APRIL 10TH, 2016 BY LES ROBINSON
Eilean Donan Castle (Photo Credit: Eusebius)
For many a visitor to the Highlands, the sheer number of stunning castles can almost be overwhelming! Of course that’s hardly surprising with such a vivid history woven into the landscape. To make things a little easier here are five famous Highland castles to explore.
The ancient seat of the Brodie Clan has been fully restored since it was taken over by the National Trust in 1980, making it a superb destination for visitors looking for that comprehensive castle experience. Set in picturesque grounds and with many original rooms to be explored, it’s not to be missed! The castle itself also features a fantastic collection of antique furniture and artefacts.
Ok, so technically this is a fort rather than a castle, but it’s truly magnificent and an experience that just cannot be replicated anywhere else! Perhaps the greatest fortification in the whole of the United Kingdom, Fort George still serves as a military base thanks to the enduring quality of its construction. Despite still being in use, it’s fully geared up for visitors with lots to see inside and out.
Built in the 15th century for the Thanes of Cawdor, this historic castle now provides a fantastic experience for visitors, with fully restored sumptuous rooms that will transport you back hundreds of years in time. It’s not just the famed interior that’s worth visiting either, this castle features stunning grounds with a wood and three distinct gardens to explore.
One of the largest castles in the Highlands, Urquhart has spectacular views from its prominent position overlooking Loch Ness. With over 1,000 years of history running through its veins, this stunning castle really is one of the jewels in Scotland’s crown. Set in an area of wild natural beauty, a walk through the grounds alone is worth the visit, while inside you’ll find the still preserved tower house that commands fantastic views of the loch.
Most of the castles we’ve looked at so far have been in the vicinity of Inverness, but further out at Kyle of Lochalsh is one of Scotland’s most famous and dramatic monuments. Eilean Donan Castle is probably one of the most photographed castles in the world, and for good reason! Located at the intersection of three sea lochs, and overlooking the Isle of Skye, this stunning castle can be explored inside and out, and also features facilities and a Visitors Centre. Just don’t forget to take the camera!
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