Scotland is home to literally hundreds of Castles, some are just ruins and others have continued to be maintained by family members or trusts. However, when the upkeep becomes too expensive for the family members there is another answer to keeping the castle in its original form. The National Trust of Scotland keeps many of the Castles of Scotland in their original form, some are vacant and open for tours and others are actually maintained and the family members are allowed to continue living within the walls. The Castles that are still called home by families are still open for tours with limited areas and hours for viewing.
Some of Scotland’s greatest Castles to visit can be found in many areas throughout Scotland. Here is a list of a few Castles we visited on our trip to Scotland.
Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park
Isle of Arran, KA27 8HY
(01770) 302202 Phone
This beautiful home is the ancient seat for the Dukes of Hamilton. Visit the 13th century fortified tower, which was extended by Cromwell in the 17th century. Princess Marie of Baden and wife of the 11th Duke of Hamilton had a Victorian extension built-in 1844. Princess Marie’s daughter Lady Mary Louise lived I the castle until 1957. Filled with 17th century paintings, porcelain and the Hamilton’s silver collection this Castle is a wonderful place for visitors of all ages.
Brodie, Forres, Moray IV36 OTE
Brodie Castle is one of Scotland’s occupied castles. When the family is in residence the family flag will fly above the Castle.
The Brodie family was first given their lands and home in 1160 by Malcolm IV. Having sustained damage in 1645 during the Montrose campaigns, the oldest part still standing is 16th-century. Additions to the Brodie Castle were done in the 17th and 19th centuries.
Filled with French furnishings and porcelain from the English, Continental and Chinese. Brodie Castle is also home of a large collection of paintings ranging from 17th Century Dutch and 18th-19th century English watercolors. Some of Scotland’s famous Colorists art can also be seen when touring the Brodie Castle.
The Craigievar Castle will remind visitors of the fairytale castle in Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. The Great Tower stands just as it stood when completed by Master William Forbes,”Danzig Willie”, in 1626. Within the walls of Craigievar Castle visitors enjoy viewing family portraits and 17th-18th Century furniture. Craigievar Castle is kept just as it was when the Forbes-Sempill families enjoyed their lives within its walls.
Culzean Castle and Country Park
Maybole, South Ayrshire
One of Scotland’s most visited Castles Culzean Castle and Country Park has a large range of interests and activities. Culzean is Robert Adam’s castle, which was build between 1772-1790 for David Adam’s the 10th Earl of Cassillis. Culzean Castle is noted in most instances for it’s famous Oval Staircase and circular Saloon. Culzean Castle is home of a great collections of art and 18th century furniture. One thing that sets the Culzean Castle apart is the great armory located right within the Castle walls. When visiting Culzean Castle be sure to view the Eisenhower room where a bit of history about the General’s connection to Scotland is kept.
Fyvie Turriff, Aberdeenshire
Once a royal strong hold Fyvie Castle is a magnificent sight for visitors. What we enjoyed in Fyvie Castle was the possibility to have a ghostly visitor. Five tours claimed to have been built by one of each family, Lord Leith, Gordon, Seton, Meldrum and Preston. Viewing of the great portraits by Batoni, Raburn Romney, Opie, Hoppner and Gainborough await visitors to Fyvie Castle.
Drum Castle & Garden
Drumoak, by Banchory, Aberdeenshire
Home of one of three oldest tower houses surviving in Scotland, Drum Castle is one of the reasons visitors love to visit Drum Castle. Built in the late 13th century by Richard Cementarius the first Provost of Aberdeen and King’s Master Mason. In 1619 Drum Castle was enlarged by the addition of a Jacobean mansion-house along with an addition later in time during the time of Queen Victoria, William de Irwyn was given the charter of he Royal forest of Drum by King Robert the Bruce in 1323. A stop in your tour of Scotland and a must for viewing the 100-acre Old Wood of Drum home of natural Oakwood-coniferous plants, deciduous woodland and arboretum.