North of Wick in the far north of Scotland, Ackergill
Tower is situated above the sea. It was originally built
for the Clan Keith around 1476 it was later owned by the
Dunbar family from 1696 onwards. In 1988 more than a
million pounds was spent on creating a location for
corporate and private entertaining in a secluded setting.
But the original Dunbar family mementoes are still there
to make guests feel they are in a private home. Much of
the food is grown on the 3,000 acre estate and sporting
activities and an evening ceilidh can be arranged.
Airth Castle, Stirlingshire>
See the illustration above. The building incorporates a
14th century keep which is now known as Wallace's Tower
although it was from an earlier castle on the site that
he rescued an uncle. In the 15th century the Bruce family
created much of the castle and it was extended in the
16th and 19th centuries. The amazing Dunmore Pineapple>
is near by.
Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, Tarbert, Isle of
Built by the Earl of Dunmore in 1868, overlooks the
islands of Soay and Taransay (which leapt to fame in a
BBC TV series in 2000. The castle is privately owned but
it can be hired by groups for shooting and fishing
holidays. There are also residential cookery and painting
classes at certain times of the year.
Ardtornish Castle, Morvern>
Ardtornish was a 14th century hall belonging to the
MacDonald Lords of the Isles. The estate covers 60 square
miles of hills, rivers and lochs at the head of Loch
Aline, a sea loch. Accommodation is not in the ruined
castle but there is self-catering accommodation in
Ardtornish House and the estate cottages.
Auchen Castle Hotel, Beattock, Dumfriesshire>
A 19th century mansion in 30 acres of gardens and
woodlands with views over the Moffat hills. A few miles
from the M74, the main road from England to Glasgow.
The Old Mansion House Hotel started life as a 13th
century castle which was converted into a 16th century
baronial mansion by the Earl of Strathmore (who also
owned Glamis Castle). It is set in 14 acres of grounds
and there is an outside swimming pool. As yet there is no
Web site but you can e-mail the owners at
Balfour Castle, Isle of Shapinsay, Orkney>
The Castle, complete with original furniture, dates back
to the 1840s and guests have access to its main rooms of
library, dining room, drawing room with adjoining
conservatory. There is a chapel in the castle too.
Ballencrieff Castle, Haddington, Lothians>
This 16th century castle was built by John Murray, 1st
Lord Elibank on land which his family had owned for
several hundred years. It was ruined by fire in 1868 but
has been painstakingly restored in recent years. The
walls are pierced with gun loops
Barcaldine Castle, Near Oban
Barcaldine Castle is the 16th Century family home of the
Campbells of Barcaldine situated on the south shore of
Loch Creran with magnificent views up the loch to
Blairquhan Castle, Ayrshire Not far from
Maybole in South Ayrshire, Blairquhan Castle is a
Georgian castle, built for Sir David Hunter Blair 3rd
Baronet in 1821 - 1824 on the site of a previous castle
dating back to 1346. It is set at the centre of a 2000
acre estate of woodlands and countryside. The castle is
available for exclusive rental and there is a substantial
Lodge sleeping 21 and 7 self catering holiday rental
Borthwick Castle, Gorebridge, Lothians>
This twin-towered baronial keep was built by the first
Lord Borthwick in 1430 but on the site of an earlier
fortification. It has strong associations with Mary Queen
of Scots as she came here with her third husband the Earl
of Bothwell after their wedding. A force of 1000 men,
intent on killing Bothwell, turned up. Mary negotiated
with them - while Bothwell slipped away. Next morning
Mary also escaped, disguised as a page boy.
In the 17th century, during the Civil War, Cromwell
besieged the castle which surrendered after only a few
cannon shots had been fired. One shot damaged the parapet
- the damaged stonework can still be seen.
A hall on the first floor of the main part of the
castle has a minstrel's gallery. The walls are
exceptionally thick, extending to three metres and there
are stairs within these walls. Described as one of the
most impressive castles in Scotland, it has become a
first class hotel.
Carbisdale Castle, Sutherland
Although only built in 1910-11, but even so it is reputed
to have more than one ghost! It was constructed on the
site of Culrain Lodge and the Marquis of Montrose
defeated the Coveananters not far from the castle.
Castle of Park, Morayshire
Built on land granted to a Norman knight in the 13th
century, the original castle was owned by the Gordon
family. During the 18th and 19th Centuries the castle was
transformed from a baron's fortress into an elegant
country home. There is a mysterious Green Lady of Park
whose ghostly appearance has been reported on many
Comlongon Castle, Dumfriesshire>
Comlongon's history goes back to the 14th century when
the Earl of Moray, Thomas Randolph, gave the land to his
nephew, Sir William Murray. A massive tower was built in
the 15th century with dungeons, spiral stone staircase
and painted ceilings. The entrance still has its original
iron gate and there is a well in the basement. Guests can
take a candle-lit tour of the medieval keep and Great
Hall - and may even catch a glimpse of the ghost, said to
be the spirit of Marion Carruthers who committed suicide
after being forced to marry a man she did not love. The
castle is set in over 120 acres of secluded grounds,
including ornamental ponds, sweeping lawns and woodlands.
Craighall Castle, Blairgowrie, Perthshire
Craighall (also known as Craighall-Rattray) is a 19th
century mansion house which incorporates part of an
earlier tower house. It stands on a steep hill,
overlooking the river Ericht. The Rattrays have occupied
this part of the country since the 11th century and still
live in the castle.
Culcreuch Castle, Fintry, Stirlingshire>
The original keep of Culcreuch Castle was built in the
15th century and was originally owned by the Galbraith
family. Over the centuries larger windows have been
installed and it was extended in the 18th century. The
castle is reputed to be haunted by a ghostly piper. It is
now a family-run country house hotel set in 1600 acres of
Dalhousie Castle, Dalkeith, Lothians>
There has been a castle here since the 13th century and
in 1400 it withstood an attack by Henry IV of England.
The corner towers of the early castle have been
incorporated into a 16th century L-plan tower house.
Cromwell besieged Dalhousie Castle in 1648 and was more
successful than Henry IV. Extended in the 17th century,
there were further internal alterations in the early part
of the 19th century. The castle has a ghost - the "Grey
Lady" and was visited by both Sir Walter Scott and Queen
Victoria. At one stage it was used as a school but it has
been a hotel since 1974.
Delgatie Castle, Turriff, Aberdeenshire>
Originally an 11th century castle which has been in the
Hay family for most of the past 650 years. It has been
restored and modernised and is now a stately mansion. The
original part of the castle, a 15th century keep, has
very thick walls. There is a fireplace lintel with a date
of 1570 and Mary Queen of Scots spent a few nights in the
Dornoch Palace, Dornoch>
Once the Palace of the Bishop's of Caithness and with a
14th century keep and a wing with a tower dating from
1550, Dornoch Palace or Castle is located in the heart of
Dornoch, looking out over its gardens to the Dornoch
Firth. It was restored and extended in the 19th century
and has a courtyard garden. Dornoch Cathedral is close
by. The hotel is privately owned.
Duns Castle, Duns, Berwickshire>
Incorporates parts of a 14th century keep but was altered
and extended in the 18th and 19th century. It has been
the home of the Hay family since 1696. The ghost of
Alexander Hay who fell at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
is said to haunt the castle.
Erchless Castle, Inverness-shire
Erchless Castle was originally built as a classic Norman
style L-shaped keep at the beginning of the 14th century.
Both Georgian and Victorian additions were made to
provide the Castle as it is today. It was the ancient
home of the Chief of Clan Chisholm resident from the
Norman Conquest until 1935. There is accommodation for
Fenton Tower, North Berwick in East Lothian
This is a fortified tower dating from the 16th Century,
that now provides luxury accommodation for up to twelve
individuals and small groups looking to 'get away from it
all'. This listed ancient monument and a Category
A-listed 'keep' has recently been meticulously restored
under the supervision of Historic Scotland.
Fernie Castle, Fife>
It is likely that there was a castle here as far back as
the 13th century although the present mansion
incorporates a 16th century L-plan tower house which has
seen a lot of alterations over the centuries and there
are modern extensions.
Forbes Castle, Alford, Aberdeenshire>
More correctly, Castle Forbes, dates from 1815 when the
18th Lord Forbes commissioned a new family home. His
great-great-great grandson and his wife now own the
building and they emphasise that Castle Forbes is not a
hotel but that guests are looked after personally by the
Fordyce Castle, near Portsoy, Banff
The castle consists of a 16th century L-plan tower house
and a wing possibly built around 1700. The latter
provides self-catering accommodation for up to 4 people.
Glengarry Castle Hotel, Invergarry,
A privately owned country mansion in extensive wooded
grounds, overlooking a loch and with impressive hill and
forest views. Some rooms have four-poster beds.
Glengorm Castle, Near Tobermory, Mull
This impressive-looking castle with towers and
pepper-pots was built in 1860. It provides self catering
accommodation as well as bed and breakfast.
Houston House, Uphall, Lothians>
This was originally a 17th-century L-plan Scottish
Laird's Tower House. It has been altered considerably
over the intervening years but still features poster beds
and antique furniture. The land here was originally held
by the Houston family and Sir Peter Houston was killed at
the Battle of Flodden in 1513.
Invercauld Castle, Braemar, Aberdeenshire
The Castle of Invercauld has been the seat of the Clan
Farquharson Chiefs since the early 16th century with the
present house partially rebuilt in 1874 in the Scottish
Baronial style. The Earl of Mar called out the Highland
clans from here at the start of the Jacobite Uprising of
1715. The castle accommodates up to 17 adults and 6
children at acost of from £17,000 per week, fully
staffed and catered.
Inverlochy Castle, Fort William>
Close by Ben Nevis and Loch Ness, the original 13th
century Inverlochy Castle is now a ruin and the present
building was built in 1863. It stands in 500 acres of
landscaped gardens, leading down to its own private loch.
Queen Victoria visited Inverlochy in 1873 along with her
ghillie, John Brown.
Kilravock Castle, near Nairn
The castle consists of a 15th century keep and a long
17th century addition. Mary Queen of Scots visited the
castle in 1562 and Bonnie Prince Charlie was entertained
here on the day before the Battle of Culloden in 1746 -
the Duke of Cumberland at the head of the Hanoverian army
called the next day. In 1787, Robert Burns paid a visit
too. The castle offers both half-board and bed &