Castles |

There are around 1500 castles in Scotland its estimated that there was once over 3000. They were used as the homes of clan leaders and as a form of defence during times of battle and were valuable in protecting local communities.

Some of Scotland’s castles are iconic across the world and many of them can be visited along the route of the Caledonian Sleeper. Here is a short list of castles not to be missed.

Edinburgh Castle

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Edinburgh Castle

Perched atop Castle Rock, an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's most iconic landmarks. Built in 1103, it has served as a royal residence, military stronghold, and is now a popular tourist attraction.

 

Nearest station: Edinburgh

Linlithgow Palace

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Linlithgow Palace

Just a short drive from Edinburgh, Linlithgow Palace is a magnificent royal palace with roots dating back to the 15th century. Birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, the palace boasts stunning architecture and picturesque surroundings.

 

Nearest station: Edinburgh

Blackness Castle

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Blackness Castle

Known as the "Ship that Never Sailed" due to its ship-like appearance, Blackness Castle is a formidable fortress on the shores of the Firth of Forth. Built in the 15th century, it served as a royal residence. This castle has also been popular in Films and TV with appearances in Mary Queen of Scots, Hamlet, The Bruce and Outlander to name a few.

 

Nearest station: Edinburgh or Inverkeithing

Stirling Castle

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Stirling Castle

Stirling castle is situated on top of the 250ft Castle Hill, an extinct volcano. It’s steep cliffs were vital in providing the castle a strong position. The castles long and turbulent history features William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

 

Nearest station: Stirling

Inverlochy Castle

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Inverlochy Castle

Inverlochy Castle, near Fort William, is a ruined 13th-century castle with a dramatic setting amidst the Scottish Highlands. It played a crucial role in the Wars of Scottish Independence and is surrounded by breath-taking scenery.

 

Nearest station: Fort William

Urquhart Castle

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Urquhart Castle

Overlooking Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle is a historic fortress with roots dating back to the 13th century. It played a significant role in the Scottish Wars of Independence and is now a popular tourist attraction.

 

Nearest station: Inverness

Dunnottar Castle

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Dunnottar Castle

Perched atop a cliff overlooking the North Sea, Dunnottar Castle is one of Scotland's most spectacular ruins. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, it has witnessed key events in Scottish history.

 

Nearest station: Stonehaven

Blair Castle

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Blair Castle 

Situated near the town of Blair Atholl, Blair Castle is one of Scotland's most iconic and well-preserved castles. With roots dating back to the 13th century, it has served as the ancestral home of the Clan Murray. The castle boasts impressive architecture, beautiful gardens, and a rich collection of artworks and artifacts.

 


Nearest Station: Blair Atholl

Scone Palace

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Scone Palace

Located near Perth, Scone Palace is a historic landmark with ties to Scottish royalty and the Stone of Destiny. Once the crowning place of Scottish kings, the palace is set amidst stunning gardens and parklands. Visitors can explore its interiors and learn about its fascinating history.

 

Nearest station: Perth

Doune Castle Dunblane

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Doune Castle

Doune Castle is a medieval fortress which was built in the 14th century and has one of the best-preserved great halls in Scotland. As well as being heavily featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Doune castle was also used as Winterfell in the pilot of Game of Thrones as well as Castle Leoch in Outlander.

 

Nearest station: Stirling