Ten beautiful Scottish castles to visit

Drenched in bloody history and blessed with fairytale beauty, Scotland's castles are truly something to behold. Here are ten of the most beautiful and unique stone fortresses to visit around Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle

Parts of the iconic castle have stood above Edinburgh for over 900 years - and indeed the structure has been at the heart of the city's fascinating history for as long.

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Stunning views of the castle, which sits on top of an extinct volcano, are ever present around the city, whether it's from Waverley Bridge, Princes Street, Greyfriars Kirkyard, or Inverleith Park.

Dunottar Castle is situated in a quite stunning location

Visitors should aim to explore the castle around one o'clock when a cannon, named Mon's Meg is sounded to signify the time.

Visit: Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG - edinburghcastle.gov.ukStirling Castle

Tactically situated on a prominent crag at the "entrance" to the Southern Highlands, this fortress has played a crucial role in Scottish history, and was notably the crowning location of several Scottish Kings and Queens - includign Mary, Queen of Scots.

Since it was erected in the early 12th century, there have been at least eight attempt to siege the castle.

Dunottar Castle is situated in a quite stunning location

Views from the castle walls are exquisite, particularly of the Wallace Monument.

Visit: Castle Esplanade, Stirling, FK8 1EJ - stirlingcastle.gov.ukREAD MORE - 25 places to visit in Scotland before you die

Glamis Castle

Located just outside Glamis in the county of Angus, this castle is renowned as one of the most haunted building in the British Isles.

Despite it's reputation as a haunt for the deceased, Glamis is a hugely charming building and was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, parent of current ruling monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

Visit: Near Glamis, Angus, DD8 1RJ - glamis-castle.co.ukEilean Donan Castle

Dating from the 13th century, this castle's situation on an island at the confluence of three lochs has to be seen to be believed.

Picture-perfect from almost every angle, the castle is also home to a fascinating history and was once the stronghold of Clan Mackenzie and their allies Clan Macrae.

The castle is well equipped with a visitor's centre and tours run throughout the day around the castle's intriguing grounds.

Visit: Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh IV40 8DX - eileandonancastle.comDunottar Castle

Retreating from the northeast mainland in into the sea is a peninsula holding the ruined medieval fortress Dunottar Castle. Located near Stonehaven, the castle's situation is a wonderful combination of natural and man-made beauty.

Despite its ruined form today, Dunottar was previously the stronghold of Clan Keith.

Visit: Near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, AB39 2TL - dunnottarcastle.co.ukDunrobin Castle

Situated in the northern reaches of the country, the simple stunning Dunrobin Castle is the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland.

Though originating from the Middle Ages, the majority of the stately home was built between 1835 and 1850 by architect Charles Barry.

Today, visitors are welcome to explore the castle's museum and expansive gardens.

Visit: Golspie, Sutherland, KW10 6SF - dunrobincastle.co.ukDuart Castle

Duart Castle sits proudly on the remote northeast coast of the Isle of Mull.

Though likely built by Clan MacDougall in the 13th century, Duart Castle came into the hands of clan MacLean the following century and has remained so since.

Much of the castle has fallen into disrepair in recent years, but the building still remains a truly stunning sight.

Visit: Isle of Mull PA64 6AP - duartcastle.comREAD MORE - Do you know these 25 Doric words and phrases? Caerlaverock Castle

Otherworldly in its appearance, this Dumfries castle wouldn't look out of place in a Game of Thrones episode.

The moated triangle design of the castle gives the building not only a aesthetic, but a tactical situation which allowed the owners to control trade in the area.

Visit: Caerlaverock, Dumfries, DG1 4RU - caerlaverockestate.co.ukCastle Stalker

Situated off the coastal road south of Glencoe, Castle Stalker is a mesmerising sight.

Floating over Loch Linnhe, its well worth stopping on your travels along the west coast to study the castle ruin more closely.

Despite having a history that spans back to the 1300s, Castle Stalker is perhaps best known for featuring in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Visit: Appin, A828 between Ballachulish and Connel - castlestalker.comEdzell Castle

This ruined 16th century castle is situated just outside of the quiet village of Edzell.

Boasting an opulent walled garden and intricate carvings throughout, the motte and bailey structure was the home of the Lindsay and Dalhouse families.

Now abandoned, the ruined castle is said to be the haunt of a ghost known as "the White Lady", believed by many to be the spirit of Earl David Ogilvy's wife.

Visit: Near Edzell, Angus, DD9 7UE - historicenvironment.scot