Scotland’s Fairy-tale Castles 

Some of the most fantastic scenery and real-life, fairy-tale castles can be found in Scotland. We have put together this article, designed to equip you with everything you need to know about some of the most majestic forts and castles across Scotland. These real-life locations look like something which has been taken straight from a children’s bedtime story or a Hollywood movie back drop. 

 Glamis Castle 

This castle is renowned for being the setting of the world famous, William Shakespeare play, Macbeth. Situated within the village of Glamis, in Angus, you will find Glamis Castle. This castle was once home to the former Earls of Strathmore Glam and childhood home to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. This fantastic Estate offers an array of history and heritage to be unearthed and welcomes visitors all year round.  

Edinburgh Castle 

Undoubtedly one of the most popular, and most visited castles within Scotland. Edinburgh castle stands proudly at the centre of Scotland’s capital city, perched high on top of the Castle Rock overlooking Edinburgh. The oldest areas of the castle dates back to the 12th century and is home to the Crown Jewels of Scotland, which is the reason hundreds of tourists visit the castle daily.  

Balmoral Castle  

Purchased by Prince Albert in 1852 for Queen Victoria, Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home for the royal family ever since. This exceptional residence is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire and exhibits fantastic surrounding gardens which are open to the public from April 1st through to the 31st of July yearly. There is a number of activities available throughout its opening seasons such as weekend events, Land Rover safaris and an 18-tee golf course which can be booked in advance through a period of limited dates.

Cawdor Castle 

 Cawdor castle was originally the property of the Calder family, later passed onto the Campbells in the 16th century. This castle is enriched with history, myth and legends, while also having a connection to William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth. According to folklore, this castle is built around a Thorn tree which dates back to the 14th century. Visitors can witness this ancient, historic tree today within the dungeon area. One of the stories behind the building of Cawdor Castle tells of how a donkey, layered with gold lay beneath the thorn tree to rest. Residents who witnessed this interpreted it as a sign to preserve and worship the tree, believing that if they did so, good fortune would be brought to them. This is story sounds like something out of a fairy tale alone, without the magical aesthetics this castle offers.

Castle Fraser 

Castle Fraser is situated in Aberdeenshire. Move enthusiasts will probably recognise this location as the filming backdrop to the famous series, The Crown, which starred Helen Mirren. The castle itself sits on over 300 acres of open landscape and woodlands. The feeling of a family setting has very much been preserved within the interior of the property, with portraits of the Fraser family and original furniture remaining.  

Fyvie Castle  

Located in the Scottish village of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, is Fyvie Castle. This fantastic property has over 800 years worth of history and heritage, waiting to be discovered. Fyvie Castle is renowned for its luxurious, lavish interiors and picturesque location over the Loch. Art enthusiasts can explore an impressive collection of rich portraits and tapestries which tell stories of the castles origins and the family which inhabited it. Take a guided tour throughout this unique location to unearth the legends of curses, ghosts and supernatural events.  

Dunvegan Castle 

Situated along the side of the beautiful Loch Dunvegan, this castle is located on the Isle of Skye, and is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland today. What surrounds this castle is what makes it truly remarkable. Free to visit at any time, visitors can explore the stunning Fairy Pools and crystal-clear spring waters near the castle itself. The MacLeod estate, who inhabited Dunvegan Castle, have a fair amount of legend attributed to them. There is what’s known as the ‘Fairy Flag’, woven of silk and believed to have been produced as far back as the fourth century AD. Many believe this sacred banner to possess immensely strong supernatural powers to those who protect it.  

Urquhart Castle 

 This mythical location delivers the drama to those who wish to visit Scotland in the search for magic and legends. One of the most popular castles in the country, Urquhart Castle contains a grand tower that overlooks the magnificent and world-famous Loch Ness. Whilst many people intend to visit in the hopes of unearthing the secrets of the Loch Ness Monster, guests will not be disappointed by the overwhelming essence of heritage and Scottish history at Urquhart Castle.  

Inveraray Castle 

Inveraray Castle is another which appears to be wrapped in magic and charm. With its gorgeous turrets and enchanting interiors, this fairy tale castle is one not to be missed off of our list. Fans of the TV show, Downton Abbey, may recognise this location as one of the filming destinations of choice for the season 3 Christmas episode. The property is surrounded by a magnificent 60,000-acre estate and has beautifully inviting gardens waiting to be explored. This special location is definitely one to discover during your next visit to Scotland. 

Craigiever Castle 

Last on our list is the spectacularly, magical Craigiever Castle. Most recognisable for its pinkish appearance, this castle in Aberdeenshire is the perfect example of everything a fairy tale castle should look like. This property is said to have been the inspiration behind the world-famous, Disney’s Cinderella Castle. With its beautiful turrets and towers, this quirky property resembles everything we know from story books and movie screens. Guests can explore the many myths and legends associated with the castle from tales of murder, revenge and the occasional supernatural, ghost story. Access to the castle is by guided tour only and photography inside is prohibited, therefore we advise you to book in advance prior to your visit.  

Scotland is home to some of the finest castles in the world and if you visit Scotland we highly recommend you visit these archaic beauties.   


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