Uncover hundreds of castles on Scotland's coast

Credit: VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

Incredibly, there are over 300 castles in one area of Scotland alone.

Aberdeenshire is home to an astonishing number of the historic buildings, more per acre than anywhere else in the whole of the UK.

Capturing the imagination they have inspired the likes of Bram Stoker, Walt Disney and Robert Louis Stevenson and continue to attract visitors hundreds of years after they were built.   Caledonian Sleeper has created a list of some of the most famous and atmospheric castles overflowing with history and beauty, and all very much well worth a visit.

Slains Castle is located on the coast in a small village called Cruden Bay, it’s a must-see.  The original castle has been reconstructed many times since it was built in 1597. It’s believed to have served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s setting in Count Dracula. 

What’s left of the castle is the result of both the seaside location and various misfortunes, including the removal of the roof to avoid paying taxes.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is a castle that is in incredible condition, and inhabited by Royalty no less. Purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848, the Balmoral Estate in the heart of Royal Deeside has been the Scottish Home of the British Royal Family ever since.

There is plenty to see and do at the castle, including visiting the grounds, gardens, exhibitions, gift shop and, of course, the coffee shop, which will be open to the public from 1 April until 31 July.

A fantastic place where kids can run and play is in the ruins is found Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen.

                                                                                                             Credit: VisitScotland/Kenny Lam 


Built high up on the edge of cliff, the castle’s dramatic position looking out over the North Sea is highly impressive. Visited by many important figures in history, allegedly including William Wallace.  

Castles don't come much more enchanted than Craigievar Castle. This traditional, seven-story pink creation, is located 20 miles south west of Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.  Walt Disney was reportedly such a fan of the castle it's seen as the inspiration for the famous Disney castle logo. There is more to see than the castle, with the grounds marked walks as well as gardens to enjoy.

Discover the richest of histories by visiting one of hundreds of castles in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire with Caledonian Sleeper.  Book your Journey of a Night Time now with Caledonian Sleeper.

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