Scotland is world renowned for its ancient and dramatic castles, often located in the most remote places they sort of represent the rugged spirit of the Scottish people. Strong, resilient, and enduring. But not all Scottish castles are bleak medieval stone towers set in desolate countryside. There are many castles in Scotland that could be put on Christmas shortbread tins, they are so pretty. And could have easily come out of a fairy-tale book. Often steeped in history and legend, Scottish castles are sometimes breathtaking, and here are some of the very best.

Dunrobin Castle

You could be mistaken that you were dreaming and in the French countryside when you first see magnificent Dunrobin Castle. Based on the design of an elegant French Chateau, this castle is so beautiful that it could feature in a Walt Disney movie. Located on the northern coast of Scotland near Dornoch the building is beautifully preserved, and it happens to be the largest castle in this part of the Highlands.

Dating back to the 1300s, the castle boasts 189 rooms and has been the ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland for many centuries. The architecture is literally breathtaking, and the castle seems to be floating above the carefully manicured lawns with its spires reaching up to the sky. The spires were a later addition to the original building and were designed by Sir Charles Barry, who was the famous architect who built The Houses of Parliament in London.

Floors Castle

Floors Castle
Floors Castle

Traveling down to the Scottish Borders you can see the home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh which is Floors Castle. And it happens to be the largest inhabited castle in the whole of Scotland. The exterior of this magnificent building is imposing and fairly square in design, but where Floors Castle really excels is in the detail of the interior. Inside Floors Castle are luxurious tapestries, unique antiques and really priceless works of art. Set in its own imposing grounds the castle gardens are home to the famous holly tree which supposedly marks the spot where King James II was killed.

Fyvie Castle

Fyvie Castle
Fyvie Castle

Built in the 13th century as a basic stronghold, Fyvie Castle has grown through the ages to become a splendid building. Powerful Scottish families through the ages have made this castle what it is today, and each of them have left their mark on the architecture. Today this castle stands erect and proud as a Scottish baronial fortress, ready to repel modern-day raiders should they dare to attack. The rugged exterior hides what lies inside which is a treasure-trove of glorious antiques and fantastic architectural features. The most dramatic one being the magnificent sweeping staircase that dominates the center of the main entrance.

As well as the magnificent castles that have already been featured there are many other fantastic Scottish castles to enjoy when traveling in this part of the world. Other must-see grand castles are, Culzean, Drummond, Kilchurn, and Castle Fraser. Take an extended trip and enjoy as many of these fine buildings as you can, it is definitely worth it.