You already know how much I love Scotland and that I like to bang on about how beautiful/fantastic/awesome it is over there. I've been asked a few times - seriously - if I live in a castle or if I know anybody who does live in a castle. I don't, nor have I ever, but Scotland is FULL of fabulous castles! These are a few of my favorites, photos courtesy of Google. If you click on the castle name, it will take you to their websites which will give you all the history and information you need to know - without me boring you :)
EILEAN DONAN CASTLE
Eilean Donan is quite simply stunning. Situated on a sea loch, you can't fail to be awed when the castle first comes into sight. If you're as old as I am and remember the movie Highlander, you'll know that this castle and its iconic bridge were featured in it.
Perched on a rock high above the city of Edinburgh, this castle is not only stunning to look at but also has so much amazing history. I love it for the amazing views from the castle, the one o'clock gun, the Military Tattoo and even just to look up at from the gardens below. The approach from the Royal Mile always gives me shivers up my spine, it is truly an awe inspiring place.
Cawdor Castle is minutes from where my parents live. It is home to the Cawdor family to this day and surrounded by the most beautiful gardens and woods. Well worth a visit!
Situated on Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is one of my favorite places to visit when I'm back home. Climbing up the Grant Tower is not for the faint hearted, but the view from the top is amazing! If you're lucky enough to have nice weather, you can't beat a day wandering around the ruins, looking for Nessie :)
The ancestral home of the Clan MacLeod is full of legend and history and also home to the Fairy Flag which is famous for it's magical powers. Dunvegan is in a beautiful location on the Isle of Skye, surrounded by the sea and scenic gardens.
This picturesque castle is also reputed to be one of the most haunted castles in Britain. Read about its many ghosts here. Glamis Castle was also the childhood home of the Queen Mother and is a lovely place to visit...by day :)
Just look at this place! It is truly dramatic and in the most stunning location possible. Again, well worth a visit.
Although Fort George isn't exactly a castle, I included it on my list because, well, just look at it! Built after the historic Battle of Culloden, the Fort is still in use as an Army Garrison today and is in amazing condition having been sympathetically restored and maintained by Historic Scotland. I am lucky enough to have worked here for a couple of years, so I do have a soft spot for this place. Especially the dog cemetery for the regiment mascots and the officers' dogs. History and scenery abound! You may even see the dolphins jumping in the Moray Firth if you're lucky :)
I always get homesick when I write these kind of blog posts. I feel very blessed that I come from a country with such beauty and amazing history. If you ever visit Scotland on vacation, I promise that you will not be disappointed visiting any of the above locations! Happy travels!