From investigating impressive rubble ruins to touring ominous stone structures that still stand tall, the castles of Scotland offer a significant glimpse into the colourful past of this historic land. Take matters one step further and clamber even deeper through the keyhole. Discover the most magical castle hotels in Scotland that you can actually stay in.
On the little island of Shapinsay in Orkney sits the most dignified castle. From the De Gournay silk wallpaper to roll-top baths, formal gardens, decadent decor and indescribable views of vast vistas, Balfour Castle hotel is everything the imagination could ever conjure up, and then some. Oh, and the turret on top may just be the fact that guests arrive in style on a private charter boat. This venue really is exclusive with its unrivaled views, stunning surrounding wilderness and the way in which the most divine light pours through the giant windows casting delicate dancing shadows.
Once upon a time in a bonnie land called Scotland, there was a magical place called Glenapp Castle. This baronial-style luxury castle hotel dates back to 1870 and is renowned for its fairytale essence and incredible service. Experience the majestic landscape and wildlife of Scotland while strolling through the 36 acres of gardens. Upon return, enjoy a delectable three-course lunch or savour the taste of miniature everything with a spot of afternoon tea. The sea views and incandescent chandeliers will not go un-noticed either.
Trek just an hour out of Inverness and you’ll find Dornoch Castle. This family owned and run hotel is riddled with character and history. Each room is decorated with a different theme and exudes a soothing ambience while staying true to that classic castle stereotype. For those seeking that quintessential castle feel, X marks the spot here. From tartan interiors and gargantuan fireplaces, to velvet chairs and wood panels, this traditional turreted pick is the kind to create memories.
The dining rooms are furnished with gifts from the King of Norway, Queen Victoria stayed there for a week and, with Albert and Michel Roux Jr. in charge of the kitchens, it’s home to chef royalty. And that’s before the location is even mentioned. Inverlochy Castle is a royal experience indeed, as luxurious as they come and in an area of Scotland famed for its beauty and vistas. Glenfinnan, where Charles Edward Stuart raised his father’s standard, is just a short distance away, as is the Great Glen Way, the falls in Glen Nevis, and the mighty bulk of Ben Nevis itself.
Savour a taste of the good life and absorb the best contemporary comforts in the historical setting of the grand Fonab Castle. This opulent, five-star castle hotel sits majestically amongst the most magical tribe of trees. The castle has been perfectly restored and is a prime pick for those who love the finer things in life. Delight in the plush grand rooms adorned with gold accents and heavenly crisp white interiors and indulge in some of the most exquisite Scottish cuisine. A castle wouldn’t be complete without a luscious spa and stunning loch views, of course. Roam the extensive grounds and wander into your very own fairytale.
Culzean Castle Built in the 1700s, Culzean Castle is an absolute beauty. From whispering woods and rugged sandy beaches to flashy grounds, towers of turrets and ornate accents, this 260 hectare estate and castle was once the stomping ground of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis. Today, hours can be spent investigating every historic nook and cranny. Culzean Castle, Maybole, Scotland
Experience a true snippet of Scotland by staying at Glengorm Castle (also referred to as Castle Sorn). Thankfully, this 19th-century rural retreat is available to all and actually a bed and breakfast. Live like royalty at the top of the tower or reside close by in one of the many quaint cottages. Guests are able to explore the magnificent library, enjoy the main hall and feast in the dining room. This intriguing castle hotel is a stone’s throw away from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.