How Many Castles Are In Scotland?

Scotland is known for Haggis, bagpipes, whisky and the Lochness monster. But did you know the Scots have an impressive number of castles?

Scotland has over 300 historic properties to visit and stay in, 65 of which are castles. However, estimates of castle numbers varied between 2000-4000 throughout Scottish history.

Picture Graeme Pow on

To know more about some remarkable Scottish castles, keep reading for more. 

What is the biggest castle in Scotland?

If you’re travelling to Scotland and looking for the biggest castle to explore, then it’s no doubt, Edinburgh Castle. This castle was built in the 11th century, and renovation has taken place up to the 21st century. 

What’s unique about this castle is that it stands on a volcano, and scots built it strategically to watch out for the attackers. 

The castle stands tall at 443 feet above sea level and is also one of the most fortified castles in all of Europe.

It has served as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress. Edinburgh Castle also holds the honours of Scotland, which is the oldest crown jewel in all of the U.K. 

The castle itself has had royals live and stay there, such as James IV, Mary Queen of Scots, King Henry VII and many more.

Also known as the strongest castle in the world, Edinburgh has over 2 million visitors a year, and to see it, you should book in advance. 

It opens from 9:30 am-6:00 pm; however, times can change based on the season. To know further, you should visit their website.

Which has more castles, Ireland or Scotland?

If you’re planning to visit the U.K for castles, you might be stuck on what areas to see. Always with travellers, a question arises as to where are more castles in Ireland or Scotland.

 The truth is Scotland has around 65 existing castles, and Ireland has over 30,000 castles that include the ruins that still exist.

The number is significantly different because, in medieval times, Ireland had lots of forests and lands for castles to be built.

Back then, holding and supervising the land was very difficult, so many people chose to build castles to keep them occupied and make them easier to defend. 

Not to mention Ireland was renowned for having lots of wars over the years, so castles were constantly built, knocked down and rebuilt over again. 

Plus, there are fewer mountains in Ireland than in Scotland, making it a lot easier for castle construction to occur and making the strategic positioning better for castles in Ireland.

Scottish castles for sale

Instead of visiting Scottish castles, why not own one? There are many Scottish castles for sale, here are some of the popular ones up for grabs:

Fa’side castle

This castle is located in Tranent, East Lothian and is going for sale for £1,700 000. 

It was built in the 14th century and has six bedrooms, three bathrooms and five living rooms. The castle is made out of stone and has many remarkable features. 

Fa’side welcomes his visitors a vaulted front door and a breathtaking high beamed ceiling.

It also has a stunning 14th-century tower that overlooks East Lothian and has panoramic views of Edinburgh. Alongside this, Fa’side castle also has stunning grounds and a 17th-century barn. 

Brechin castle

This castle is situated in Angus and is offered at over £3,000,000. Brechin castle has over 70 acres of land and has eight reception rooms, ten bathrooms and 16 bedrooms. It also stands on a set of rocks that overlooks the river banks of Esk. 

Scottish castles to stay in

If you’re not looking to buy a castle, you can enjoy the castle experience by staying in one overnight. To enjoy such a stay, here are some Scottish castles you can sleepover in:

Glenapp Castle Ayrshire

This castle was built in 1870 and established under its owner, the Earl of Orkney. The architect James Bryce constructed it into a gothic and renaissance style castle. 

Today Glenapp Castle is a 5-star hotel and hosts many parties and weddings there.

Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa

Fonab Castle, Perthshire and situated on the banks of Loch Faskally. The castle is a Scottish Baronial style and has a range of rooms and suites to stay in. 

It was built in 1892 and opened in 2013 as a luxury hotel consisting of 23 rooms.

Stonefield Castle 

Stonefield Castle is spread out across 60 acres of woodland and is on the banks of Loch Fyne. This castle was constructed in 1837 using traditional Scottish Baronial style architecture and today stands as a hotel. 

Today you can still see a lot of original features like ceilings, fireplaces, floors and more. 

Best castles to visit in Scotland

In addition to Scotlands biggest castle Edinburgh Castle, there are so many other ones to see which are:

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral castle holds many histories and is Queen Elizabeth II favourite holiday residence and has been a royal family residence since 1852.

 It’s located in Aberdeenshire and is also open to the public. The castle in total has 775 rooms, some of which are 52 royal bedrooms and 78 bathrooms. 

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is situated in Stirling, Scotland and was built during the 12th century. It sits on top of a hill and is surrounded by three cliffs. Unlike other castles in Scotland, Stirling Castle only has six main rooms. 

However, this castle does hold a lot of history and has played a crucial role in many wars like the war of Scottish independence.

Dunnottar Castle

On the northeast of Scotland in Aberdeenshire is Dunnottar Castle. This castle was constructed during the 14th-16 century. The architecture it holds is medieval, and it sits on a cliff overlooking the sea.

 Many people have lived in this castle, and it was during 1925 that Viscount Cowdray purchased the castle and has stayed in the family since then. 

Today, the family has opened the castle to the public, attracting around 52,000 visitors a year.


Scotland is renowned for a lot of its Scottish Baronial and Medieval castles. 

Sadly, not as many as a castle survived as a castle enthusiast would have hoped, at least compared with a great number of its southern neighbour.

Nevertheless, the number of castles that still exist in combination with the spectacular landscape of Scottish highlands makes it one of the top destinations not just for castle-lovers.

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