Castles in Scotland

Below we have provided details of some of Scotland’s Castles. There are many for visitors to discover mostly located in the Scottish Highlands and are accessible whilst staying in Inverness. We have given the distance in miles from Inverness to each Highland Castle.

Inverness Castle – There have been castles on the site of the existing Inverness Castle since the 12th century, with the current one dating from 1836.  Today it houses the Inverness Sheriff’s Court.  Located in Inverness city centre.

Cawdor Castle – dates from the late 14th century and was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. A superb fairy-tale castle, romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth. 16 miles from Inverness.

Urquhart Castle – The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen. 17 miles from Inverness.

Brodie Castle – Set in peaceful parkland, this fine 16th-century tower house is packed with enough art and antiques to keep connoisseurs happy all day. It contains fine French furniture; English, continental and Chinese porcelain; and a major collection of paintings, including 17th-century Dutch art, 19th-century English watercolours, and early 20th-century works. 24 miles from Inverness.

Aldourie Castle – The Castle sits right on the edge of Loch Ness and is available for exclusive use, private hire and can be hired out for private functions, family occasions and weddings.

Carbisdale Castle – was bequeathed in 1945 to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) and set up as a Youth Hostel. It is the Association’s flagship Hostel, receiving fabulous reviews from travel writers and guests from all over the world. 46 miles from Inverness.

Ballindalloch Castle – is one of the most beautiful and renowned castles in Scotland. Known as the Pearl of the North, it is located in the heart of Speyside, near to the famed local whisky distilleries of Cragganmore, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas and Glenfiddich. 47 miles from Inverness.

Dunrobin Castle – is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Dunrobin Castle is also one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and later, the Dukes of Sutherland. 52 miles from Inverness.

Eilean Donan Castle – One of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan is situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and is surrounded by some majestic scenery.  Although inhabited since the 6th century, the first fortified castle was built in the mid 13th century. Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded through the centuries. 70 miles from Inverness.

Braemar Castle – Built in 1628 by the Earl of Mar as a Hunting Lodge, the Hanoverian troops garrisoned here after the Battle of Culloden ensured their place in history by graffiti-ing the wood panelling.  Braemar Castle is now run by the community of Braemar with an ambitious restoration programme underway. 70 miles from Inverness.

Stalker Castle – one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland. 78 miles from Inverness.

Blair Castle – the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings in the heart of Highland Perthshire.  With its roots in the 13th century, Blair Castle’s history extends over some 740 years.  79 miles from Inverness.
Craigievar Castle – is an iconic tower house, amongst the best preserved and the most loved in Scotland. The large estate features woodland, parkland with magnificent specimen trees, and farmland with extensive views over the surrounding countryside.  88 miles from Inverness.

Castle Fraser – is an atmospheric baronial castle dating back to the 15th century and was the ancestral home of the Fraser family. 96 miles from Inverness.

Crathes Castle – One of the most beautiful and best preserved castles in Scotland occupied by the Burnetts of Leys for over 350 years and set against a magnificent garden with its world-renowned June border. 97 miles from Inverness.

Armadale Castle – Situated at Armadale on the Isle of Skye, and owned by the Clan Donald Trust since 1971, Armadale Castle Museum and Gardens is open from April until the end of October.  100 miles from Inverness.

Drum Castle – The oldest intact building in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, Drum Castle was, from 1323 to 1975, the home of the Irvine family. 104 miles from Inverness.

Kilchurn Castle – has a four-storey tower built in the mid 15th century; much enlarged in 1693, it incorporates the first purpose-built barracks in Scotland.  The substantial ruins are some of the most picturesque in the country with spectacular views down Loch Awe. 115 miles from Inverness.

Castle of Mey – Built in the mid-sixteenth century, the Castle of Mey was originally a Z-plan 3 storey tower house.  It was in a semi derelict state when bought by the Queen Mother in 1952. 122 miles from Inverness.

Dunvegan Castle – is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years. Built on a rock, it has survived clan battles, the extremes of feast and famine and the profound social, political and economic changes through which the Western Highlands and Islands have passed.  128 miles from Inverness.

Glamis Castle – has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372, when King Robert II (the first of the Stuart Kings) of Scotland gave the castle to Sir John Lyon.  Today it looks more like a French Chateau than a medieval fortress, having been  extensively restored in the 17th and 18th centuries. 125 miles from Inverness.

Stirling Castle – one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, Stirling Castle commands the countryside for many miles around. 142 miles from Inverness.

Edinburgh Castle – is the best known and most visited of Historic Scotland’s buildings. Perched on an extinct volcano and offering stunning views, this instantly recognisable fortress is a powerful national symbol, and part of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site visited by approximately 1 million people each year. 157 miles from Inverness.