Scotland is filled with beautiful castles – over 1,500 of them, to be a little more exact. And, believe it or not, there are actually quite a few that you can spend the night in. From Edinburgh to Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands, here are the coolest castle hotels in Scotland.
First up, there’s Glenapp Castle. Built in the 1870s, Glenapp Castle makes it onto just about every list of the best castle hotels in Scotland – and for good reason. This five star luxury castle has it all – from impeccable service to gorgeous rooms to a fairytale-esque location. Once you stay, you may never want to leave.
Located in the Ayrshire Countryside about an hour and 30 minutes outside of Glasgow, Glenapp Castle is the perfect place to get away. On the property, you can stroll through the gardens, sip on afternoon tea, and enjoy a decadent six-course meal at the castle restaurant. Then, at the end of the day, you can curl up in your room that’s fit for royalty.
And off the property, there’s even more to do! Pop into a few whiskey distilleries, take a tour to nearby island gems, and even do a little stargazing.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel
The Inverlochy Castle Hotel in Fort William has hosted quite a few guests of honour – from the Harry Potter cast and crew to Queen Victoria. And now you can join their ranks during your stay at this jaw-dropping 19th century castle.
Since royalty has quite literally stayed in these accommodations, it should be no surprise to find out that they’re outfitted with only the finest touches. Clawfoot bathtubs and four-poster beds are just the start.
And while you might be tempted to cozy up in bed all day, a meal by a two-starred Michelin chef might convince you to give your legs a stretch. Located on the property, the Seasgair restaurant is run by critically acclaimed Chef Michel Roux Jr. Enjoy a decadent, five-course meal at this incredible dining experience.
Last but not least, we simply have to mention the location. Inverlochy Castle Hotel is close to many amazing nature-focused activities. Whitewater raft, mountain bike, golf, and ice climb to your heart’s content in this Scottish town.
*Note: Don’t confuse the 19th century Inverlochy Castle Hotel with the 13th century Inverlochy Castle. The latter is sadly in ruins, so unfortunately no one can stay there.
While both Glenapp Castle and the Inverlochy Castle Hotel were built in the 19th century, Dalhousie Castle is quite a bit older. Built in the 13th century, Dalhousie Castle claims to be the oldest Scottish castle that’s still inhabited. And while the original moat and drawbridge are gone, it’s still a pretty cool place to stay.
Situated in Bonnyrigg, a small town just outside of Edinburgh, Dalhousie Castle is an intriguing blend of old and new. With the original vaults and walls but modern fireplaces and flatscreen TVs, it’s the best of the past and the present tied together.
And we’re certainly not the only ones who’ve appreciated the beauty of Dalhousie Castle. Over the years, many noteworthy guests, including Mary Queen of Scots, King Edward I, and Queen Victoria have all stayed here.
As for what to do during your stay at Dalhousie Castle, well, you’re sure to stay entertained. On the property, you can get pampered at the relaxing spa, dine at the seasonally inspired castle restaurant, and even try your hand at archery. And in the nearby area, you can pop by Rosslyn Chapel, enjoy a whiskey tasting at Glenkinchie Distillery, or explore the bustling town of Edinburgh.
Glengorm Castle has quite a lot going for it. First and foremost, it’s nestled on the Isle of Mull, a beautiful island on the western coast of Scotland. While it’s easily accessible by ferry, the island still has that quiet, off-the-grid feel that’s perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of life. While you’re in the area, why not grab a drink at the Tobermory Distillery or check out Duart Castle?
When you’re done exploring, head to Glengorm Castle and enjoy your home away from home – and that’s exactly what it’ll feel like, when you step through the front door: a (very fancy) home. Even the owners live in a separate wing of this cozy castle! Peruse the books in the library, grab a drink of fine whiskey, and curl up in your inviting room for some much needed rest.
Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa
Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa is widely regarded as one of the best castle hotels in Scotland, and there are a couple of reasons for that. First, this five star hotel is the perfect blend of old and new. With both modern amenities and antique decor, you’ll get the best of both worlds.
But one of Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa’s main claims to fame is, well, the spa. Reach peak levels of relaxation with the castle’s revitalising treatments in serene facilities. By the end of your experience, you’ll leave feeling like your best, most refreshed self.
On top of all that, Fonab Castle has an incredible location. Situated in the Scottish Highlands just outside of Cairngorms National Park, this Scottish castle is fantastic for nature lovers. Go whitewater rafting, do a little fishing, try off-roading, and so much more.
With just six rooms, Barcaldine Castle in Oban gives off an almost bed and breakfast-like vibe – except instead of a cozy little inn, you’ll be staying in a castle, of course. Get a fantastic night of rest in one of the charming rooms and then wake up each morning for a tasty breakfast. Enjoy everything from the massive Scottish breakfast to the vegetarian haggis to a more traditional continental spread.
Once you’re filled up and energised, head out and explore the area. Enjoy a whiskey tasting at the Oban Distillery, take a train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct, visit the stunning St. Conan’s Kirk, and kayak to the Hebridean Islands.
*Pro Tip: See if you can find the bottle dungeon and two hidden passageways during your stay at Barcaldine Castle.
Crossbasket Castle is known as one of the most romantic castle hotels in Scotland. It’s frequently rented out for engagements and weddings, so if you happen to snag a room for your romantic getaway for two, luck is on your side!
Part of the reason that Crossbasket Castle is popular for weddings is that it’s just so picture-perfect. The stone walls, manicured gardens, and cascading fountains make it look like this castle was plucked right out of a fairytale! And when you stay at Crossbasket Castle, you can enjoy this magical scenery too.
As if the fairytale-like setting wasn’t already enough, Crossbasket Castle is also home to one of the best restaurants in the area: the Michel Roux Jr Restaurant. Owned by Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr himself, this Crossbasket Castle restaurant serves up mouthwatering dishes that use only the finest seasonal ingredients.
While you may be tempted to stay on the property and pretend you’re in a storybook for your entire getaway, we recommend making some time to explore the area as well. Located just 20 minutes outside of Glasgow, it’s easy enough to head into the city and explore all of the awesome sites.
Tulloch Castle Hotel
If you want to stay in one of the coolest castle hotels in Scotland, but you’re on a tighter budget, check out Tulloch Castle Hotel. While prices aren’t exactly low, they are significantly lower than most other Scottish castle hotels.
Despite the more affordable price, the 12th century Tulloch Castle Hotel still has tons of noteworthy features and activities. Sleep in the royal four-poster beds, sip on single malt whiskeys at the bar, and even take a ghost tour of the castle. And as for what to do off the property, you won’t be far from the Dingwall Museum, Little Fyrish Monument, and Rogie Falls.
Duchray Castle is a little bit different from the rest of the castle hotels in Scotland. Instead of those iconic grey stone walls, the main section of this castle is constructed with pale pink walls. Talk about something out of a fairytale!
Once you head inside Duchray Castle, things get even better. Curl up by the crackling fireplace or make use of the games in the game room. And don’t forget to explore the property’s acres of beautiful land! Swim in the river, stroll through the gardens, collect fresh eggs from the chicken coop, and say hello to the local cows.
If all of the on-property activities aren’t enough to keep you entertained during your stay, don’t worry! Duchray Castle is located in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, where you can bike, hike, horseback ride, and wildlife watch for as long as you’d like.
And there you have it! The coolest castle hotels in Scotland! Which ones will you choose to stay at? Let us know in the comments!