Scottish castles

As I drift my way around Scotland's mesmerising array of castles, my 'must-visit' list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter. I hope these features will inspire you to visit at least one (or three!)

Smailholm Tower

A ‘peel tower’ in the Scottish Borders, basking in the autumn sunshine and remembering a colourful history of reiving

Old Castle Lachlan: loyalty and loss

Ghosts of horses tend to come in different guises, some of them benevolent and some of them more inclined towards the Apocalypse. The story that is linked with Old Castle Lachlan is moving and gentle, touched by the sadness of Culloden

Loch Avich and the Castle of the Red-haired Girl

I knew there had to be a story attached to this; I hope you’ll find it as spellbinding as I did!

Rosslyn Castle – falling shadows

Gaunt and brooding, the battered fragments of a spectacular fortress stand in the woodlands of Roslin Glen

Carnbane Castle and a banquet for a bard

On top of a little wooded knoll in Glen Lyon, I felt as if I’d stepped straight into a legend…

In a nutshell: Cardoness Castle

Ancient seat of the McCullochs, Cardoness Castle has seen some troubled times. Violence, plunder, feuding… it all went on here!

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

At one end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is this sumptuous palace, with a jaw-dropping list of royal occupants and a rather blood-stained history…

Dunstaffnage Castle: defiant to the last

In the 13th century, no one approached Dunstaffnage Castle without a very good reason. It still fills you with a sense of awe…

Loch Dochart Castle

Not the easiest to see, this ruined tower house stands on a tiny island in Loch Dochart. I thought the story would be quite a short one…

Tantallon Castle: symbol of strength

The ancient seat of the Douglas Earls of Angus, Tantallon Castle tells a story of power, violence and treason. Most visitors didn’t bring a picnic – they brought guns!