Step into a Fairy Tale at These Beautiful Scottish Castles
Scotland is filled with castles, from medieval fortresses to massive structures with haunting towers. Each architectural wonder is steeped in history, making these beautiful buildings the things of fairy tales. If you’ve ever dreamed of being royalty, stepping into one of these beautiful castles can make your dreams a reality. During your trip to Scotland, be sure to check out at lease one of these amazing fairy tale castles.
Drummond Castle Gardens
While the gardens surrounding this castle are just as famous as the building itself, the stunning architecture of this 15th century castle is not to be missed. While the building is not open to the public, you can explore the gardens surrounding it, which offer amazing views of the stunning architecture and wonderous countryside around it. Be sure to check out the St. Andrew’s Cross with a sundial in its center as you explore the famous grounds at Drummond Castle Gardens.
If you want the true fairy tale experience, head to Dalhousie Castle in Midlothian, where you can spend the night inside the 13th century fortress. The luxury accommodations are matched by the castle’s spa and fine dining. Set amid acres of woodland space on the banks of the River Esk, this lovely castle was once the seat of the Earls of Dalhousie, the chieftains of the Clan Ramsay. This award-winning hotel has retained many of the castles original features, including its dry moat, a lovely mural staircase that leads to the castle’s vaults, and a unique spiral staircase to the castle’s prison. While the castle’s history is very much alive in this unique hotel, guests can also enjoy an array of modern amenities, from the masterfully designed guest rooms to the state-of-the-art spa. I’ll be staying at Dalhousie for a few nights on my trip! I’m really looking forward to it!
One of the more romantic-looking castles in Scotland, Castle Fraser has a dark and sorted past. Legend says a princess was murdered in one of the castle’s rooms and she still walks the halls of her home at night. This architectural feat is the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland. In addition to the lovely views from inside the castle, the ground surrounding the structure are also a site to see. With a flight pond and a historic walled garden, you could spend the day enjoying the views from this fairy tale palace. The five-story castle, which is located in Inverurie, Aberdeensire, was used as a backdrop in the film The Queen staring Helen Mirren.
Featuring amazing Renaissance architecture, Stirling Castle is filled with beautiful stained-glass windows and ornate décor throughout its vast hallways. With amazing views of central Scotland, this exquisite former home of Mary Queen of Scots is truly a place of fairy tales. The massive castle emerges from a high peak with shear cliffs on three of its four sides. Stirling Castle was made famous when William Wallace helped the Scottish army recapture it from Britain during the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge. At Stirling Castle, you can step back into the 1500s to discover what royal life was like. Enjoy exploring the Chapel Royal and the castle’s great kitchens. The castle is home to a variety of interesting exhibits, as well, including a collection of Renaissance tapestries and the Stirling Heads, one of Scotland’s great art treasures. This fairy tale castle even has a place for kids to enjoy in the palace vaults, which is filled with fun interactive exhibits designed especially for the castle’s younger visitors.
Overlooking the River Tweed and Cheviot Hills, Floors Castle is home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh and their family. As the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, this castle is also one of the country’s main attractions. The castle is filled with fine art and offers amazing views of the countryside surrounding it. This fairy tale home also features a beautiful Victorian walled garden with an enclosed playground perfect for the kids.
With the quintessential corner towers and its staggering size, Inveraray Castle could easily be a place Cinderella would lay her head. The castle was built in 1743 as a country home for the Dukes of Argyll and still remains in the family today. The interior is filled with beautiful Beauvais tapestries, an amazing collection of royal family portraits, and an interesting armory hall filled with an array of historic weapons. This picturesque castle is surrounded by 60,000 acres on the shores of Loch Fyne, and miles of the rolling landscape can be seen from various spots inside the lovely castle. After touring the castle, visit the tearoom, which features a selection of delicious teas and coffees, in addition to a Scottish-inspired menu of Mull cheddars and Arran ice creams. Whether you grab a lunch of soup or quiche or a scone for a snack, everything will be fresh and delicious, as the entire menu is made fresh daily in the Castle.
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