The 100 Most Popular Castles in Scotland

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Scotland has more castles than you can shake a stick at. No kidding, there are over 3,000 castles in Scotland!

Unlike people think of as “a castle” say in England or Wales, or on the TV for that matter, Castles in Scotland tend to be much smaller than you expect as they are essentially adapted, fortified homes.

Scottish castles often feature a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles, while English castles tend to have a more Norman or medieval look. Welsh castles, on the other hand, are often considered to have a more distinctive and unique style, reflecting the country’s Celtic heritage.

Not all of these castles are on the NC500 route to experience if you’re strictly sticking to the route, however as you’ll soon find out, Scotland has thousands of castles.

Craigievar castle

Scotland has a rich history of conflict and struggle, including the Wars of Scottish Independence, which saw many of its castles used as fortresses and military bases. English castles, on the other hand, were often used as residences for royalty and the nobility, and Welsh castles often served as political centres for the Welsh princes.

Obviously there are some huge castles such as the most well know castle Edinburgh Castle, along with Stirling Castle, Caernarfon Castle, and Dunstaffnage Castle.

Most Popular Scottish Castles

Here are the 100 most popular castles in Scotland for tourists.

  1. Edinburgh Castle
  2. Stirling Castle
  3. Urquhart Castle
  4. Eilean Donan Castle
  5. Dunstaffnage Castle
  6. Craigievar Castle
  7. Balmoral Castle
  8. Blair Castle
  9. Caernarfon Castle
  10. Conwy Castle
  11. Caerphilly Castle
  12. Cardiff Castle
  13. Alnwick Castle
  14. Bamburgh Castle
  15. Berwick-Upon-Tweed Castle
  16. Bodium Castle
  17. Carrickfergus Castle
  18. Chillingham Castle
  19. Clontarf Castle
  20. Dunvegan Castle
  21. Dunrobin Castle
  22. Edinburgh Royal Palace
  23. Edinburgh Dungeon
  24. Elgin Cathedral
  25. Falkland Palace
  26. Glamis Castle
  27. Glencoe Visitors Centre
  28. Inveraray Castle
  29. Iona Abbey
  30. Kilchurn Castle
  31. Kinloch Rannoch
  32. Kildrummy Castle
  33. Lennoxlove House
  34. Melrose Abbey
  35. Moot Hill
  36. Mugdock Country Park
  37. Newcastle Castle
  38. Paisley Abbey
  39. Peel Tower
  40. Rouken Glen Park
  41. Scone Palace
  42. Skara Brae
  43. St Andrews Cathedral
  44. Stirling Old Town Jail
  45. Stirling Smith Museum & Art Gallery
  46. Threave Castle
  47. Tongland Power Station Visitor Centre
  48. Tulliallan Castle
  49. Urquhart Bay
  50. Wemyss Caves
  51. Whithorn Priory & Museum
  52. Arbroath Abbey
  53. Argyll’s Lodging
  54. Broughty Castle
  55. Castle Campbell
  56. Castle Doune
  57. Castle Menzies
  58. Cawdor Castle
  59. Corgarff Castle
  60. Craigmillar Castle
  61. Culloden Battlefield
  62. Dornoch Cathedral
  63. Drumin Castle
  64. Dunottar Castle
  65. Duntrune Castle
  66. Edinburgh Castle Rock
  67. Elcho Castle
  68. Floors Castle
  69. Fyvie Castle
  70. Glamis Castle & Gardens
  71. Hermitage Castle
  72. Inverlochy Castle
  73. Linlithgow Palace
  74. Lochleven Castle
  75. Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum
  76. Melrose Seven Towers
  77. Newhailes House & Garden
  78. Paxton House
  79. Pinkie House
  80. Rosslyn Chapel
  81. Stirling Castle & National Wallace Monument
  82. Stirling Castle Gateway
  83. Stirling Old Town Jail & Museum
  84. Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum
  85. Stirling Tolbooth
  86. Tantallon Castle
  87. Thirlestane Castle
  88. Urquhart Castle & Loch Ness Centre
  89. Wemyss House
  90. Whithorn Visitor Centre & Museum
  91. Abbotsford
  92. Argyll’s Hunting Lodge
  93. Boleskine House
  94. Bowhill House
  95. Callendar House
  96. Castle Stalker
  97. Cullen House
  98. Delgatie Castle
  99. Dirleton Castle
  100. Dunkeld Cathedral

The castles above are in order by popularity to the best of our abilities from numerous sources. But do note, just because a castle is not as ranked higher by visitor counts over another, doesn’t mean it won’t be more fun to see and enjoy over another. Each castle is truly unique in Scotland!

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