For An Authentic Scottish Adventure, Immerse Yourself In the Majesty of the Scottish Highlands

Scotland. It evokes powerful imagery of dramatic rolling hills, ancient landmarks, and rich history, and all of these elements can be found in the rustic depths of Aberdeenshire, and the rugged landscapes of Achiltibuie. For the intrepid traveler, on a journey of discovery, there is no better and more intimate way of learning about Scotland than by stepping into its past. This post reveals the Top 10 castles to visit in and around these areas, and by visiting at least one, a really good holiday becomes a fantastic one.

The Cairngorms

Blair Castle

Photo by Jenni Douglas on Flickr

  1. Blair Castle is nestled in the striking landscape of Highland Perthshire and dates back to 1269. Filled with elaborate artworks, antique furniture and decadent decor, the castle rooms are a place that transports visitors back in time.
  2. Braemar Castle

    By Bert Kaufmann on Flickr

    Braemar Castle was built in 1628 and can be found in the heart of the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms National Park. When exploring this historical site, visitors should make sure to see the laird’s pit, an eery, bottlenecked dungeon, and eyes should always be peeled for the castle’s resident ghosts.

  3. The magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside is the perfect backdrop for The Queen’s impressive private residence, Balmoral Castle. Whilst it’s not possible to explore the interior of Her Majesty’s holiday home, visitors can take a guided tour of the castle’s historic gardens, or, for a truly unique experience, take a luxury Land Rover Safari Tour of the breathtaking surrounding countryside.
  4. The Ruthven Barracks are the best-preserved ruins of any Jacobite stronghold in Scotland. Located on an isolated mound in the stunning Spey Valley, this castle offers visitors the chance to travel back into the past, picturing how a soldier lived, under a constant barrage of musket fire.
  5. castle roy

    Photo by Daniel Jolivet on Flickr

    Castle Roy is one of the oldest castles of its type in Scotland and is the oldest in the Cairngorms. Although a ruin now, it still offers visitors keen to get a feel of Scottish history, a chance to do just that. Finding the mysterious inscription within the castle walls and pondering who etched it all those years ago teleports visitors back to 11th-century Scotland.

  6. Craigievar Castle comes straight from a fairytale. Built in 1610, its pink walls and quirky turrets have remained unchanged, and the castle stands out against the stunning backdrop of rolling hills and woodland. Visitors will be astounded at the castle’s luxurious interior and can visit a traditional Victorian kitchen garden.
  7. Balvenie Castle

    By Nick Bramhall on Flickr

    Balvenie Castle is a formidable place steeped in military history. Visitors can soak up the historical atmosphere by admiring the castle’s Renaissance architecture, and the Iron Yett, a two-part iron cross-barred gate, once used to keep rebel Scots away from the regal Stewarts.

Achiltibuie

ardvreck castle8.For a truly mesmerizing trip, a visit to see the 16th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle is a must. Set in a remote, untouched part of the Scottish Highlands, jutting out into Loch Assynt, the castle, and its outstanding scenery is the perfect place not only to get a taste of Scottish history but to begin a journey of self-discovery.
9.Dunrobin Castle is well worth the journey. Visitors can marvel at the ostentatious decor of its rooms, learn more about its history in the museum, tour the beautiful gardens, and even see falconry demonstrations on the castle lawn.

Dunrobin Castle10.Castle Varrich is an enigma; no-one knows when or why it was built. Set in the brooding far North Scottish Highlands, these mysterious ruins offer a tranquil place to soak up history, as well as the awe-inspiring views of Ben Loyal and Ben Hope.