The best places to visit in Scotland are the castles. One of the best things to do in Scotland is stay in a castle. Scotland is bursting with castle hotels that are ready to treat the common folk like royalty. These beautiful creations beckon tourists to sample their history, architecture, and romance. Scotland castle hotels offer guests the opportunity to vacation like kings while staying on a hotel budget. Let’s take a look at some of the best castle hotels in Scotland that will take your breath away.
Seven miles south of Edinburgh on the River Esk, this 13th century fortress transports guests to a time of intrigue and mystery. It’s the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland. Themed bedrooms are in keeping with the Scottish Highland history of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace (Braveheart), and more. The dining area is in an ancient barrel-vaulted dungeon aptly named The Dungeon Restaurant. Or enjoy pristine panoramic views with your royal afternoon tea from the topside bistro. The hidden Library Bar offers Scottish whiskey and French Champagne. You’ll be surrounded by history while enjoying the modern luxury of a pool, hydro spa, sauna, steam bath, and Wi-Fi. Bring your bathing suit and prepare to indulge. As if dungeons and hidden rooms weren’t enough, guests at this castle hotel can also try their hands at Falconry.
This lovely castle hotel in Scotland is swimming in romantic and tragic history. Only six miles outside of Edinburgh, it offers a charming alternative to a stoic hotel in the city.
Queen Mary of Scotland, Queen Victoria, and King George IV (among others) visited while on holiday. The 32 bedroom suites boast 18th century elegance with its high ceilings and period furniture. Wake up hungry, and enjoy a full Scottish continental breakfast each morning.
Keep a camera handy to capture the stunning views from this castle hotel that force you to relax and enjoy your Scottish holiday. Weddings, birthdays, and other venues can be booked as well. Get married and sprint to the classic grand four-poster suite for a honeymoon to remember.
Pack your golf bag and enjoy a golfer’s holiday. Built in 1901, this is one of the top castle hotels in Scotland that caters to golfers. Designed as a holiday home for the golf-loving Hon. Alfred Lyttleton, it rests on the outer edges of Muirfield, one of Scotland’s most famous golf courses. Most of the 23 bedrooms overlook the Firth of Forth, Muirfield, or Lammermuir Hills.
While it’s not a self-catering castle, you can book a stay in the Colonel’s House – a lovely four-bedroom cottage set just beyond the castle gates. If you stay in a castle hotel in Scotland like Greywalls, you’ll enjoy fully orchestrated meals in the formal dining room. Chez Roux gives you a taste of fine dining but a lighter alternative is the all-day dining in The Lounges for more informal meals. Located only 30 minutes outside the capital, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Edinburgh in case golf isn’t your forte. Edinburgh Castle (open all year), shopping on Princes Street, a picnic at the Royal Botanic Garden, and HMY Britannia (the Queen’s yacht) beckon visitors to experience the heart of Scotland.
Located about an hour south of Edinburgh, this could be one of the best castle hotels in Scotland. Tranquility, miles of countryside, and a calming loch give you a chance to recharge and enjoy the beauty of Scotland.
At Stobo, you can stay in a historical castle hotel while enjoying modern spa treatments, a fitness room, and hair studio. Men and women can indulge in the steam room, Swedish sauna, hot tubs, swimming pool, and hydro spa. Don’t forget to bring a bathing suit. The Ladies Health Suite caters to the female well-being including expectant mothers.
Bedrooms range from ultra-luxurious to a more standard décor. The complimentary slippers are a sweet perk of staying here. Put on your sneakers or boots and hike one of the many trails, enjoy a walk by the loch, refill your Zen at the Japanese Water Gardens, tackle the tennis courts, or go mountain biking in the surrounding Highland hills. Explore the history of this stunning castle hotel and its wild countryside in the day; enjoy modern amenities of a relaxing spa in the evening.
For the truly decadent Scottish holiday, this castle hotel is one of the best places to visit in Scotland. Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, its name is derived from the multitudes of women who were burned at the stake as witches during the 16th and 17th centuries.
It was built in 1595 and looks like much the same as it did then. The nine lavish bedrooms scream opulence and old-world taste with their gilded ceilings and tapestries. Antique candlesticks, gilded leather screens, and rich red upholstery take you back to the reign of James VI. Did I mention that each room comes with a complimentary bottle of Champagne? A full Scottish breakfast awaits each morning in the castle’s original dining room. Put on your tux or little black dress and descend the stone staircase to The Secret Garden where fine dining is mixed with a touch of mystery. French windows, painted ceiling, ancient oak paneling, and colorful tapestries add to the aura of mystic.
A Scotland castle hotel like this one may be a bit pricey, but if you want to stay in a castle then this is definitely worth it.
The best places to visit in Scotland are the castles. History, tragedy, romance, and intrigue fester in their stone walls. There’s no better way to be part of it all than being able to stay in a castle hotel. Whether you’re searching for simplicity or decadent luxury, Scotland castle hotels won’t disappoint. Forego the stuffy and boring hotel rooms. For the same price, or a bit more, you can live like royalty in one of the many full service or self-catering castle hotels in Scotland. I know I’ll be adding the Witchery by the Castle to my travel bucket list.
Have you stayed in a castle hotel in Scotland? Leave a comment and share your experience below.
Read my article about What to do in London for two days and see how much fun you can have in one short weekend in England!