Dufftown on the A941
Tel. 01667 460232
Open: open site; steep route by foot only, can be wet at times; view exterior only.
Historic Scotland property; re-opened in 2007; ruins of medieval four storey hill-top fortress, within the ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort, was built for John, earl of Mar, in the 15th century; sacked and burned by the Mackintoshes in 1591; abandoned by the 18th century, fell into disrepair.

Ayton Castle
The Borders
1.5 miles (2.4km) southeast of Eyemouth
On the B6355
Tel. 018907 81212
Open: May-Sep, Sun 2-5pm
Red sandstone Victorian castle built in 1846.

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Balfour Castle
Orkney Isles
Balfour Town
On the island of Shapinsay, Orkney
Tel. 0 1856 872856 (Kirkwall TIC)
Open: summer only; tours on Wed and Sun from Kirkwall pier at 2:15pm, booked in advance through Tourist Information Centre
Victorian castle in the Scottish Baronial style.

Balgonie Castle
Fife
Milton of Balgone
.5 mile (.8km) south of A911 (Glenrothes-Leven road)
Tel. 01592 750 119
Open: all year, daily, 10am-5pm
14th century tower house

Ballindalloch Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Fourteen miles (22.5km) northeast of Grantown-on-Spey
On the A95
Tel. 01807 500 205
Open Good Friday-end Sep, daily except Sat, 10:30am-5pm.
Historic Houses Association. Romantic castle in the heart of the whiskey country. Home of the Macpherson-Grants since 1546. Originally a tower house, added to in Victorian times. Home to Aberdeen Angus herd of cattle. Rock garden, river walks.
Web: Ballindalloch Castle

Balmoral Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Eight miles (13km) southwest of Ballater, Grampian, off A93.
Tel. 013397 42334
Open: grounds and ballroom only open mid April-end July, daily except Sun, 10am-5pm (when the Queen is not in residence)
Scottish home of the Royal family. Mid 19th century castle built of local granite in baronial style, for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Balvenie Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Dufftown (A941)
On the B9014
Tel. 01340 201 121
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; closed all winter
Historic Scotland property; 13th century curtain wall, added to in 15th and 16th centuries; visited by Mary Queen of Scots

Blackness Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Blackness, Lothian
Four miles (6km) north of Linlithgow, on a promontory in the Forth estuary;
Off the A904, on the B903
Tel. 0 1506 834 807
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, closed Thu pm, Fri and Sun in winter
Historic Scotland property; one of Scotland’s most important strongholds; built in 1440s, strengthened in 16th century for use as an artillery fortress; used as a royal castle and also used as an ammunition depot in the 1870s
For photos and more information see our article
Blackness Castle

Blair Castle
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Blair, Atholl
Seven miles (11.3km) north of Pitlochry
Off the A9
Tel. 0 1796 481 207
Open: April-end Oct, daily, 9.30am-5.30pm (last admission to castle 4.30pm); Nov-end March, Tue and Sat, 9.30am-2.30pm (last admission to castle 1.30pm); week between Christmas and New Year’s, 10am-3pm
Historic Houses Association member; Scotland’s most visited historic house with a gabled and turreted white exterior; 32 rooms contain furniture, paintings, armour, tapestries and other treasures; extensive grounds
Web:Blair Castle and Gardens

Bothwell Castle
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
Bothwell, South Lanarkshire
Approached from Uddingston, off M74/A725 near Glasgow
Tel. 01698 816 894
Open: year round; April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm, closed Thu and Fri ; closed 25/26 Dec and 1/2 Jan
Historic Scotland property; largest and finest 13th century stone castle in Scotland; part of the original circular deep survives; much of castle dates from 14th and 15th centuries.

Braemar Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
½ mile (.8km) east of Braemar
On the A93
Tel. 013397 41219
Open: Easter to late Oct, Sat.-Thu except Fri, 10am-6pm.
Home of the Farquharsons of Invercauld; L plan, brown-harled castle, built in 1628, burned and rebuilt; round central tower and spiral staircase, barrel-vaulted ceilings, defensive curtain wall, yett (portcullis) and pit prison

Breacacha Castle
Hebrides
On the island of Coll, Inner Hebrides,
governed by Argyll
Remains of a small castle built in 1450

Brodick Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran
Tel. 01770 302 202
Open: April-end June and Sep-end Oct, daily from 11-4:30pm; July-end Aug, daily 11am-5pm; garden and country park open all year, daily, 9:30am-sunset.
National Trust for Scotland property; castle dates from the 13th century; silver, porcelain, paintings, fan collection. Victorian and rhododendron gardens; country park.

Brodie Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Four miles (6km) west of Forres
Off the A96
Tel. 01309 641 371
Open: April-end Sep, Mon-Sat, 11am-5:30pm, Sun 1:30pm-5:30pm; weekends in Oct, Sat, 11am-5:30pm, Sun, 1:30pm-5:30pm; grounds, all year, daily 9:30am-sunset.
National Trust for Scotland property; originally a Z plan castle of 16th and 17th centuries. Contains French furniture, 18th century lacquer furniture, porcelain, timepieces and paintings. Woodland walk, wildlife observation hides, wild garden.

Burleigh Castle
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Off the M90, A91 at Burleigh by Kinross Historic Scotland property; roofless, but otherwise complete ruin of tower house of 1500; remarkable corner tower with square cap-house corbelled out; visited many times by James IV.

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Caerlaverock Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
On the B725, eight miles (13km) southeast of Dumfries
Tel. 01387 770 244
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; surrounded by moats, twin-towered gatehouse, Renaissance range.

Cardoness Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Beside the A75, on the B727, one mile (1.6km) southwest of Gatehouse-of-Fleet
Tel. 01557 814 427
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; well preserved ruin of a 15th century tower house with good quality architectural details; countryside views

Carnassarie Castle
Argyll and Bute
On the A816, two miles (3km) north of Kilmartin, Argyll
Historic Scotland property; combined tower house and hall with fine architectural details of late 16th century

Carrick Castle
Argyll and Bute
On the Cowal peninsula on a minor road off the B839.

Carsluith Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
On the A75, 3 ½ miles (5.6km) south of Creetown
Historic Scotland property; well preserved ruin of a 16th century tower house with 18th century outbuildings

Castle and Gardens of Mey
Highlands
15 miles east of Thurso, Caithness, Highlands
Tel. 0 1847 851 473
Open: May-end Sep, 9.20am-last entry 4pm; grounds and animal centre, 9am-4.30pm
Home of the Queen Mother from 1952; Z plan castle built 1566-1572 by 4th Earl of Caithness; turrets and towers; walled garden and parkland; visitor centre; tearoom; shop; animal centre; parking
Web: Mey Castle

Castle Campbell
Stirlingshire
Off the A91 north of Dollar
Tel. 0 1259 472 408
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, closed Thu. pm, Fri and Sun in winter
National Trust for Scotland property under guardianship of Historic Scotland; dramatically sited at head of Dollar Glen (64 acres); parking for handicapped only at the top of the castle--road is narrow and winding; from the lower parking lot walk on the uphill road or on an uphill wooded walk along a stream (requires good physical condition and can be slippery in wet weather); oldest part of the castle is 15th century tower; views from the castle over the countryside
For photos and more information see our article
Castle Campbell

Castle Fraser
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Four miles (6km) north of Dunecht, 15 miles west of Aberdeen
Off the A944
Tel. 01330 833 463
Open: Good Friday-Easter Mon, May-end Jun and Sep, daily 1:30pm-5:30pm; July-Aug, daily 11am-5:30pm; weekends in Oct, 1:30pm-5:30pm; garden all year, daily, 9:30am-6pm; grounds all year, daily, 9:30am-sunset.
National Trust for Scotland property; castle, built in 1575, on the Z plan; turrets and towers, gables, and gargoyles. Formal walled garden, woodland trails.

Castle Menzies
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Weem, 1.5 miles (2.4km) west of Aberfeldy
Off the B846
Tel. 01887 820 982
Open: April-mid Oct, Mon-Sat from 10:30am-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm
16th century Z plan castle; home of the Menzies Clan Society; restored from an empty ruin.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
Highlands
Three miles north of Wick on long narrow peninsula
One-half mile walk from car park
Tel. NA
Open: May-end Sep, times not given on website
Listed as scheduled monument; 15th century ruins; inner and outer bailey; passageway into courtyard; dry moat; unroofed 3 storey tower house
Web: Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

Castle St John
Dumfries and Galloway
Charlotte St, Stranraer
Tel. 01776 705 544
Open: Easter-mid Sep, Mon-Sat, 10am-1pm and 2-5pm
Medieval tower house built c1500; videos and reconstructions tell story of the castle that served as a town prison

Castle Stalker
Argyll and Bute
Argyll and Bute
25 miles north of Oban on A828; access boathouse via old railway track; specific directions on website
Tel. 0 1631 740 315 or 0 1631 730 354 or 07789 597 442
Open: for tours 5 weeks of the year in April, July, Aug, Sep; must book in advance via website or phone; dates on website
On an island, must be able to get in and out of boat to view; thought to be built by Lord Lorn in mid 1400s with further improvements later in the century; coat of arms over door; scene of much clan fighting and changing clan ownership
Web: Castle Stalker

Castle Sween
Argyll and Bute
10 miles down a minor road off the B841, on the east shore of Loch Sween, in Knapdale, Argyll.
Historic Scotland property; isolated and scenic setting; tone of the earliest Scottish stone castles, possibly of the mid 12th century, with a later tower house and angle tower.

Cawdor Castle
Highlands
Between Nairn and Inverness
On the B9090
Tel. 01667 404 401
Open: May-first Sun in Oct, daily 10am-5:30pm; Oct-April, groups only by appointment
Historic Houses Association member; central tower of castle is 14th century keep. Cawdor is the title promised by Shakespeare’s witches to Macbeth; legend makes the castle as the place where Duncan was murdered. Country park, walled garden.
Website: Cawdor Castle

Corgarff Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
On the A939 west of Corgarff, Grampian
Tel. 0 1975 6 51 460
Open: 1st April-30th Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct- March, Sat from 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm.
Historic Scotland property; 16th century tower house converted into barracks in 1748; still complete with star-shaped fortification.

Craigievar Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Six miles (10km) south of Alford
26 miles west of Aberdeen
On the A980
Tel. 0 13398 83636
Open: castle May-end Sep, daily 1:30pm-5:30pm by guided tour only; grounds all year, daily, 9:30am-sunset
National Trust for Scotland property; Scottish baronial architecture; Great Hall of 1626 with original plaster ceilings; woodland walk; picnic area; shop; parking

Craigmillar Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
2.5 miles (4km) southeast of central Edinburgh, to east of Edinburgh-Dalkeith Rd (A68/A6094)
Tel. 0131 661 4445
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-5:30pm; Oct-end March, closed Thu and Fri, 9:30am-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; early 15th century L plan tower house; historical connections with Mary Queen of Scots; courtyard and gardens; parking

Craignethan Castle
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
5.5 miles (8.9km) northwest of Lanark, South Lanarkshire
Off the A72
Tel. 01555 860 364
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm
Historic Scotland property; picturesque setting; oldest part is 16th century tower house; stone vaulted artillery chamber

Craigston Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
4.5 miles (7.25km) northeast of Turriff, Grampian
On the B9105
Tel. 01888 551 228
Open: mid Jun-beginning July, Wed-Sun from 10am-4pm; end Aug-mid Sep, Wed-Sun from 10am-4pm
1607 tower house with ornate balcony; original interior with portraits of Scottish kings.

Crathes Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Three miles (5km) east of Banchory
15 miles west of Aberdeen, Grampian
On the A93
Tel. 01330 844 525
Open: castle, Nov-23 Dec and Jan-3rd week March, weekends, 10.30am-3.45pm; 3rd week March-3nd Oct, daily, 10.30am-4.45pm; garden and grounds, all year, daily, 9am-sunset
National Trust for Scotland property; tower house begun in 1553; turrets, gargoyles, superb painted ceilings, vaulted kitchen chambers and prison hole; eight superb gardens of beautiful shape, colour and design; Visitor Centre with exhibits and displays; grounds, nature trails.

Crichton Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
2.5 miles (4km) southwest of Pathhead, Lothian
Off the B6367
Tel. 01875 320 017
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; closed all winter
Historic Scotland property; large castle with spectacular Italianate range erected by Earl of Bothwell in 1590s; faceted stonework façade is notable.

Cubbie Roo’s Castle
Orkney Isles
Island of Wyre, Orkney
Historic Scotland property; one of the earliest stone castles to survive in Scotland; built circa 1145 by a Norseman; small rectangular tower with ruined St Mary’s Chapel of late 12th century nearby

Culzean Castle
Ayshire and Isle of Arran
Four miles (7km) west of Maybole
12 miles (19.3km) southwest of Ayr
On the A719, off the A77
Tel. 01655 760 615
Open: April-end Oct, daily 10:30am-5:30pm; country park open all year, daily from 9:30am-sunset
National Trust for Scotland property; situated on cliff top on water’s edge; noted for its elegant oval staircase, circular saloon, painted ceilings and friezes; deer park, courtyards, ponds, gardens, orangery, woodland walks; Visitor Centre.

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Delgatie Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Off A947 Aberdeen to Banff Rd
Tel. 01888 563 479
Open: April-last week Oct, 10am-5pm
11th century castle; Clan Hay centre; Mary Queen of Scots bedchamber on view; painted ceilings. Lake and woodland walks.

Dirleton Castle and Gardens
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Dirleton, Lothian
On the A198
Tel. 0 1620 850 330
Open: Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9.30am-5.30pm; Oct-end March, daily, 10am-4pm; closed Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1, 2
National Trust for Scotland property, managed by Historic Scotland; oldest part dates from 13th century, rebuilt in 14th and extended in 16th; restored Victorian and early 20th century gardens
For photos and more information see our article
Dirleton Castle

Dornoch Castle
Highlands
Dornoch, Sutherland
Opposite Dornoch cathedral
Early 16th century castle built for the bishops of Caithness; burned in 170 during a feud, then rebuilt with tower additions; restored 1813 and used as jail and school, then courthouse and headquarters for sheriff; 3 storey east tower added 1880; became a hunting lodge; now a hotel

Doune Castle
Stirlingshire
Doune
On the A84
Tel. 01786 841 742
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Wed and Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Thu 9:30am-12noon, Fri closed, Sun 2-4:30pm.
Historic Scotland property; late 14th century courtyard castle; keep-gatehouse houses domestic quarters, carved oak screen in Lord’s Hall.

Drum Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Three miles (5km) west of Peterculter
8 miles east of Banchory
Off the A93
Tel. 01330 811 204
Open: 3rd week April-end May and Sep, daily 1:30pm-5:30pm; June-end Aug, daily 11am-5:30pm; weekends in Oct, 1:30pm-5:30pm; garden, same dates daily, 10am-6pm; grounds, all year, daily, 9:30am-sunset.
National Trust for Scotland property; massive 13th century rectangular tower, one of three oldest tower houses in Scotland; collection of Georgian furniture. 100 acre Old Wood of Drum; garden of historic roses; woodland walks.

Drumcoltran Tower
Dumfries and Galloway
Seven miles (11.3km) northeast of Dalbeattie,among farm buildings
Off the A711
Historic Scotland property; well-preserved mid-16th century tower

Drumlanrig Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Eight miles (13km) north of Dumfries
On the A76, near Thornhill
Tel. 0 1848 331 555
Open: daily Easter Sat-end Aug, 11am-5pm, last tour 4pm; in Sep and during the winter by appointment only; country park, gardens and woodland open Easter Sat-end Sep, daily, 10am-5pm; walks throughout year
Historic Houses Association member; a Douglas stronghold; pink sandstone turreted castle situated among wooded hills; paintings; French furniture; carvings by Grinling Gibbons; extensive gardens and woodlands

Duart Castle
Hebrides
Two miles (3km) southeast of Craignure
On Isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides, governed
by Argyll.
Off the A849
Tel. 01680 812 309
Open: April, Sun-Thu, 11am-4pm; May-mid Oct, 10:30am-5.30pm
Historic Houses Association member. Perched on remote Black Point with spectacular sea views; a Maclean stronghold; oldest part dates from 13th century; razed in 1756 by the English; rebuilt as a home in 1911; shop, tea-room
Web:Duart Castle

Dumbarton Castle
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire
14 miles west of Glasgow
On the A82
Tel. 01389 732 167
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Wed and Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Thu 9:30am-12noon, Fri closed, Sun 2-4:30pm.
Historic Scotland property; Spectacularly sited castle ruins; governor’s house (now a visitor centre and museum); King George’s battery.

Dundonald Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Dundonald, Ayrshire
On the B730
Historic Scotland property; large stone castle overlooks the village; built by Robert II in the 1370s; two halls with great vaults beneath; remains of earlier castle visible.

Dunivaig Castle
Hebrides
Islay island
Open: open site
Ruined 14th and 15th century castle, once home of the Lords of the Isles.

Dunnottar Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
1.5 miles (2.4km) southeast of Stonehaven
Just off the A92
Tel. 0 1569 762 173
Open; Easter-end Oct, Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm; Sun 2-5pm in summer; Nov-Easter, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.
Spectacular ruined fortress above the sea

Dunrobin Castle
Highlands
.5 mile (.8km) north of Golspie
12 miles north of Dornoch, Highland
On the A9
Tel. 01408 633 177
Open: 3rd week March-15 Oct, Mon-Sat, 10:30am-4:30pm, Sun 12-4:30pm; June, July and Aug, daily, 10:30am-5:30pm
Historic Houses Association property; home of the Earls of Sutherland; French style turreted castle with a keep dating from around 1300; gives a picture of Victorian Scottish living. Beach and woodland walks.

Dunstaffnage Castle
Argyll and Bute
3.5 miles (5.6km) north of Oban by Loch Etive, Argyll
Off the A85
Tel. 0 1631 562 465
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun 2-4:30pm. Closed all winter.
Historic Scotland property; 13th century castle with great curtain wall (views from the top); stronghold of the MacDougalls; captured by Robert the Bruce 1309; temporary prison of Flora MacDonald 1746; nearby are ruins of a chapel

Dunvegan Castle
Isle of Skye
Dunvegan
At end of A850 in northwest part of Isle of Skye
Tel. 01470 521 206
Open:
Open third week March-end Oct, daily 10am-5:30pm; Nov-mid March, daily, 11am-4pm. Last admission half hour before closing.
Historic Houses Association member; lochside setting, dramatic scenery; home of Chiefs of MacLeod for 800 years; Dunvegan’s Fairy Flag is reputed to have magical powers; clan mementos, ancestral portraits, dungeon.
Web: Dunvegan Castle

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Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Edinburgh city on Castlehill, Lothian
Tel. 0131 225 9846
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6pm; Oct-March, daily, 9:30am-5pm
Historic Scotland property; royal residence from 11th to 16th centuries; Great Hall, royal apartments, late 16th century battery; crown jewels of Scotland; the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg, a famous 15th century gun. Royal Scots Regimental Museum at the castle. No parking by castle except for handicapped; walk or public transport required to the top of the hill; restaurant

Edzell Castle
Angus and Dundee
On minor road off B966 by Edzell, Angus
6 miles (10km) north of Brechin
Tel. 01356 648 631
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm.
Historic Scotland property; ate medieval tower house incorporated into 16th century courtyard mansion; beautiful walled, formal garden and summerhouse.

Eilean Donan Castle
Highlands
Dornie, Highland
On the A87 nine miles (14.5km) east of bridge to Isle of Skye
Tel. 0 1599 555 202
Open: daily, 10am-5:30pm
Dramatically situated castle on an island (connected by a causeway to the mainland) at the head of Loch Duich; parking on mainland, short walk over causeway to the castle; reconstructed to its medieval state in the mid 1900s; two of the rooms open to the public
For photos and more information see our article
Eilean Donan Castle

Elcho Castle
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Bridge of Earn, Rhynd, Perth
On banks of river Tay
Tel. 0 1738 639 998
Open: summer months only, no details given
Historic Scotland property; complete fortified 16th century mansion; three projecting towers; original wrought-iron window grilles; grounds; orchard; bird life; red squirrels; parking; picnic area

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Ferniehirst Castle
The Borders
Two miles (3km) south of Jedburgh
On the A68
Tel. 01835 862 201
Open: July, Tue-Sun. from 11am-4pm. By guided tour only.
16th century ancestral home of Kerr family; grand apartment and turret library; museum of family history

Floors Castle
Borders
On the outskirts of Kelso, Borders
Off the A6089, overlooking the River Tweed
Tel. 0 1573 223 333
Open: Easter, then May-end Sep, daily, 1-5pm; last admission one hour before closing; first 3 weeks Oct, 10.30am-3.30pm
Historic Houses Association member; a palatial home originally built between 1721 and 1726 by William Adam; remodelled in the 19th century; largest inhabited mansion in Britain; art collection; French furniture; furniture; Fabergé ornaments; woodland walks; restaurant; picnic area
For more information and photos see our feature at Floors Castle

Fyvie Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Fourteen miles (22.5km) north of Inverurie
Off the A947
Tel. 01651 891 266
Open: Good Friday-Easter Mon; April-end June and Sep, daily, 1:30pm-5:30pm; July-end Aug, daily, 11am-5:30pm; weekends in Oct, 1:30pm-5:30pm; grounds all year, daily 9:30am-sunset.
National Trust for Scotland property; five towers built over five centuries; oldest dates from 13th century; collection of portraits, arms and armour, 17th century tapestries. Landscaped grounds. Exhibition, ice house, restored racquet court, bird hide, lakeside walk.

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Glamis Castle
Angus and Dundee
Glamis, Angus
Off the A928
Tel. 01307 840 393
Open: March-Dec, daily, 10am-6pm except in Nov and Dec from 11am-5pm; extended opening in July and Aug; by guided tour only, can be busy in summer months.
Historic Houses Association member; towered and turreted childhood home of the Queen Mother and scene of the death of King Malcolm. 15th century, L-shaped tower block, remodelled in early 17h century. Italian garden, nature trails, grounds.
Web: Glamis Castle

Glenbuchat Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
On the A97 west of Glenkindie
Historic Scotland property; Z plan tower house, built in 1590

Greenknowe Tower
The Borders
.5 mile (.8km) west of Gordon
On the A6105
Historic Scotland property; L-plan tower house, built in 1581.

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Hailes Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
1.5 miles southwest of East Linton, Lothian
Off the A1
Open: open site
Historic Scotland property; beautifully sited ruin with 13th century fortified manor house, extended in 14th and 15th centuries; two pit prisons

Hermitage Castle
5.5 miles (8.9km) northeast of Newcastleton, off the Hawick-Newcastleton Road;
Off the B6399, off the B6357
Tel. 0 1387 376 222
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm
Historic Scotland property; vast 14th and 15th century ruin; home to the Earl of Bothwell; also associated with the Douglas family and Mary Queen of Scots; restored in 19th century; nearby is 14th century Hermitage Chapel
For photos and more information see our article
Hermitage Castle

Hume Castle
Borders
Hume
Tel. NA
Open: open site
Ruined castle dates back to 1200s; dismantled in 1550, rebuilt 1590; demolished by English in 1650 to ground level, mostly foundation only remain; fake 1770 folly built on site; curtain wall; belongs to Hume family

Huntingtower Castle
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
2 miles (3km) west of Perth
On the A85
Tel. 01738 627 231
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm.
Historic Scotland property; two complete towers, one 15th-16th century, the other 16th century; 17th century range; fine painted ceilings.

Huntly Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Huntly
On the A96
Tel. 01466 793 191
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-end March, Mon-Sat from 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; magnificent ruin of 12th century motte, 16th and 17th century palace block. Architectural details and heraldic enrichments. Beautiful setting.

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Inveraray Castle
Argyll and Bute
.75 mile (1.2km) northeast of town of Inveraray, Argyll
On the A819
Tel. 01499 302 203
Open: April-end Oct, Mon-Sat, 10am-5.45pm, on Sun from noon-5.45pm
Historic Houses Association member; headquarters of Clan Campbell (Dukes of Argyll); built in mid 1700s; elaborately painted rooms, gilded chairs and tapestries.
Web: Inveraray Castle

Inverlochy Castle
Highlands
Two miles (3km) northeast of Fort William
On the A82
Historic Scotland property; one of Scotland’s earliest stone castles—13th century; in the form of a square with round towers at the corners.

Inverness Castle
Highlands
City Centre, Inverness
Tel. 0 1463 710 637
Open: daily during summer
On site of former castle built by Macbeth, destroyed by Malcolm Canmore in 1057; current castle built 1835 to house Sheriff’s Court and police; Drum Tower of castle has exhibition of its history

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Kelburn Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Between Fairlie and Largs, North Ayrshire
On the A78
Tel. 01475 568 685/568 595
Open: castle July, Aug, daily by guided tours at 1:45pm, 3pm, and 4:15pm. Check first. Country centre open Easter-Oct, daily
Historic Houses Association property; home of the Earls of Glasgow, continuously occupied since 1140; originally a tower house; picturesque setting; impressive staircase. Gardens. Craft workshops; Country Centre.
Web: Kelburn Castle

Kellie Castle
Fife
Three miles (5km) northwest of Pittenweem;
Ten miles (16km) south of St. Andrews
On the B9171
Tel. 01333 720 271
Open: Garden and grounds only open all year, daily 9:30am-sunset.
Castle is mainly 16th and early 17th century traditional architecture built of rubble sandstone; of note are plasterwork ceilings; late Victorian organic walled garden contains old-fashioned roses.

Kilchurn Castle
Argyll and Bute
2.5 miles (3.8km) west of Dalmally, Argyll
On the A85
Tel. 01786 431 323.
Open: phone 01838 200 440 for times; ferry service operates summer only; closed all winter.
Historic Scotland property; square tower built about 1550, enlarged in late 1600s; spectacular views of Loch Awe

Kildrummy Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Kildrummy
On the A97
Tel. 01975 571 331 and for gardens 01975 571 203
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm. Gardens open April-Oct, daily, 10am-5pm
Historic Scotland property; ruined 13th century castle with curtain wall, towers, hall and chapel. Ancient quarry, water gardens, many varieties of shrubs, alpine gardens.

Kilmarnock Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
One mile north of the town of Kilmarnock
On the A71/A77
Tel. 01563 525192
Open: daily 12-5pm, except in winter, weekends only
14th century keep and 15th century mansion, restored; collection of armour, tapestries and musical instruments; visitor centre; restaurant.

Kinloch Castle
Hebrides
Rum island Inner Hebrides
Governed by Highland council
Tel. 01687 462037
Early 19th century castle and buildings, in decaying state.

Kinnaird Castle
Angus and Dundee
Haughs of Kinnaird, Brechin
Tel. 0 1674 810 240
Open: for holiday apartments renters and fishing
Home of earl and countess of Southesk; in same family for over 600 yrs; dates to 15th century; now in Victorian style; 1300 acres of walled parkland; holiday apartments on second floor; fishing; parking
Web: Kinnaird Castle

Kirkcudbright Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Off Castle St, Kircudbright
Tel. NA
Open: NA
Ruins of 13/14th century castle used by James IV on his journeys to Whithorn

Kisimul Castle
Hebrides
Barra island, Outer Hebrides
Governed by the Western Isles council
Tel. 01871 810336
Open: Mon, Wed, Sat pm
12th century castle remains (since restored) on an islet, reached by boat.

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Langholm Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Opposite town of Langholm
Tel. NA
Open: open site
Ruined 16th century rectangular pele tower of strategic importance; only south gable wall remaining; originally measured 42 x 32 ft; home to Armstrong family; abandoned 1724

Lauriston Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Cramond Road South, Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh
Tel. 0 131 336 2060 (to book tour)
Open: grounds, daily, 9am-dusk; castle by guided tour (about 50 minutes)--or come at:
April-end Oct, 2pm daily except Friday and Nov–end March, 2pm Sat and Sun only
1590's Scottish tower house, added to in 1824; Edwardian period interiors; collection of 18th century Italian furniture, porcelain, tapestries, prints, paintings, textiles, Sheffield plate, Blue John; 30 acres of parkland and gardens

Lochleven Castle
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
On an island in Loch Leven, accessible by boat from Kinross
Off the M90
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; closed all winter
Historic Scotland property; late 14th century tower; Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here in 1567.

Lochmaben Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
1.5 miles from Lochmaben on B7020
Tel. NA
Open: open site; view exterior only
Historic Scotland property; scant remains of Z plan tower house originally built 14th cen; rebuilt 1488-1513, then dismantled; remains of earthworks around castle

Lochranza Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Lochranza, on the northern tip of Isle of Arran
On the A841
Open: summer only
Historic Scotland property; 16th reconstruction of an earlier tower house

Lochwood Tower
Dumfries and Galloway
15th century castle ruins
Beattock, south-west of Moffat
15th century castle ruins on edge of Lochwood Moss; 43 x 34 ft in size; two chambered basement; home from 12-18 centuries of the Johnstone family; captured by the English in 1547; burned by the Maxwells who were enemies of the Johnstones
Web: Clan Jonstone and Lochwood Tower

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MacLellan’s Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Castle St, Kirkcudbright
Tel. 0 1557 331 856
Open: April-end Sep, daily 9.30am-5.30pm
Historic Scotland property; tower-house with missing roof; L plan design with tower added in south-east corner; dates from 1582; great hall; kitchen; storage cellars; car park nearby

Morton Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Thornhill, off A702
Tel. NA
Open: open site
Historic Scotland property; 13th century hall house in Lowther hills on promontory overlooking Loch Morton; little survives; belonged to Randolph family and then Douglas family

Muness Castle
Shetland Isles
Unst, Shetland
Historic Scotland property; late 16th century tower house; northernmost castle in the British Isles; fine architectural details

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Neidpath Castle
The Borders
One mile (1.6km) west of Peebles
On the A72
Tel. 01721 720 333
Open: Easter, summer, Mon-Sat, 11am-5pm, Sun, 1-5pm
14th century castle converted to tower home; pit prison; Great Hall

Newark Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Port Glasgow, North Ayrshire
On the A8
Tel. 01475 741 858
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm
Historic Scotland property; tower built about 1478, detached gatehouse; main part added at end of 16th century in elegant style

Noltland Castle
Orkney Isles
Westray island, Orkney
Historic Scotland property; ruined Z-plan tower of mid 1500s; large number of gun loops and impressive staircase.

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Old Wick Castle
Highlands
One mile south of Wick
Tel. 0 1667 460 232
Open: open site
Ruins of 12th century castle with four storey tower; fireplace; sited on promontory with steep cliffs down to North Sea; must take extreme care when visiting

Orchardton Tower
Dumfries and Galloway
Six miles (10km) southeast of Castle Douglas
Off the A711
Historic Scotland property; small 15th century circular tower house

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Rothesay Castle
Argyll and Bute
Rothesay, Isle of Bute
On the A844; catch ferry at Wemyss Bay on A78
Tel. 01700 502 691
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Wed and Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Thu 9:30am-12noon, Fri closed, Sun 2-4:30pm.
Historic Scotland property; 13th century castle, circular in plan, with 16th century forework; favourite residence of the Stuart kings

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Scalloway Castle
Shetland Isles
Scalloway
Six miles (10km) from Lerwick
Historic Scotland property; castellated mansion built in 1600 by the Earl of Orkney.

Skipness Castle
Argyll and Bute
Skipness village
On B8001, on east coast of Kintyre, Argyll
Historic Scotland property; early 13th century castle with a chapel

Sorn Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Sorn, 4 miles (6km) east of Mauchline, East Ayrshire
On the B743
Tel. 01290 551 555
Open: castle from mid July-mid Aug, daily from 2-4pm and by appointment
Historic Houses Association member; situated on cliff on River Ayr. Built of pink sandstone; originally dates from 15th century, with 18th and 19th century additions; old oak ceilings, Scottish artifacts and paintings

St Andrew’s Castle
Fife
St Andrews
On the A91/915
Tel. 01334 477 196
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; ruins of the castle of the archbishops of St Andrews, dating partly from 13th century; dungeon, mine, counter mine tunnels; exhibition in visitor centre.

Stirling Castle
Stirlingshire
Castle Wynd, city of Stirling
Off the M9 Central
Tel. 01786 450 000
Open April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6m; Oct-March, daily, 9:30am-5pm
Historic Scotland property; castle played a key role in Scottish history; restored Great Hall and gatehouse of James IV; palace of James V, Chapel Royal, artillery fortifications.

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Tantallon Castle
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Three miles (5km) east of North Berwick, Lothian
On the A198
Tel. 01620 892 727
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, except closed Thu pm and all day Fri, Sun from 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; on a promontory with earthwork defenses; massive 14th century curtain wall with towers; stronghold of the Douglas family; interpretive displays

Thirlestane Castle
Lauder, on the A68
Tel. 01578 722 430
Open: 10am-5pm, with castle closing at 3pm; Easter, then May-end June on Sun, Wed, Thu and BH; Mon-Thu and Sun in July and Aug; in Sep on Sun, Wed, and Thu
Built as defensive fort in 13th century, rebuilt in 1590, extended in 1670s, matching wings added in 1840; state rooms with decorative plasterwork ceilings; grand balustraded staircase; historic toy collection; old kitchens and laundries restored and equipped; Border Country Life exhbitions; parking; tea-room in old servants' hall; shop
Web: Thirlestane Castle

Threave Castle
Dumfries and Galloway
Three miles west of Castle Douglas
On the A75, reached by boat, then 11 minute walk
Tel. 07711 223101
Open: summer only, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; last outward sailing is 4.30pm
National Trust for Scotland property; under guardianship of Historic Scotland; massive 14th century tower and artillery fortification.

Thurso Castle
Highlands
Castletown Rd
Tel. NA
Open: private ownership; view of exterior only from old town area
Castle ruins of 19th century in gothic revival style; built in 1878 on the shore in 1878 by Sir Tollemache Sinclair; served as a baronial mansion; 20th century fire destroyed much but gatehouse and entrance arch intact; park opposite the local museum

Tolquhon Castle
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
Just north of Pitmedden (A920)
Off the B999
Tel. 01651 851 286
Open April-end Sept, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct-end March, Sat from 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun from 2-4:30pm
Historic Scotland property; early 15th century tower; enlarged in 1580s with large mansion round a courtyard; highly ornamented gatehouse

Torosay Castle
Hebrides
1.5 miles (2.4km) southeast of Craignure
Isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides
On Duart Bay, reached from the ferry dock by narrow gauge railway or special launch service from Oban.
Governed by Argyll
Tel. 0 1680 812 421
Open: Easter-mid Oct, daily 10:30am-5:30pm; gardens all year, daily 9am-7pm or daylight hours in winter.
Scottish baronial style built in mid 1800s; formal terraces and gardens; collection of rhododendrons.

Turnberry Castle
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
6.2 miles north of Girvan
Tel. NA
Open: open site
Castle ruins with only lower vaults and cellar intact; supposedly birthplace of Robert the Bruce; fell to English and recaptured by Robert the Bruce who destroyed it in 1310 so English couldn’t retake; lighthouse nearby

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Urquhart Castle
Highlands
On the A82, on Loch Ness, near Dumnadrochit
Tel. 0 1456 450 551
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6m; Oct-March, daily, 9:30am-5pm; allow minimum of one hour before closing
Historic Scotland property; dramatically sited on the edge of Loch Ness; ruins date from 16th century; visitor centre with AV presentations; self-serve restaurant; gift shop. very crowded with large tour buses in summer so go early
For photos and more information see our article
Urquhart Castle

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