Scottish castles sprung up as an attempt at defensive against feuds with England and other neighboring countries. Scottish castles generally provided a home for its inhabitants, along with a structure to provide protection against attack. Tower houses were often the basis of Scottish castles. Tower houses were tall towers that stood high above the ground to protect its residents from attacks and pillaging from down below. Often times, Scottish castles expanded out from the main Tower houses in times of peace.
Details of some of the more notable Scottish castles and Scottish castle accommodation:
The Airth Castle is one of the oldest castles offering Scottish castle accommodation. This fourteenth century castle has been restored and now combines a spa with Scottish castle accommodation. This incredible castle was once the home of the Robert the Bruce and his family and today combines history with modern luxury. This is also the largest venue in Scotland for Scottish castle weddings. A church on the grounds and plenty of elegant rooms make this one of the most popular places for Scottish castle weddings.
Resting on a hill that has hosted a castle since 1000 A.D., Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland"s oldest castles. This castle is representative of the Scotland of old that existed when Scotland was an independent nation. In 1573 the castle staged its last defense against the Brits in the name of Mary Queen of Scots. Situated on a mound of volcanic rock, Edinburgh Castle offers the most stunning views in the city and perhaps throughout Scotland. Tours of Edinburgh Castle are available.
Stirling Castle is one of the first castles in Scotland to pop up during the renaissance, and is a beautiful structure set on a rocky hill. Well worth touring for its beauty, Stirling Castle was also one of the last strongholds of the old Scottish nation before it was conquered. Stirling Castle was attacked on sixteen different occasions as warring nations fought to lay claim to its valuable defense location, finally falling to the Brits in the sixteenth century. Home to some of the most famous Scottish Kings and Queens since the early days of Alexander I, the views from Stirling Castle rival those seen from the famous Edinburgh Castle, and is open seven days a week for tours throughout the year.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is today the official residence of Queen Elizabeth in Scotland. The palace comes with its own sordid history, and has been a home to everyone from Mary Queen of Scotts to James VII. It was originally founded as a monastery in 1128, and became the official residence of Scottish rulers in later days. Today, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is used for official state business and entertaining. Steeped in history and available for tours, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is an excellent spot for touring.
Auchen Castle Hotel
Another popular place for Scottish castle weddings, the Auchen Castle Hotel is a smaller castle set on beautifully maintained grounds. The original castle structure was a Tower house built in 1220. It was rebuilt as a larger structure in the 1300"s by the sons of Sir Roger Kirkpatrick, who are thought to have helped in the murder of the castles ruler at the time. These sons also created a curious set of underground tunnels, whose purpose is still not fully understood. Having seen its share of bloodshed, the Auchen Castle Hotel of today is a more peaceful retreat then its ancient counterpart, and its history blend with modern comfort to offer an intriguing place to make your stay.
Scottish Kings of old were coroneted here at Scone Palace on a rock that was believed to have magical qualities. Though it spent many years at Westminster Abbey after Scotland was conquered, it was returned to Scotland in 1996 and remains on display at Edinburgh Castle. Scone Palace was once the center of the Pict Kingdom, and over the centuries hosted a monastery and served as the home of various Scottish rulers. Today, Scone palace is the residence of the Earl and Countess of Mansfield, and much of the castle is open for daily tours.
No matter what your travel plans to Scotland include, a stop at one of the famous Scottish castles is well worth the time. Tours of castles throughout Scotland are also available for anyone interested in seeing multiple castles.