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6 Fairytale castles in Scotland

March 2017

They may be not as famous as Edinburgh or Stirling, but these castles are nothing short of enchanting. Get off the beaten track and uncover these lesser-known gems of Scotland.

From wonderfully preserved medieval strongholds to romantic clifftop ruins, from turreted fairy-tale châteaux to haunted tower houses, Scotland is bursting with spellbinding castles that will leave you breathless. Steeped in legend and architectural grandeur, uncover the unique stories behind these marvellous monuments.


Cuzlean Castle and Country Park © Aryshire & Arran Tourism Team


1. Kelburn Castle and Country Centre

Opening the list is Kelburn Castle near Largs in Ayrshire. Loved by all who sees it, the castle's exterior walls feature a mural depicting interwoven cartoons. Quite unusual, isn't it? It's been named as one of the best examples of urban art in the world. The inside of Kelburn Castle is in stark contrast to its exterior - lush and sophisticated - and in its grounds you'll find a secret forest with a Chinese garden, waterfalls and a gingerbread house - perfect for an amazing day out.

Kelburn Castle
Kelburn Castle

There are lots of great events that will bring you closer to Scotland's history, heritage and archaeology than you ever thought possible too. Here are just three fantastic events you can enjoy throughout the year:

2. Floors Castle

Situated in Kelso in the heart of the Scottish Borders and overlooking the River Tweed and Cheviot Hills, Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and is home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh and their family. Filled to the brim with fine works of art, including timeless tapestries and priceless antiques, Floors Castle boasts a truly splendid interior. In its imposing grounds you can see the holly tree that is said to mark the spot where King James II was killed in a seige in 1460.

Floors Castle
Floors Castle

3. Fyvie Castle

Once a royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turrif in Aberdeenshire began as a simple castle in the 13th century. It passed through the hands of five powerful families, each of whom added significantly to its splendour by adding a tower to this magnificent Scottish Baronial fortress. Inside, admire period furnishings and rich interiors that still look as glorious as when they were installed; the magnificent sweeping staircase is probably the most dramatic architectural feature while many treasures are also on display.

Fyvie Castle
Fyvie Castle

4. Dunrobin Castle

On the northern coast near Dornoch, architecture lovers can marvel at the stunning French design of Dunrobin Castle. The most northerly of Scotland's great houses, Dunrobin is the largest castle in the northern Highlands with 189 rooms. It dates back to the early 1300s, and is home to the Earls, later known as the Dukes, of Sutherland. Its interiors were designed by Scotland's own Sir Robert Lorimer while its magnificent architecture and fairy-tale spires were added by Sir Charles Barry, who also designed London's Houses of Parliament.

Dunrobin Castle
Dunrobin Castle

5. Culzean Castle and County Park

With its dramatic clifftop setting, captivating history, striking surroundings and Robert Adam architecture in his trademark neo-classical Georgian style, it's easy to see why Culzean Castle is one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions. Situated near Maybole on the Ayrshire coast, and surrounded by over 600 acres of Culzean Country Park, which encompasses lush woodland, landscaped gardens and rugged coastline, this 18th century Scottish castle couldn't be better placed for a great day out.

Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle

6. Drummond Castle Gardens

There's no doubt that Drummond Castle Gardens' boasts one of Europe's finest gardens. Located near Crieff in Perthshire, the castle is not open to the public but its formal terraced gardens can be explored. The dominant feature of the horticultural design is a St Andrew's Cross with the multiplex 17th century sundial at its centre, and the gardens offer marvellous views of the castle and surrounding countryside.

Drummond Castle Gardens
Drummond Castle Gardens


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