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5 Stunning Medieval Castles In Scotland That You Must Visit

5 Stunning Medieval Castles In Scotland That You Must Visit

Scotland has countless historical landmarks, among those magnificent castles are the major tourist attractions. Most of the castles in Scotland have survived more than a century while some castles are damaged due to multiple sieges or some natural causes. As per archaeologists, some of the castles were originally built with timber or wooden structure, later they were transformed into stone castles to be able to protect from major attacks and sieges.

If you seek to explore some of the oldest surviving castles i.e middle-aged ones, then you must read this article before planning a visit to Scotland. Visiting the old castles may also help you in learning the rich history of Scotland and the lifestyle of Scottish royals.  

In this article, we have picked the top 5 medieval castles in Scotland along with a guide to reach there.

Top 5 Stunning Medieval Castle to Visit in Scotland

1. Tantallon Castle

Built in the year 1350 by William Douglas, the Tantallon Castle is situated 5 km east of North Berwick. The Castle was sieged in the year 1651 by Cromwell’s Army and since then its condition remained the same. As soon as you reach the castle, you will see a weather-worn “curtain” wall. 

Across the central tower, there are 4-floor defensive walls. From the top of these walls, a beautiful view of Berwick Law and Bass Rock can be seen. You can also explore the pit prison and remains of the great hall within the Castle. Tantallon is one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Scotland.   

Visiting Hours:

  • 1st April to 30th September: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
  • 1st October to 31st March: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Entry Fees: 

  • Adult: £6
  • Senior Citizens: £4.80
  • Child(5 to 15 years): £3.60

Location: North Berwick, Scotland

Also Read: 10 Incredible Historical Places To Visit In Scotland

2. Spynie Castle

Built in the 12th century as the residence of Moray’s Bishop after the Cathedral of Moray was shifted to Spynie. In the research conducted between 1986 to 1994, it was uncovered that Castle was originally built with wooden structures. Later the wooden structure was removed and replaced with stone in the 14th century. 

The major tourist attraction at Spynie Castle is David’s Tower which is one of the largest towers in Scotland. The tower has been recently gone through restoration in the spiral staircase area. You can easily get to the first and the second floor through the spiral staircase. Though nothing much is left within the tower but a beautiful scenic view can be seen from the top of the tower.

Best time to visit: April to September

Visiting Hours: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Entry Fees: 

  • Adult: £12.
  • Senior Citizens: £9.60
  • Child(5 to 15 years): £7.20

Location: Near, Elgin IV30 5QG

3. Stirling Castle

One of the major castles in Scotland, the Stirling Castle is situated at the cliff of Castle Hill. Stirling Castle is the oldest medieval castle in Scotland after Castle Sween as it dates back to 1110. Most of the parts of the Castle were either built or reconstructed between the 15th to 16th centuries while some were built in the 14th century. 

Some of the major attractions of this castle include the Great Hall, The Royal Palace, The Chapel Royal, and the Exhibition where you can explore the Queen Anne Gardens, Great Kitchen, Palace Vaults and a museum.   

Visiting Hours:

  • 1st April to 30th September: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
  • 1st October to 31st March: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Fees: 

  • Adult: £15
  • Senior Citizens: £12.00
  • Child(5 to 15 years): £9.20

How To Reach: Get here either by bus, car, or train. Don't forget to book car parking while hiring a private car. Reach here via bus which stops at Stirling Bus station or via train at Stirling Station which is situated at Goosecroft Road.  

4. Duffus Castle

The Duffus Castle served as a fortress residence from the 12th century until the 18th century. The Fortress was originally built with timber and later it was transformed into a stone castle in the early 14th century. The Duffus Castle is one of the strongest medieval castles in Scotland.

Best time to visit:

Visiting Hours: 24 Hours 

Entry Fees: Not Required

How To Reach: Reach here by bus or train. Take any of the bus service lines from 32, 34 or 133 to reach Duffus Castle. Bus services 32 and 34 are available at Elgin Bus Station while line 133 can be accessed from Lossiemouth. 

Also Read:5 Most Exciting Places In Belgium Which You Must Visit Atleast Once

5. Edinburgh Castle

The most popular castle among the medieval castles in Scotland. Some archaeologists have claimed that the place where the castle stands were occupied by humans since the Iron Age. Though there is no proper evidence that could prove the human settlement. 

The Edinburgh Castle exists since King David I i.e 12th century and remained a royal residence till the early 17th century. Many major historical conflicts have occurred at Edinburgh Castle including the Scottish independence war in the 14th century. It is the most besieged Castle on British soil as it was sieged over 25 times. 

Visiting Hours:

  • 1st April to 30th September: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
  • 1st October to 31st March: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Fees: 

  • Adult: £19.50 via Gate and £17.50 via Online booking
  • Senior Citizens: £16.00 via Gate and £14.00 via Online booking
  • Child(5 to 15 years): £11.50 via Gate and £10.50 via Online booking

How To Reach: Take a regular bus from Edinburgh Airport which will drop you at the Waverly Station. Complete the remaining route on foot towards Edinburgh Castle. Another option is, to take a local bus that will stop at either Mound or George IV Bridge.

Also Read: 10 Best Cities To Visit In Europe for City Lovers

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