A visit to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without taking a trip to one of the many castles the country has to offer. The beauty and history of these impressive fortifications can make for a wonderful day out and some of the best on offer include the following.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most picturesque in Scotland. The castle itself is relatively small, but its location on an island at the confluence of three lochs is one of the most beautiful in Scotland. The castle was originally constructed over 700 years ago, and since this time it has been destroyed and reconstructed on at least four occasions as Scotland’s history and battles have unfolded. The castle as it stands today was a reconstruction carried out in the early 1900’s, after it had lain in ruins for around 200 years. The castle is open to the public and most of it can be viewed during a tour. The surrounding landscape of hills and lochs offers some of the most beautiful views in the north of Scotland and is definitely a location to visit in this area of the country.
Stirling it is a beautiful little city in central Scotland, with a long and impressive history. Approaching the city from the north, the two features which dominate the landscape are the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. The castle is situated on the top of a rocky outcrop, around 250 feet above the surrounding landscape and makes for an impressive view. The castle was important in Scottish history and many of the Kings and Queens of Scotland were born, crowned or died within its walls. It is open to the public all year round and there are many features to see during a visit. These include the approach to the Forework Gatehouse, the Chapel Royal, the Great Hall and a statue of Robert the Bruce, one of the most famous Kings in Scotland’s History. The castle has stood for over 500 years and is an unmistakable landmark in central Scotland.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital and one of the largest cities in the country. There are many sights to view in the city, but one of the most famous is Edinburgh Castle. The castle lies in the heart of Edinburgh and is considered one of the national symbols of Scotland. Its origins go back to 600AD when a fortress was located on its site, although construction of the castle as it stands today dates back to around the year 1130. It has formed an important part of Scotland’s history since this time to the present day. There are many impressive features to view including Mons Meg, one of the oldest medieval cannons in the world, the Royal Palace which was the home of Scottish royalty for hundreds of years and the Stone of Destiny, an important symbol in Scottish history. The Edinburg Military Tattoo is held every year at the castle and is an excellent time to visit. There is plenty to do and see and a visit is certainly an experience anyone will enjoy.
Although Urquhart Castle itself is now a ruin, a visit to the location is a great experience. The castle lies on the shore of Loch Ness and offers fantastic views of the loch and an opportunity to look for the world famous Loch Ness Monster! The castle has an excellent visitor centre and the first thing to do on arrival is to view the short movie about the history of the castle. The movie is in a small theatre and is projected onto a screen which forms a curtain. At the culmination of the movie the screen draws back to reveal a large window in which the remains of Urquhart Castle are framed. It’s a great way to get a first view of the castle, which was originally constructed nearly 800 years ago. The ownership of the castle changed many times during its lifetime and was the scene of many battles in Scottish history. It fell into decline toward the end of the 1600’s, largely being destroyed at this time. However, because of its beautiful location on the banks of Loch Ness, and the great views it offers, it is definitely worth visiting.
Inveraray Castle is one of the most beautiful in Scotland. To this day it is the home of the Duke of Argyll and has been for over 200 years. Construction began in the 1740’s and the design incorporates Baroque, Gothic and Palladian styles, with building work taking over 40 years to complete. Its most striking features are the four towers at each corner of the castle and inside there are many beautiful rooms to be viewed. These include the Tapestry Drawing Room, the Armoury Hall and the State Dining Room. The castle is one of the most famous ancestral homes in Scotland and the history of the building and its occupants have been well documented, such that anyone visiting can get a real sense of this. It is set in some beautiful grounds and the surrounding countryside offers magnificent views of the castle. For the history it captures, it is definitely one of the castles of Scotland to be visited.
Scotland is a fantastic country and offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. There are many castles set in the landscape and these form an important part of the countries heritage and culture. Anyone that gets the chance to visit Scotland should take the opportunity to view some of its fantastic castles, with those above some of the best to see.