The castles that dot Scotland’s landscape stand as testament to our country’s history. With everything from majestic, perfectly preserved castles to haunting ruins, they allow us to see, feel and touch a very different era. Each castle has an enchanting story of its own, often thrilling and turbulent. There are a number of castles within easy distance of The Kingsmills Hotel, making us the perfect base for discovering our local history.
One of the most memorable landmarks in Inverness is the imposing medieval castle in the Old Town. This famous castle was built in the 11th century and is perched high on a hill overlooking the River Ness. Inverness Castle had a pivotal role in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and has been home to a succession of buildings, the first of which was a simple wooden palisade structure built in 1057.
The castle as it appears today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. One renovated wall of the original castle still stands for visitors to catch a glimpse of historic building techniques. Tourists can roam the castle grounds and climb to the viewing platform to take in some of the breath-taking views over the city and the Ness Valley.
Located just 15 minutes east of Inverness, Cawdor Castle was also mentioned in Shakespeare’s classic “Macbeth”. The current castle was built in 1454 and remains the ancestral home of the Campbell Earls of Cawdor. There are lots of activities for tourists to enjoy, making it an excellent choice for a family day out or romantic walk round the walls. The castle grounds house a golf course, nature trails and a variety of lovely fishing spots as well as the all-important castle tour.
Cawdor Castle has a cafe located in its courtyard that serves delicious meals and snacks to let you stop and admire the views after your grand tour. You can also pick up a unique souvenir in one of the castle’s three shops: the gift shop, the wool shop and the Highland shop.
One of Britain’s oldest continually inhabited houses. Dating back to the early 1300’s, this stunning castle lies nearby the Highland villages of Golspie and Dornoch, overlooking the Moray Firth. Just an hour-long drive from Inverness, Dunrobin Castle is a wondrous sight to behold and an Instagrammers dream, presenting several picturesque opportunities to take advantage of at the castle and the surrounding area.
With its rich history, spectacular manicured gardens designed with influence from the Palace of Versailles in Paris, and stunning falconry shows featuring the native golden eagle, Dunrobin Castle is a must visit when in the Scottish Highlands.
EILEAN DONAN CASTLE
As one of the most recognisable castles in Scotland, Eilean Donan is the embodiment of picturesque beauty. As one of Scotlands most visited tourist attractions, learn about the castles rich history dating back the the 13th century at their visitor centre then sit back and relax in their coffee shop.