Clans, Tartans, and Swords, Oh My! 4 of Scotland’s Must-See Castles

While Scotland is often compared to Ireland in its location, accents, and size — from north-to-south Ireland is about 302 mi (486 km) and Scotland is just under at 274 mi (441 km) — Scotland has its own distinct cultural landmarks that mark its Highlander heritage. Breathtaking castles rank as a premier Scottish experience, and there is no better way to see them than taking chauffeur tours in Scotland.

  1. Balmoral Castle: This incredible castle is most widely known as a private home of the British Royal Family, as they often use it for holidays in Scotland. Balmoral had its beginnings in the 14th century as a hunting lodge for King Robert II. It is considered to be an estate in the Baronial architectural style and contains a wide variety of landscapes added by different royal residents over the years. The grounds and many of the castle’s rooms, such as the Castle Ballroom, are open to the public when the Royal Family isn’t in residence.
  2. Edinburgh Castle: As one of Scotland’s top attractions, Edinburgh Castle is the pinnacle of the country’s architecture, ideology, political tact, and military importance. It sits on a dormant volcano above the capital of Edinburgh, creating a dominating presence that can be seen for miles in every direction. Throughout history, the Scottish used this castle for all of their major battles and military strategizing. Now the castle holds the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, and Mons Meg. With its location close to the charming capital, you can easily visit Edinburgh Castle while taking chauffeur tours in Scotland.
  3. Culzean Castle: Located in the Lowlands of Scotland, this castle was built in the late 18th century and originally belonged to the Kennedy Clan. After World War II, Culzean Castle’s top floor was converted to be used by then General Dwight Eisenhower to show appreciation for America’s support during the war. These converted rooms are now used as a hotel. The castle grounds consist of a 600-acre park and the castle houses 18th-century upper-class furnishings and one of the largest collections of swords and pistols in the world.
  4. Eilean Donan Castle: Named for a Celtic saint who was martyred there in 617, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland and represents the classic Scottish Highlands. The castle sits on an island in Loch Duich and is connected to the mainland by a stone footbridge. The land was inhabited as early as the 6th century, but the first fortified castle there wasn’t built for another 700 years. The castle is heavily associated with the Jacobites, who fought for the Stuarts to be restored to the English throne throughout the 18th century. Today, Eilean Donan holds a display of rare artifacts, including a sword that was supposedly wielded at the Battle of Culloden, which marked the end of the Jacobite Revolutions and the clan culture of the Highlands.

Scotland is a stunning country with a unique history of royalty and revolution all at once. When you take chauffeur tours in Scotland you can travel in comfort while visiting these perfect sanctuaries of Scottish history.