Perched high above the capital, this is Scotland's most important and famous castle. There has been a castle here since the 11th century and today’s castle is a mix of military barracks, palace, fortress and war memorial.
Perched high on volcanic rock, Stirling provides spectacular views over two of Scotland's most historic battlefields - Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. Much of today's castle dates from the 15th - 18th centuries.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is for many people, the archetypal Scottish castle and is certainly one of the most photographed. Ruined in the early 18th century, it was restored to all its glory some two centuries later and is now the headquarters of the Clan McRae.
Caerlaverock is one of the finest medieval structures in Scotland. Although it is quite ruined inside, some fine carved stone panels, windows and fireplaces indicate the original grandeur of this unique triangular castle.
Glamis is the ancient seat of the Earls of Strathmore, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret and the legendary setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Blair Castle is the ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, the last remaining private army in Europe. Many of its fascinating historical artefacts including antique furniture, art, arms and armour are on public display.
With its fairytale appearance, Craigievar is a fine example of the Scots baronial style of architecture. Seven storeys high, its sheer walls are topped by turrets, crow-stepped gables and conical roofs which give it its distinctive character.
Culzean Castle is the jewel in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland. This grand cliff-top country house was remodelled in the late 18th century by the renowned architect Robert Adam in his trademark neo-classical Georgian style.
Built on a rocky outcrop, Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years.
Begun as a simple castle in the 13th century, Fyvie passed through the hands of five powerful families, each of whom added significantly to it. Inside, the magnificent sweeping staircase is the most dramatic feature while many treasures are on display.
Duart Castle, seat of the Clan Maclean for over 700 years, stands on a rocky outcrop offering excellent natural defences as well as fantastic views. Ruined in the late 18th century, it was restored in 1911 by the then clan chief, Sir Fitzroy Maclean.
Inveraray Castle dates from the 18th century and is home to the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, whose family have lived in Inveraray for over five centuries.
Cawdor Castle dates from the mid 15th century but was greatly enlarged in later centuries to give its current structure. In addition to its Shakespearean connection, Cawdor is also famed for its magnificent gardens, parts of which are over 300 years old.