Every castle has a different story to tell, whether it’s about the Stone of Destiny, the difficult life of Mary Queen of Scots or one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons.
Edinburgh Castle is a must-see. Built into rugged rock overlooking Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh city centre, this is undoubtedly Scotland's most famous castle and the city's most popular tourist attraction with the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and fantastic views from the castle's ramparts. Make sure to visit the nearby Lauriston Castle and Grounds, a charming home set in tranquil grounds.
Around 23 miles east of Edinburgh lies Dirleton Castle, a pretty and romantic castle with architectural history stretching back for 700 years. Best known for its fantastic gardens, first cultivated in the 16th century, be sure to check out the world's longest herbaceous border, as testified in the Guinness Book of Records.
Tantallon Castle is a formidable stronghold set atop the cliffs on the Firth of Forth. Tantallon served as a noble fortification for more than three centuries and endured frequent sieges but still stands firm, dominating the headland.
Seton Collegiate Church is a beautifully preserved ecclesiastical building in a woodland setting and Craigmillar Castle is one of Edinburgh’s most perfectly preserved castles. Built around 1400, Mary Queen of Scots came here as a retreat after the death of her private secretary.
Located in Midlothian, Crichton Castle is a large and surprisingly sophisticated castle, tucked away beyond the village of Pathhead. With a spectacular façade of faceted stonework in an Italian style, it's remarkable to see how much is still intact. Be sure to pass by the castle's stables and nearby Crichton Collegiate Church.
Head to the dark and foreboding Blackness Castle, built in the 15th century. Its enduring roles were those of a garrison fortress and a state prison and its lack of fancy rooms or ornate stonework make this castle even more fun to explore!
Use the information listings to plan a trip to the castles in Edinburgh & The Lothians.