Castles near Edinburgh 

Nestled among the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of Scotland lies a treasure trove of history and enchantment: the castles near Edinburgh. These majestic relics from bygone eras stand proudly, their stone walls steeped in stories of ancient battles, royal intrigue, and romantic legends. From towering fortresses to secluded ruins hidden amidst sprawling gardens, each castle offers a unique glimpse into the rich tapestry of Scottish heritage. Embark on a journey through time as we explore these magnificent castles near Edinburgh and unlock their secrets.

Edinburgh Castle

Castles near Edinburgh

Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG 

Perched high on a volcanic rock, Edinburgh Castle symbolises Scotland’s rich history and enduring power. As you approach the fortress, it’s hard not to be in awe of its majestic presence and the panoramic views it offers over the city below.

Stepping through the castle gates, you can immerse yourself in centuries of Scottish heritage. Explore magnificent buildings like St Margaret’s Chapel, which dates back to the 12th century and is one of Edinburgh’s oldest surviving structures. Wander through Crown Square, where you’ll find the Scottish Crown Jewels on display, including the famous Stone of Destiny that has played a central role in Scottish coronations throughout history.

One cannot help but feel a sense of nostalgia when standing on top of Castle Rock. It was here that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son, James VI, who later became James I of England. The castle witnessed countless battles for power and served as a royal residence and military stronghold. Now transformed into a museum, Edinburgh Castle preserves and shares these stories with visitors worldwide.

Climbing up towards Half Moon Battery provides an excellent vantage point to marvel at Mons Meg – an enormous medieval cannon capable of firing explosive balls weighing roughly 150kg! The sheer size alone makes this historical weapon an engineering marvel – imagine its deafening roar echoing across Edinburgh!

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle Rd, Edinburgh EH16 4SY 

On a rugged hill on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Craigmillar Castle stands as a hauntingly beautiful testament to Scotland’s rich history. As I wandered through its crumbling ruins and winding staircases, it became clear that this castle holds more than just architectural significance. Dating back to the 14th century, it has witnessed the rise and fall of many noble families, political upheavals, and even ghostly tales.

One cannot help but be mesmerized by the stunning panoramic views from Craigmillar Castle’s battlements. From here, one can see the sprawling city of Edinburgh below, giving a tangible sense of its strategic importance for ancient defenders. The well-preserved turret rooms provide an intriguing glimpse into medieval life, with their thick stone walls and narrow windows offering protection against potential invaders.

However, what perhaps makes Craigmillar Castle truly captivating is its air of mystery and intrigue. Rumours swirl around secret chambers hidden within its walls and underground passages leading to unknown destinations. The castle’s association with Mary Queen of Scots adds another layer to its appeal – it is believed that she sought refuge here several times during her tumultuous reign.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply seeking an escape into the past, Craigmillar Castle offers an unforgettable experience for all visitors. Its evocative atmosphere transports you back to a time when castles were not just structures but living entities shaped by the passions and struggles of those who called them home.

Lochend Castle 

Lochend, Edinburgh 

Hidden among the lush green hills of Scotland, Lochend Castle stands as a testament to centuries of history and mystery. Its imposing stone walls and picturesque setting make it a must-visit for history buffs and castle enthusiasts. As you step through the grand entrance, it’s impossible not to be captivated by the stories that echo through its corridors.

One intriguing aspect of Lochend Castle is its connection to Mary, Queen of Scots. It is said that she sought refuge in this very castle during a turbulent time in her reign. Walking through the rooms where she once stayed offers a tangible link to one of Scotland’s most fascinating historical figures. The castle’s architecture also tells a story, with elements ranging from medieval battlements to elegant Renaissance touches. Each corner you turn offers new insights into the changing tastes and influences over the centuries.

While exploring Lochend Castle, one cannot help but feel transported back in time. The eerie atmosphere lingers throughout its impressive grounds, giving visitors an otherworldly experience as they wander through hidden chambers and secret staircases. Legends surround this ancient stronghold, including tales of ghostly apparitions and hauntings that intrigue locals and visitors alike. Whether you seek historical enlightenment or simply revel in the ethereal charm of this enchanting fortress, Lochend Castle will leave an indelible mark on your imagination.

Craigcrook Castle 

Craigcrook Castle le/ 

Blackhall, Edinburgh EH4 3PE 

Nestled among the lush green hills of Scotland lies a hidden gem from another era – Craigcrook Castle. This enchanting fortress, with its turreted towers and golden stone walls, has a captivating history that dates back to the 16th century. Once home to renowned literary figures such as Sir Walter Scott and J.M. Barrie, it has witnessed countless stories unfold within its ancient walls.

Stepping inside Craigcrook Castle is like taking a journey through time. The grand oak-panelled rooms evoke images of lavish banquets and intellectual discussions that filled these halls in centuries past. It’s no wonder that Scott and Barrie chose this historic haven for their creative retreats – the castle seems to radiate inspiration and creativity at every turn.

Beyond its literary connections, Craigcrook Castle also holds hidden surprises for avid explorers. With its secret passageways and hidden chambers, this castle will ignite the imagination of even the most seasoned adventurers. As you wander through the echoing corridors or gaze out from one of its many exquisite window alcoves onto breathtaking vistas, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe for all this remarkable place has witnessed throughout history.

Craigcrook Castle captures the spirit of Scotland’s rich heritage while offering an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of literary greats. From its magnificent architecture to its vibrant atmosphere steeped in tales untold, this castle continues to inspire visitors from around the world with its timeless beauty and allure.

Borthwick Castle 

Borthwick Castle

North Middleton, Gorebridge EH23 4QY 

Hidden in the Scottish countryside, Borthwick Castle is a majestic and imposing fortress that has witnessed centuries of history. As you walk through its hallowed hallways, you can almost feel the echoes of the past reverberating off its stone walls. From serving as a refuge for Mary, Queen of Scots, during tumultuous times to being a witness to countless battles, this castle holds tales aplenty.

Time stands still within the castle’s fortified walls, transporting visitors to an era long gone. The sense of awe and wonder is palpable as one explores each room adorned with original artwork and artefacts dating back centuries. It’s not just the rich history that captivates; it’s also the attention to detail in preserving its authenticity that makes Borthwick Castle truly special.

Nestled amidst rolling hills and overlooking picturesque valleys, Borthwick Castle offers more than just a glimpse into history; it provides an unforgettable experience for all who pass through its gates. Whether you find solace roaming through its tranquil gardens or revel in the grandeur of the Great Hall, there is no doubt that Borthwick Castle leaves an indelible mark on all those fortunate enough to visit. A true testament to Scotland’s fascinating past, this grand fortress stands tall as a living embodiment of strength and resilience.

Crichton Castle 

Crichton Castle

Crichton, Pathhead EH37 5XA 

Tucked away in the southern region of Scotland, Crichton Castle stands as a testament to medieval architecture. As you wander through its grand halls and magnificent courtyards, it’s easy to imagine yourself transported back in time. But beyond its impressive stone facade lies a captivating history waiting to be discovered.

Originally built as a fortress in the 14th century, Crichton Castle was later transformed into an opulent residence by the influential Crichton family. The castle’s strategic location on top of a hill gave its inhabitants commanding views of the surrounding landscape, ensuring their safety and protection. However, it also served as a symbol of power and prestige, showcasing the wealth and influence of its owners.

Beyond its historical significance, what sets Crichton Castle apart is its unique blend of architectural styles. With elements ranging from Gothic to Renaissance, this remarkable structure offers insight into the evolving tastes and preferences of different eras. From picturesque turrets to intricately carved details, each corner unveils new surprises for visitors.

Walking through Crichton Castle today provides a window into Scotland’s rich past- one filled with tales of noble families vying for power and survival in turbulent times. Despite centuries since its heyday, this fortress-turned-residence continues to captivate visitors from all corners of the world, leaving them with memories that will last a lifetime.

Rosslyn Castle 

Rosslyn Castle 

B7003, Roslin EH25 9PX 

Perched dramatically on the edge of a cliff overlooking the River North Esk, Rosslyn Castle exudes an aura of history and mystery. Its ancient walls have witnessed centuries of monumental events, from battles to royal visits. The castle’s strategic location once made it highly coveted by various Scottish clans, resulting in a tumultuous past filled with sieges and power struggles.

Beyond its intriguing history lies an even more captivating feature: the mystical Rosslyn Chapel. This enchanting medieval church stands just a stone’s throw away from the castle and is renowned for its intricate carvings and secret symbolism. It has been widely speculated that the chapel inspired Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, further enhancing its allure among visitors seeking clues to hidden mysteries.

For those who appreciate both natural beauty and historical grandeur, a visit to Rosslyn Castle is an absolute must. As you wander through its ancient halls, be prepared to sense the weight of ages on your shoulders but also feel a connection with all those who came before you in this extraordinary place. Soak in stunning views across the valley, take time to explore Rosslyn Chapel’s intricacies, and let yourself become immersed in legends whispered within these hallowed walls – for it is here that history truly comes alive.

Dalhousie Castle 

Dalhousie Castle 

Bonnyrigg EH19 3JB 

One of the most enchanting castles in Scotland, Dalhousie Castle is a historic gem with a fascinating past. Situated on the picturesque banks of the River Esk, this medieval fortress has stood strong since the 13th century. What sets it apart from other castles is its rich history and unique charm that captivates visitors worldwide.

Stepping into Dalhousie Castle feels like stepping back in time. With its imposing stone walls and tower, it exudes an aura of grandeur and mystery. As you wander through its corridors and rooms, you can’t help but imagine the tales of knights and ladies that once echoed within these hallowed grounds. The castle’s impressive collection of ancient artefacts provides a glimpse into its regal past, allowing visitors to connect with history tangibly.

Beyond its historical significance, Dalhousie Castle offers luxurious accommodation for those seeking an unforgettable stay. Each room is exquisitely designed with modern amenities while maintaining a sense of old-world charm. From cosy fireplaces to four-poster beds fit for royalty, every detail has been carefully curated to give guests a truly indulgent experience.

Dalhousie Castle isn’t just about exploring the past – it’s also about immersing yourself in nature’s beauty. Set amidst acres of tranquil woodland gardens, this majestic castle offers breathtaking views that make for picture-perfect postcard shots at every turn.

Lauriston Castle 

Lauriston Castle

2 Cramond Rd S, Edinburgh EH4 6AD 

Lauriston Castle stands as a testament to the grandeur and historical significance of Edinburgh’s past. Located on the city’s outskirts, this magnificent castle offers visitors a glimpse into its opulent past, impressive architecture and stunning interiors. As you enter its grand entrance, you are transported back to an era of luxury and aristocracy.

Beyond its mesmerizing exterior, Lauriston Castle also holds a treasure trove of art and history. The castle’s art collection boasts works by renowned painters such as Raeburn and Ramsay, allowing art enthusiasts to marvel at centuries-old masterpieces. And for those longing for a taste of Scottish history, the castle’s carefully curated displays offer a fascinating snapshot into the lives of noble families who once resided here and their servants.

Visiting Lauriston Castle is not only a chance to immerse oneself in history but also an opportunity to stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens that overlook the stunning views of the Firth of Forth. Whether exploring hidden corners within the castle or taking leisurely walks in its idyllic surroundings, this enchanting place never fails to captivate visitors. With every visit revealing new details and stories waiting to be discovered, Lauriston Castle invites you on an unforgettable journey through time.

Carlowrie Castle 

Carlowrie Castle 

Bridge Rd, Kirkliston, Edinburgh EH29 9ES 

Nestled amidst the picturesque countryside of West Lothian, Carlowrie Castle stands as a magnificent testimony to ancient glory. With its grandeur and elegance, this Scottish masterpiece has attracted travellers worldwide seeking an unforgettable escape. From the moment you set foot on its lavish grounds, you are transported back in time, enveloped in centuries of tradition and beauty. As you venture through its opulent halls and spacious rooms, each adorned with intricate detailing and exquisite artwork, it becomes apparent why Carlowrie Castle is renowned as one of Scotland’s hidden gems.

Beyond its regal façade lies a treasure trove of stories waiting to be unravelled. The castle’s rich history dates back over 150 years, when it was originally built as a private residence for Scottish nobility. Over the years, it witnessed moments of both triumph and tragedy that have shaped the very foundation upon which it stands today. Each corner whispers tales of love affairs, political intrigues, and family legacies that add depth to its enchanting allure. It is through these stories that Carlowrie Castle comes alive, weaving together past and present in a tapestry reminiscent of a bygone era.

Today, Carlowrie Castle continues to captivate visitors with its luxurious accommodations and unparalleled hospitality. Whether you choose to indulge in fine dining experiences or immerse yourself in outdoor activities on the castle grounds, every moment spent at Carlowrie is an embodiment of indulgence and relaxation.

Blackness Castle

Blackness, Linlithgow EH49 7NH 

High on a rocky promontory overlooking the picturesque Firth of Forth, Blackness Castle is a silent witness to Scotland’s turbulent past. Originally built in the 15th century as a formidable fortress, it later served various purposes, from state prison to ammunition depot. Its strategic location ensured its pivotal role in protecting Scotland’s interests during the conflict. Beyond its imposing structure and historical significance, Blackness Castle offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the enigmatic world of Game of Thrones.

Stepping inside the castle walls feels like entering another realm altogether. It comes as no surprise that Blackness Castle was chosen as a filming location for several key moments in George R.R. Martin’s epic series. As you wander through its atmospheric courtyards and dark chambers, you can almost hear the echoes of Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister discussing life and death against this stunning backdrop. The connection between fiction and reality becomes tangible here, reminding us that history can be just as captivating and full of intrigue as any fantasy tale.

Blackness Castle also rewards those with an eye for architectural detail. From its intricate stone carvings to its looming towers, every nook and cranny exudes an air of grandeur that speaks volumes about medieval craftsmanship. As you explore further into this marvel of Gothic architecture, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking panoramic views it offers.

Hailes Castle

Haddington EH41 4PY 

Tucked away on the banks of the River Tyne in East Lothian, Scotland, Hailes Castle has a rich and storied history that continues to captivate visitors. Often overshadowed by its grandiose counterparts like Edinburgh Castle, this medieval marvel offers a more intimate glimpse into Scotland’s past. As you wander through its ivy-covered ruins, you can almost feel the echoes of long-lost whispers and the footsteps of those who walked these halls centuries ago.

One unique aspect of Hailes Castle is its stunning location. Set against a backdrop of rolling green fields framed by the meandering river, it exudes an air of tranquillity that belies its turbulent past. While many castles were built for strategic purposes or as symbols of power, Hailes Castle seems to have been designed with serenity in mind. Its secluded setting makes for a truly immersive experience – one that allows you to appreciate not only the architectural beauty but also the natural splendour surrounding it.

Another intriguing feature is Hailes Castle’s significant association with Mary Queen of Scots. It was here that she sought refuge following her disastrous defeat at Carberry Hill in 1567. Although she spent just three short days within these walls – before escaping disguised as a pageboy – one can’t help but imagine what must have transpired during this brief interlude. The castle remains frozen in time, preserving snippets from an era when political intrigue and fierce rivalry loomed large over Scotland’s landscape.

Dirleton Castle 

Dirleton Castle

North Berwick EH39 5ER 

Nestled in the picturesque village of Dirleton, Scotland, Dirleton Castle stands as a testament to the resilience and grandeur of medieval architecture. Once a mighty fortress, it remains an enchanting ruin that tells stories of bygone eras. As you wander through its crumbling walls, you can almost hear echoes of the past whispering through the air.

What truly sets Dirleton Castle apart is its striking gardens. Bursting with vibrant flowers and meticulously manicured hedges, they add a touch of ethereal beauty to this historic site. Strolling through these gardens transports you back in time, allowing you to imagine what life may have been like for those who once called this castle home.

While most visitors are drawn to the castle itself, it’s worth taking a moment to explore the hidden gem that lies just beyond its walls – the mysterious Yew Tree Maze. With its twisting pathways and towering hedges, becoming lost within this maze is thrilling and enchanting. As you find your way out, pause for a moment and appreciate how, even amidst decayed grandeur, Dirleton Castle continues to captivate hearts and minds alike.

Tantallon Castle 

Tantallon Castle

North Berwick EH39 5PN 

On the edge of towering cliffs overlooking the wild North Sea, Tantallon Castle is a testament to Scotland’s medieval past. What sets this castle apart from others is not just its breathtaking location but also its intriguing history and the enduring stories it holds within its walls. From royal intrigue and bloody battles to tales of ghostly encounters, Tantallon Castle offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s turbulent past.

One cannot help but be captivated by the sheer size and scale of Tantallon Castle. Built-in the 14th century by William Douglas, it was once one of Scotland’s most formidable strongholds. Despite being partially ruined today, it remains an impressive reminder of its former glory. As you explore its remains, you can almost feel a sense of awe for the people who once called this place home and defended it with their lives.

Another unique aspect of Tantallon Castle is the rich folklore that surrounds it. Countless legends have been woven into its history over centuries – whispers of hidden treasures buried within its grounds or echoes of lost souls wandering through dark corridors at night. Whether you believe in such things or not, these stories add an air of mystique to an already captivating castle.

Visiting Tantallon Castle is like stepping back in time; it immerses you in a world where knights fought bravely for honour and where love and betrayal shaped destinies.

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