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Castles & Historic Houses of Scotland

Scotland Castles

A comprehensive list of castles, historic houses and monuments across Scotland from the grand and famous to the small and barely noticed including those fascinating sites that are now little more than scratches on the ground. 

We will be mashing this data up with a number of different sources  and trying to find connections between historical incident, clans and families of Scotland and local lore and chronicles.


Abbotsford House

Popular tourist attraction that is undergoing sensitive restoration. The long time home of Sir Walter Scott

Abergairn Castle

A small tower-house, erected in 1614, comprising a rectangular main building surviving to 4ft maximum height, with a round tower at its NW angle, 10ft maximum height. The small size of the structure suggests that it was a hunting lodge of three or four storeys with garret.  

Abertarff House

The oldest secular house in Inverness. Originally the town house for the Frasers of Lovat and now headquarters for National Trust of Scotland.

Ackergill Tower

15th Century tower in an absurdly remarkable position overlooking the sea near Wick. Now super chic boutique accommodation and castle hotel. You can stay or just have tea!

Airthrey Castle

Historic home of the Graham family which is now at the centre of the University of Stirling

Ardvreck Castle

Ruined castle that stands on its own promontory overlooking Loch Assynt. Not as old as you might expect but with its wonderful position such a romantic castle...

Ayton Castle

Privately owned Victorian Gothic castle near Eyemouth in the Scottish borders with "scandalous" recent history

Balfluig Castle

L Plan Tower house that was derelict for a time before being rebuilt. Now occupied again.

Ballencrieff Castle

Built around 1507 and occupied until 1868 when it was burnt. restored in the 1990s, it is now occupied

Balmoral Castle

Eight miles west of Ballater is the area's main attraction, Balmoral Castle. You can visit the gardens and some of the castle between April and July during the year...

Balvenie Castle

Immensely impressive late 13th century castle that is well worth a visit if you are near Dufftown.

Beldorney Castle

Large C16th Z Plan tower with many later extensions which fell into disrepair before beig restored in 1980s and is now private. This may be the oldest surviving Z Plan house apart from Huntly Castle.

Blackness Castle

15th century castle in spectacular position on the Forth. Has featured in movies and is the very epitome of the mediaeval castle! Free to visit exterior and small fee for internals.

Boddam Castle

Ruined 16th Century courtyard castle on headland

Bothwell Castle

Outstanding example of major 13th century castle near Glasgow. Open to visitors and well worth viewing.

Brough Lodge

19th Century estate and house on Fetlar that could soon become a centre for Shetland culture and artistic creativity.

Canna House

National Trust owned and home to two wonderful enthusiasts for the Gaelic and western isles renaissance: John Lorne Campbell who owned Canna and his American born and musicicologist Margaret Fay Shaw.

Carnasserie Castle

Tower house near Kilmartin in Argyll. Now ruined but with interesting renaissance details remaining and excellent position. Open in summer. Unmanned.

Carrick Castle

15th century tower house in a splendid position on Loch Goil. Privately owned and undergoing restoration..

Corsindae House

Privately owned 16th century L Plan house with later additions. Harled & whitewashed

Craigcaffie Tower

16 century tower that was bequested by Robert Bruce to illegitimate son, Neil and occupied by Neilsons and then Dalrymple of Stair. Now occupied again. Can be viewed in exterior.

Doune Castle

Built for the Regent Albany, Doune Castle is a magnificent late 14th century courtyard castle that is familiar to film buffs for its role in Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Duffus Castle

Located 5 miles north-west of Elgin in Moray on the east coast of Scotland. This typical Norman castle was built in the 14th century on the site of an earlier wooden construction. Today you can walk across the cobbled causeway and explore the stone ruins. It is in the care of Historic Scotland.

Dun Athad

Originally an Iron Age Dun, now ruined. Also called Dunaidh Castle. Much ruined, but amazing location.

Duncraig Castle

Spectacular castle near Plockton that is being refurbished until 2013

Duns Castle

Massive norman and victorian Border Pele or Peel that dates back to 1320 with later C19 baronial additions by Graham. Still inhabited by the same family since C17 and not open to public.

Duntrune Castle

The oldest continuously occupied castle in Scotland. Now occupied by the chieftain of Clan Malcolm

Edinample Castle

Striking Z-plan house overlooking Loch Earn near Lochearnhead. It fell into ruin but has been restored and is now used as a private home and is not open to the public.

Floors Castle

Still inhabited home to the Duke of Roxburghe with ten rooms to view including collection of funiture and modern art.

Frendraught Castle

Site of 13th century castle, which was torched in 1630. The present house dates from 1656, was remodelled in 1753, extended to 1790, and incorporates a small part of the old castle.

Garth Castle

Daringly located and inacessible castle built by the fearsome Wolf of Badenoch in the 14th century. Not open.

Holyroodhouse Palace

Official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Holyrood Palace stands at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Holyrood Palace is the setting for state ceremonies and official entertaining.

Innerwick Castle

Old ruined 14th century castle that was destroyed in 1548. Open to public

Kilspindie Castle, nr Aberlady

Remains of 16th century tower. Only walls remains with some trees growing out

Lochranza Castle Arran

Superbly positioned castle jutting out into the bay near Lochranza in Arran. 

Luffness House

Altered 16th C tower house with earlier buildings incorporated. Now owned by Earls of Hopetoun. Privately owned

Manderston House

Manderston is the supreme country house of Edwardian Scotland; the swan-song of its era.

Midhope Castle

16th century unoccupied house near hopetoun house with farmyard behind. Can be walked around  and is worth a visit.

Poltalloch House

Ruined house built in Victorian era that must have been fabulous judging by old photographs...

Preston Tower

Large and somewhat foreboding tower near Prestonpans. In care of council and can be viewed from its gardens. Said to be haunted.

Roseburn House

Built by city treasurer in C16 and extended at different times. Barely visible from the road.

Seacliff House

1750s house with varied history largely destroyed by fire at beginning of 1905 behind Seacliff Beach. Fun to visit.

Smithfield (Venlaw) Castle

Site of 14th C tower house near Peebles that has been a hotel since 1949

Stobcross House

2 miles west of Glasgow but now disappeared. C17th house and held by Andersons until 1730s. Demolished C19

Tongue House / House of Tongue

Built in 1678, it is the Scottish home of the Countess of Sutherland. Formerly the seat of the Clan Mackay, the house sits on the site of the clan's previous home. It is said to have been burned by Cromwell's army in 1656, while pursuing the Chief of Mackay. It was rebuilt by the Mackays several years later. But in 1829, Tongue House and the majority of the Mackay Estate had to be sold to pay off debts owing to the Sutherland family.

Whitefield Castle

L Plan Tower, now ruined built by Malcolm Canmore in 12th century. Can be walked around. 8 miles north of Pitlochry on A93

Aberdour Castle

Built by the Douglas family, this 13th century fortified house was later extended in the 15th, 16th & 17th centuries. The finished result provides accommodation with a gallery and fine painted ceiling. There is also a walled garden with beehive-shaped doocot.

Abergeldie Castle

16th century tower house near Balmoral/Crathie

Achnacloich Castle

Site of castles with no visible remains except for possible dungeon stones (1886)

Affleck Castle

Impressive L Plan Tower of 4 storeys and with attic. Access is difficult. Also known as  Auchinleck Castle

Ardlamont House

Georgian Mansion dating 1820, Category B listed and now rented out as posh self-catering or weddings. Lovely views over sea.

Armadale Castle

Now home to Clan Donald centre and Museum of the Isles with various walking trails. 

Balbegno Castle

16th Century tower house that has recently become a very smart rental home owned by descendant of Prime Minister Glasdstone.

Balfour Castle

Huge 1847 baronial house that is now a large country house hotel on the island of Shapinsay

Ballogie House

Mansion built on the site of older house and now operated as self catering. Pretty location and in a modest Georgian style

Balvaird Castle

INteresting and very complete tower house in the Ochils in central Scotland. Open to public on exterior only and historically very satisfying.

Belchester House

1800 mansion extended later in C19the century. Incorporates an earlier tower house of unknown history.

Birkenbog House

Probably 1730-40 wing of earlier mansion/tower house apparently re-modelled 1795-1800 as principal dwelling after fire.

Blairadam House

Pretty Grade A listed house associated with Adam family and now a lovely B & B near Loch Leven

Borthwick Castle

Scotland's best preserved castle, now a hotel

Brodie Castle

16th century castle incorporating early work and including much later work. Now in care of NTS and open to public

Caerlaverock Castle

This moated castle has been witness to two famous sieges and although ruined, it is still spectacular...

Carleton Castle

Ruined castle half a mile inland from Lendalfoot beside a farmyard.

Carnban Castle

The castle is three miles west of Fortingall in Glenlyon. It's on the north side of the road above the bends and among the trees. It is largely ruined.

Corse Castle

Z PLan 16th century castle from about 1581. Now ruinous. Visit with care

Cortachy Castle

Clan seat for the Ogilvy family

Crombie Castle

Curious mishmash of a castle which is really two L plan house connected together from different periods

Drochil Castle

Large fortified castle built by built by Regent Morton in 1581 but abandoned 1630. Listed and still impressive

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Dumfries House

Originally a Palladian Country House, the ‘Dumfries House’ is quoted to be one among Britain’s beautiful, stately homes.

Dunans Castle

Fire damaged castle that is being restored and is surrounded by wonderful gardens and landscape on Cowal Peninsula

Dunfermline Palace

It is One of the most venerable buildings in Scotland. The old abbey is still magnificent. The palace much ruined by fire and being unroofed in 1708.

Dunstaffnage Castle

three miles north of Oban, standing on its own peninsula into the Firth of Lorn with a massive curtein wall. Ancient Campbell and MacDougall castle now in care oif Historic Scotland. Open to Public

Easter Coates House

1615 L plan lairds house beside cathedral in central Edinburgh. Once laird's house and now part of St Mary's Music School. rare example of a wealthy city burger's residence.

Eilean Donan Castle

One of the world's quintessential castles: Eilean Donan is familiar from films and stunning in its romantic location. Open daily.

Fort George

Visitor guide to Fort George in Ardersier in the Scottish Highlands.  Includes descriptions, directions and timings to make a visit.

Gargunnock House

Georgian house built on core of tower house. Now restored and rented out by Landmark Trust as super lovely self catering

Glendevon Castle

15th-century Z-plan tower house, that belonged to William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas. The castle passed first to the Crawford Family, and then the Rutherfords.  It was extensively rebuilt at differnt times and was even used as a pub or something similar, It is now privately owned but its status is unknown.

Hopetoun House

Two miles west of South Queensferry is Hopetoun House, which thoroughly deserves its reputation as 'Scotland's finest stately home'.

Kilchrist Castle

Early 19th century castle with striking indoor stone staircase and early indoor thunderbolt privy. Now used as self catering.

Lochnaw Castle

16th century tower house that is home to Agnew clan and after restoration is now again a private residence. near Stranraer.

Lordscairnie Castle

Ruined single tower in the middle of field that was once loch. 4 storeys remain. Walk up and visit.

Mains of Mayen

L Plan tower dating from end of C17. Now a private house. Grade B Listed. Was dilapidated and restored in 1960s. Private.

Mellerstain House

Astonishingly beautiful Georgian house designed by William Adam & his son Robert

Monkredding House

Privately owned house near Kilwinning previously associated with abbey of Kilwinning

Portencross Castle

Ancient castle in picturesque spot on Firth of Clyde that is well worth a visit and a picnic afterwards on the forshore. Open most of the summer and can be viewed and enjoyed any time of year.

Randolphstoun/Randerston Castle

Nothing remains now of a possible fort except for crop circles that suggest previous fortifications. Its position must have been spectacular!

Roslin Castle

Magical hidden castle beside the chapel that is a must visit. Barely known and hidden away... open to public

Seacliff Tower

Ruined probably C16 tower house in exposed position on cliff. Walkable from east end of Seacliff beach.

St Andrews Castle

The main residences of the bishops of St Andrews. Now a dramatic ruin on the headland

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle sits three miles east of North Berwick, off the A198. The mid-14th-century ruins perch dramatically on the edge of the cliffs, looking out to the Bass Rock.

Torthorwald Castle

Ruined 14th century castle sacked in 1544 and occupied until about 1715

Whiteside Peel

Whiteside Peel or tower is a ruined example of Borders tower near Mellerstain House. You can walk to from the main house but not signposted.

Withisleis Castle

Possible site for Armstrong Castle or Motte. Architectural sketchy. Little except mound to ve viewed

Rent a Castle

You can also rent out cottages in Scotland for corporate and wedding venues or just for a holiday, live like a Scottish Laird. Rent a castle for a holiday this link will take you to our comprehensive self catering section of the guide.

You can of course visit many Scottish Castles, below is a list of some the best Castles in Scotland, you can also visit Historic Scotland website for events.

Any information, errors or omissions are always gratefully received at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.