5 Mesmerising Castles and Ruins in the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Dunrobin Castle

Roseisle Castles In Scottish Highlands Dunrobin Castle

First on the list is Dunrobin Castle. The largest castle home in the Highlands and the most northerly ‘Great House’ on the Scottish mainland, this castle remains intact today. It is one of the few to be continually inhabited throughout its history. 

Dunrobin Castle is the home of Clan Sutherland. What sets this castle apart is the style – built to replicate a French château with conical spheres, rather than a more traditional design. Like many other castles, it boasts huge gardens and grounds, as well as falconry. 

Dunrobin is situated on the Moray Firth, close to Golspie, Dornoch and around 50 miles north of Inverness. The museum and grounds are open and taking bookings through the season until the end of October.

Urquhart Castle

Roseisle Castles In Scottish Highlands Urquhart Castle

Situated on Scotland’s most famous body of water, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle holds a fascinating insight into what was once one of the largest castles in the country. 

Now a visitable ruin, the castle was famously fought and lost by both Scottish and English armies during the war for independence. Check out the Grant Tower, Great Hall and full-sized Trebuchet still on the grounds. 

Around an 18 mile drive from Inverness city centre, the castle is open through the season and has parking available on-site. Booking in advance is a must.

Duart Castle

Moving away from the mainland and to the Isles, Duart Castle is a fascinating example of architecture on the Isle of Mull. 

Built high up on the crags, the castle is situated on a peninsula, piercing into the Sound of Mull. 

The castle was left to ruins in the 18th century before being beautifully restored in 1911. It is now open and taking visitors, as well as allowing access to the grounds for walks. Reach the castle by taking the ferry or Duart Shuttle from Oban.

Eilean Donan Castle

Roseisle Castles In Scottish Highlands Eilean Donan

If you’re planning a road trip to Skye this year, we would thoroughly recommend visiting the beautiful Eilean Donan castle. Situated on the main tourist route to the Isle, the castle dates back to the 13th century and has been built and rebuilt numerous times since then. 

What is special about this castle is its situation – on a small island where three lochs meet. A bridge has been erected allowing easy road access. There is ample parking on-site. 

Visit Eilean Donan to discover the castle, visitor centre and local village – Dornie. 

Castle Tioram

Roseisle Castles In Scottish Highlands Castle Tioram

One for the adventurers, Castle Tioram is situated between Loch Moidart and River Shiel. It offers an insight into Scotland of the past without guided tours or recreation. 

The ruin of Tioram (pronounced Cheerum) is accessible via a single track road at Doirlinn. Alternatively you can park at Ardmolich and take the Silver Walk to the castle.

While access to the inside of the castle is no longer permitted, you can take in the perimeter as part of a stunning walk with beautiful surroundings and beaches. 

Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, as otters and eagles are frequently spotted in the area. Checking the tide times before planning your visit is essential as it is only accessible on foot when the tide is out – be sure to leave sufficient time for your return! 

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