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17 of the Best Scotland Castles You Can Stay In

best castles to stay in scotland

There is something utterly magical about staying in a castle in Scotland; the stories those thick stone walls could tell!

From rugged stone walls, hidden staircases, to exquisite views of lochs, woodland and sea- each of these castles have something very special about them.

In this blog post, I’ve included the castle stays in Scotland I have personally stayed at and recommend, and castles I’ve extensively researched to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.

I hope you find some inspiration from this list!

How much does it cost to stay in a castle in Scotland?

Staying in a castle in Scotland can be pricey, however, there are many affordable options. I’ve included a variety of Scottish castle hotels that will (hopefully) suit all budgets.

I’ve looked up the average cost per night for all of the castles recommended in this article, to give you a general idea of what you’ll pay. Prices may rise for public holidays or popular events that take place in the area- so be sure to do your research to see if there is anything on when you plan on staying.

The most expensive time to stay in a castle in Scotland is from June to early September. On average, you will pay anything between £150-£300+ per night to stay during this time.

Usually, accommodation prices drop during the autumn and winter months (October to March), so if you are on a budget you are better off staying in a castle in Scotland during this time. The availability will also be better!

April and May are also good months to stay if you prefer nicer weather, but without the busyness of summer.

Scotland Castles You Can Stay In

Dalhousie Castle

Location: Bonnyrigg, Near Edinburgh

Quick history: Dalhousie is Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle that was once the seat of the Ramsay Clan. The castle has accommodated some very famous figures including King Edward I, Sir Walter Scott, Oliver Cromwell and Queen Victoria!

Average cost per night (summer): £159

Rating: 8.5/10

Dalhousie Castle is one of the most popular castles to stay in for visitors to Scotland. It has everything you’d expect of a medieval castle: grand design, a network of private passages to explore, a dungeon, and vast landscaped grounds steeped in history and abundant with wildlife.

There are two restaurants, a spa, and fun activities including archery, clay pigeon shooting, and falconry.

It’s also one of the more affordable options for a castle stay in Scotland.

Menstrie Castle

stay in a scottish castle menstrie castle

Location: Menstrie village, 5 minutes from Stirling

Quick History: Menstrie Castle once belonged to Sir William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling, who was instrumental in founding the colony of Nova Scotia.

Average cost per night (summer): From £130

Rating: 9.5/10

Menstrie Castle Stay is one of my favourite hidden gems- tucked away in the peaceful village of Menstrie, it’s just a 5-minute drive from Stirling. There are two gorgeous apartments you can choose from:

  • The Baronet – sleeps 2, great for couples, 1x bathroom.
  • The Turret – sleeps up to 6, great for friends or family travelling together, 2x bathrooms, dog-friendly.

Both of the apartments are self-catering and decorated stylishly in a stag and Highland Cow theme. I’ve stayed in both of these apartments and I highly recommend staying here- the owner, Tracey, goes above and beyond for her guests!

Hiring a car would be advantageous if staying at this castle (there’s free public parking), but you can use public transport to travel to and from Stirling and Edinburgh.

Dalmunzie Castle

Location: Glenshee

Quick History: Located on the Dalmunzie Estate, the castle was once home to. Queen Victoria once visited and said of the estate and castle: ‘’it was so calm and solitary…all seemed to breathe freedom and peace and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils.’’

Average cost per night (summer): £167

Rating: 8/10

The Haggis and I stayed at Dalmunzie Castle for one night when we had tickets for the Braemar Gathering. We had a wonderful night away with a romantic dinner and several games of billiards (which is SO much fun!).

I wouldn’t call this a luxurious castle stay- it’s more of a relaxed country castle, and the main attraction is the beautiful estate. There’s a 9-hole golf course, which is free for guests to use, and we also spotted a group of Highland cows grazing in one of the paddocks.

The food in the restaurant was superb; a 10/10 experience. The rooms could do with a bit of an update to reflect the price of the accommodation, however, because it was the weekend of the Braemar Gathering all accommodation prices went up. Avoid staying at this time.

There is also a cute wee bar, with a good selection of whisky.

Though it was expensive, that night will forever stay etched in my mind as one of the best nights away we’ve had as a couple.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel

Location: Fort William, Scottish Highlands

Quick History: Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy Castle in 1873 and commented: “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.”

Average cost per night (summer): £590

Rating: 9/10

Inverlochy Castle Hotel is a 19th-century baronial mansion located in the foothills of Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, just outside Fort William. It was built to replace the Old Inverlochy Castle, which is now in a ruinous state.

Spending a night at this castle comes at a high price, but if money isn’t a concern, this is one of the most luxurious castles in Scotland!

There is also an à la carte restaurant and bar onsite. It’s also dog-friendly.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including:

  • Archery
  • Cycling
  • Tennis
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking
  • Skiing
  • Fishing
  • Golf (within 3 km)

The Ben Nevis Whisky Distillery, West Highland Museum, and Glencoe are located nearby.

Cornhill Castle

Location: Biggar

Quick History: Originally a smaller mansion, Cornhill Castle was transformed by Alexander Kay, a Glasgow East India merchant, in the 1860s. It’s an elegant Renaissance-style French Chateau, built entirely of light-coloured freestone sitting majestically by the banks of the River Clyde.

Average cost per night (summer): £343

Rating: 9/10

If you’re looking for a luxurious castle stay in Scotland, Cornhill Castle offers stunning accommodation in South Lanarkshire.

Set within vast grounds in the countryside, Cornhill Castle has everything you might need for a romantic getaway, including a licensed restaurant, and activities such as golf and fishing.

All the rooms are beautifully decorated to a high standard. If you are in Scotland celebrating your honeymoon and looking to treat yourself, the Balmoral Honeymoon Suite is absolutely gorgeous.

They also have seven lodges located on the property (each with a hot tub) which sleep up to 7 people.

The Grand Ballroom is spectacular, with glittering chandeliers and a large dancefloor.

There’s even a helipad if you want to arrive by helicopter!

Glengarry Castle

Location: Invergarry, Scottish Highlands

Quick History: The old Invergarry Castle was the seat of the Chiefs of the MacDonells of Glengarry,
a powerful branch of the Clan MacDonald. The Glengarry Castle Hotel was built in the 1860s a short distance from the original castle.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) visited Invergarry Castle on two occasions: in 1745, shortly after the raising of the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan, and after his defeat at Culloden in 1746. 

Average cost per night (summer): £170

Rating: 9/10

Glengarry Castle Hotel is technically a country house rather than a castle, as the original Invergarry Castle (located a short walk away) was ransacked and partially destroyed after The Battle of Culloden in 1746.

I’ve included it on this list as it’s a simply beautiful place to stay if you want to stay somewhere off the beaten path surrounded by nature. I’m also a little biased because the MacDonell’s of Glengarry are one of my Scottish clans!

The hotel sits next to Loch Oich in the heart of the Great Glen, and you can enjoy activities such as fishing, rowing, tennis and hiking. It’s also a good place to stop over on the way to the Isle of Skye, or used as a base to explore the Scottish Highlands.

Please note the castle hotel is closed for the winter, but you can visit the ruin of Old Invergarry Castle at any time.

Fonab Castle

best castles to stay in scotland

Location: Pitlochry, Perthshire

Quick History: Fonab Castle was built in 1892 as a family home for Lt. Colonel George Glas Sandeman, the grandson of a cotton merchant and importer of wine, sherry and port. During WWI, the castle was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. This Scottish baronial-style castle was transformed into a hotel in 2013.

Average cost per night (summer): £375

Rating: 10/10

Fonab Castle Hotel is the ultimate luxury 5-star hotel and spa. It is set within the breathtaking scenery of Perthshire- an area that locals flock to during autumn to witness the changing colours of nature as it transforms from green to gold to match the colour of the castle itself.

The castle has a spa, two restaurants, and an abundance of tranquil walking trails nearby. The rooms are individually designed, with many offering views of the Perthshire highlands. There are also woodland suites for those looking for a nature break.

Activities that are bookable include off-roading, full and half-day tours, 4×4 hire, salmon fishing, watersports, falconry and clay pigeon shooting. There is also excellent independent shopping in Pitlochry.

A highlight is having afternoon tea at the castle; it’s £32.50 per person, which is a reasonable price for afternoon tea in a castle! You also have views of Loch Faskally and Ben Vrackie from the dining room.

For an outstanding experience in one of the most beautiful areas in Scotland- you can’t go past this castle!

Stonefield Castle

Location: Tarbert, Argyll

Quick History: Built in 1837 in the Scottish baronial style, Stonefield Castle was designed by renowned 19th-century architect, William Playfair, for John Campbell (1788-1857), grandson of Lord Stonefield. It replaced the earlier building Barmore House, which was owned by the MacAllister’s, Constables of Tarbert Castle.

Campbell was a botanist and planted a number of species of Rhododendron and Magnolia on the castle grounds- the seeds were acquired from his cousin’s travels abroad.

Average cost per night (summer): £215

Rating: 8/10

Located on the famous Kintyre peninsula, Stonefield Castle has lovely views over Loch Fyne, with many rooms looking onto the loch. The castle still has many of its original period features.

The award-winning restaurant sources its ingredients as locally as possible. Loch Fyne is famous for its oysters, so seafood lovers will enjoy staying here!

There are 60 acres of woodland grounds, including mesmerising gardens, to explore. Dogs are also welcome.

Barcaldine Castle

Location: Oban, Argyll

Quick History: Barcaldine Castle was built in 1609 by “Black” Duncan Campbell and restored in 1897 by Sir Duncan Campbell 3rd Baronet of Barcaldine. The castle was attacked in 1692 during the Glencoe Massacre.

Average cost per night (summer): £290

Rating: 9.5

Barcaldine Castle, also known as ‘The Black Castle,’ sits on the shores of Loch Creran with breathtaking views of the Glencoe Mountains.

At over 400 years old, the castle is simply stunning and is an excellent Scotland castle stay if you are wanting to stay in an ancient castle. The location is also great if you want to do some island hopping with the islands of Eriska, Lismore, Kerrera and Mull nearby.

Something cool about this castle is that there is a bottle dungeon and two secret passages you can explore!

Breakfast is also included in all bookings.

Glenapp Castle

Location: Ballantrae, Ayrshire

Quick History: Dating back to 1870, Glenapp Castle was designed by David Bryce who was known for his Scottish Baronial style, combining elements of the Gothic and Renaissance design. In 1917 the castle was purchased by James Lyle Mackay, first Earl of Inchcape, who was a successful businessman. He was credited with solving the Indian currency crisis.

His daughter, Elsie Mackay, was an ambitious young woman. She was an actress under the stage name Poppy Wyndham, an interior designer for P&O, and a skilled aviatrix famed for her aerial stunts. In 1928, she set out to cross the Atlantic in a single-engine monoplane just one year after Charles Lindbergh became the first to achieve the journey. Sadly, Elsie and her co-pilot Captain Hinchcliffe, a World War One flying ace, did not arrive and were never seen again.

Average cost per night (summer): £585

Rating: 9/10

Glenapp Castle is an award-winning five-star hotel that has been called ‘the UK’s best castle hotel for a luxury experience” by The Sunday Times.

The rooms have either sea or garden views, and the restaurant offers gourmet 6-course dining and afternoon tea.

You don’t need to venture outside the castle grounds to find things to do. There are 110 acres of private estate to explore, including woodland with herb, fruit and flower gardens, a 150-foot Victorian glasshouse and an all-weather tennis court and croquet lawn.

There is also shooting, high pheasant and partridge shooting, deer stalking, and salmon and trout fishing.

The Wi-Fi isn’t great at this castle, however, you will want to disconnect from the outside world when staying here anyway. There are many things to do in this area, including a visit to Galloway Forest Park and stargazing in the evenings- this area has some of the darkest skies in Europe, perfect for a romantic stargazing excursion!

Be sure to read my article about things to do in south-west Scotland if you plan on staying at this castle.

Barony Castle

Location: Peebles, Scottish Borders

Quick History: Barony Castle dates back to the 15th century and was originally known as Darnhall. A tower previously sat on the site, which was a strategic defence during the time of the Reiver raids.

It was home to the Murrays of Blackbarony. Between the years 1700 and 1715, Sir Alexander ‘the Magnificent’ inherited the house and built the French (Jacobean) façade that is recognised today.

There is a rumour that the mill at the house was kept busy grinding corn to feed the hungry Jacobite soldiers of the 1745 rebellion.

The castle grounds are also home to The Great Polish Map of Scotland, a giant concrete scale model of Scotland, measuring 40m by 50m!

Average cost per night (summer): £140

Rating: 7.5/10

Barony Castle Hotel is a 16th-century castle tucked away in the Scottish Borders in a small village called Eddleston, just 10 minutes from the delightful town of Peebles. It’s one of the more affordable Scottish castle stays

The castle is nestled within 25 acres of beautiful grounds, with tall bushy trees that are home to a variety of wildlife.

There’s a restaurant, bar and lounge, and a gym and leisure spa which includes a 10-metre pool with a whirlpool bath, sauna, heated loungers and two beauty treatment rooms. 

Attractions located nearby include Traquair House (Scotland’s oldest inhabited house), Rosslyn Chapel, and the Go Ape treetop adventure course. The Peebles Golf Course is just 10 minutes away.

Neidpath Castle

Location: Peebles, Scottish Borders

Quick History: Neidpath Castle has been home to the Fraser, Hay, and Douglas families. It was once burnt down during the Scottish Wars of Independence. It passed from the Frasers to the Hay family through marriage, and it is thought Sir William Hay built the present castle in the late 14th century.

rugged stone walls, hidden staircases, and beautiful views from the battlements 

Mary Queen of Scots visited this castle in 1563, and so did James VI in 1587.

Another famous Scot who spent time at Neidpath Castle was Sir Walter Scott, who spoke fondly of his time spent at Neidpath when visiting his friend who lived there. 

Average cost per night (summer): £250 (Note: there is a 2-3 night minimum stay on many of the rooms).

Rating: 9.5

Neidpath Castle is a fairytale-looking castle and rare example of a fortified tower house. It’s wonderfully preserved, unusual in itself as many Border castles were subject to attacks over battling armies and reivers of the 1700-1800s.

The team at Neidpath Castle go above and beyond to ensure you have a traditional castle stay experience; the castle retains much of its original medieval character, including the vaulted ceiling of the Laigh Hall and the Great Hall with its pannelled walls and extensive collection of artwork.

There are a variety of rooms at the castle to choose from, including Queen Mary’s Chamber, where Mary Queen of Scots once stayed. There is also Neidpath cottage you can stay in that sleeps 6.

Mingary Castle

Location: Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan

Quick History: The history of Mingary Castle is very colourful (and interesting!).

There is also too much to summarise in a few sentences! In its 700+ years, Mingary Castle has seen Vikings, sieges, royalty, assassinations and all kinds of power struggles. It was built by the MacDouglas of Lorne to serve the needs of the Lords of the Isles.

King James IV visited the castle in 1493.

Average cost per night (summer): £322 (minimum 2-night stay)

Rating: 10/10

Mingary Castle is a spectacular castle located on the remote peninsula of Ardnamurchan. Boasting luxurious Georgian style, Mingary finished a 3-year refurbishment in 2016, and lowered its drawbridge to visitors for the first time in 150 years.

This castle is perfection for those searching for a true off-the-beaten path experience; the peninsula or Ardnamurchan offers some of the wildest beauty in Scotland, offering a surely unforgettable experience.

Picture this: charming oak panelling, four poster beds, Caithness stone flooring, a hand-carved staircase, lavish furnishings, and sea views to boot.

There’s a restaurant and bar, and if the scenery isn’t enough of an attraction, there are awe-inspiring hiking trails located nearby. Dogs can stay on request.

Sherbrooke Castle

Location: Glasgow

Quick History: Sherbrooke Castle was built in 1896 during the late Victorian period, which was known for its opulence. It’s a good example of a castle built for the middle class, yet it has a few unusual features;p the rooms are arranged around a vast hall and staircase.

During World War II, the castle was used as a Radar training centre for Naval Officers. It returned to a hotel after the war.

Average cost per night (summer): £267

Rating: 8.5/10

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel is a 4-star baronial hotel located on the south side of Glasgow in Pollokshields, a conservation area. It is just a 15-minute drive from Glasgow International Airport.

The castle has two bars, à la carte restaurant, and conference facilities that cater for up to 200 people. It’s also a wedding venue.

Located within beautiful leafy grounds, this castle is a good escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Sherbrooke Castle is open on Christmas Day, and they have a Christmas menu for guests! I also recommend booking a table at the restaurant for Afternoon Tea.

Kincraig Castle

Location: Invergordon, near Inverness

Quick History: Built in 1800, Kincraig Castle was once home to generations of the Mackenzie Clan.

Average cost per night (summer): £285

Rating: 9/10

Kincraig Castle is a picturesque white-harled country house located on the North Coast 500 route, just 20 minutes north of Inverness.

What’s special about this castle is it retains many of its original features from when it was built in 1800- making this castle experience a traditional one.

Standing atop a hill with views over the Cromarty Firth, Kincraig Castle is nestled within 10 acres of carefully landscaped grounds, surrounded by woodland and farmland.

The two Red Rosette restaurants offer excellent fine dining and the bar has a selection of local Dalmore malts you can try.

Kincraig Castle is a fantastic base to explore Inverness, the north-east and north-west highlands, the Cairngorms National Park, and the Black Isle.

Affordable Castles To Stay In Scotland

Of all of the castles mentioned in this article, the most affordable are Dalhousie Castle, Barony Castle, Menstrie Castle, and Neidpath Castle (some rooms).

Have you stayed in a castle in Scotland? Let me know which castle in the comments!