Scottish Castles
Did you know that Scotland have over 2000 castles? Read on to find out more…

Scotland has a host of well preserved castles dotted all around the country. Many of them are open to visitors, and some are located in areas of great natural beauty. We here at Seaside Golf Tours are often asked if we can help arrange a visit to a castle as part of a tour, and the answer is of course, absolutely!

One of the ones that most people will have heard of is Edinburgh castle, which sits on the top of an extinct volcano high above the city of Edinburgh. It is the home of the Crown Jewels, including a crown made for James the 5th in 1540 which was used to crown Mary Queen of Scots in 1543. It also houses “Mons Meg”, a six-tonne cannon that was gifted to King James the 2nd in 1457. It was made in Mons, Belgium, hence the name. At 1 o’clock each day (except Sunday) a gun is fired from Edinburgh Castle. This practise dates back to 1861, and ships used to set their clocks to it.

Balmoral Castle, near Ballateer in Aberdeenshire, is most famous for being the Scottish holiday home to the British Royal Family. It is usually open to the public between late April and early August for tours. It was purchased for Queen Victoria in 1852 by her husband Prince Albert. The castle on site is not the original castle purchased. It was decided that it was too small for the Royal Family, so they built the current castle 100 yards to the North West of the original. They lived in the original castle during construction, and when the new castle was completed in 1856, the original was demolished. The closest golf courses to this castle are the ones in the Dundee and Aberdeen area, like Carnoustie, Royal Aberdeen and Trump. It’s also a great stop over on your way to the highlands! 

Cawdor Castle , near Nairn in the Highlands, is a castle dating from the late 13th Century. It contains many rare tapestries, art, furniture and sculpture spanning 3.500 years of history. The castle was built by the Thane of Cawdor, and legend has it that after a dream, he loaded some gold onto the back of the donkey, and after roaming around the district for a day, wherever it rested for the evening would be the site for the new castle! it has been home to 23 generations of the Cawdor family. Cawdor Castle is conveniently located for visitors to the Inverness area, and links courses like Nairn, Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch.

Dunnottar Castle, in Aberdeenshire, was started in 1392 and is on the site of some previous fortifications that were destroyed by the Vikings and William Wallace (of Braveheart the movie fame). The castle is open almost all year round, and is a fascinating look at an historic Scottish stronghold.

Glamis Castle, 12 miles North of Dundee, is well known by Royal Family watchers as the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. It was also the birthplace of Princess Margaret. Glamis is also famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The present castle was started in 1400, was first opened to the public in 1950. The Castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and there are many walks to be enjoyed. This is easy to reach from Dundee, were most of our guests that are playing golf clubs like Carnoustie, Montrose and Monifieth stay.

Stirling Castle, in Stirling has been on the site since at least 1107, and the oldest part still standing was built in 1381. It has played host to many important events in Scottish history and has changed hands many times from Scottish to English ownership and back again. in 1562, a candle set fire to the bed in which a teenage Mary, Queen of Scots was sleeping.
In 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully laid siege to the castle. It is open all year round, and is well worth a visit.

By some counts Scotland has over 2000 castles, some ruined and some still intact, so you’ll never be far from a historic ruin on any visit to Scotland!

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