When you think of Scotland, what comes to mind are images of castles, famous battlefields, majestic sceneries, skirling bagpipes, and the Loch Ness Monster. Scotland’s charm lies in its natural beauty, culture and history, and timeless mystique. From iconic towers, castles, historic structures, magnificent lochs, lush highlands, to a lively music scene, there is plenty to explore and love about this beautiful country.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Located in the northern part of Great Britain, it also has more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides archipelago. Being the second-largest country in the United Kingdom, Scotland has a population of about 5.5 inhabitants, with most of the population concentrated in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Central Belt in the Scottish Lowlands.
Scotland is endowed with natural beauty, featuring majestic lochs, towering mountains, lush woodlands, magnificent coastal features, and beautiful islands. Explore the farmland and rolling hills of the Lowlands and the deep glens, woods, and mountains in the Highlands.
The history of the country is fascinating but turbulent.The earliest known inhabitants of Scotland date back to the Stone Age in 10,000 BC. However, it was only in 124 AD, when the Romans arrived, that Scotland’s recorded history began. Failing to defeat the Picts and the Caledonians, the Romans eventually withdrew from the country.
At around 800 AD, the Vikings arrived. Coming all the way from Denmark and Norway, the Vikings settled in Scotland, particularly in the western part. Around this time, the Pics were forming the Kingdom of Alba. This kingdom continued to grow until the 12th century and eventually became a feudal society.
In the 13th century, Edward together with his troops marched to Scotland. Thus, the start of a series of battles and bloody sieges. The House of Stuarts, by the year 1371, established their dynasty in the country. Over the following centuries, Scotland continued to fight for its independence and went through various cultural and political changes, the most notable of which are its Renaissance period, the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, the Union of the Crowns, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Industrial Age.
When you are in Scotland, a castle is never that far away. Castles are among the main attractions in the country. According to records, there were up to 3,000 castles in Scotland. However, many of these are now gone or in ruins. The surviving castles have been restored and refurbished and turned into tourist attractions and hotels. With these, tourists can now enjoy a castle holiday in Scotland.
The first castles in Scotland were built in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was during this time when the motte-and-bailey castles were slowly replaced with stone castles. From the late 14th century to the 17th century, Tower Houses were built throughout the country. These castle dwellings were popular among noble families and the landowning class. The late 18th century saw a revival of medieval Scottish architecture. This culminated in now what is known as the Scottish Baronial style, which was popular during the 19th century.
The two oldest castles in Scotland that still stand today are the Aberdour Castle and the Castle Sween, both of which date from the year 1200. The most popular castle in Scotland is Edinburgh Castle. Set atop an extinct volcano in the capital city of Edinburgh, this castle is undeniably the most iconic and important castle in Scotland. Other castles popular among tourists include Braemar Castle, Balmoral Castle, Blair Castle, Inveraray Castle, Cawdor Castle, and Stirling Castle.
If you wish to stay in a Scottish castle, there are plenty to choose from. Combining majestic locations, romantic sceneries, and fascinating history, castle accommodations in Scotland continue to attract tourists and locals alike. The most popular castle hotels in Scotland include Glenapp Castle, Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fonab Castle, Atholl Palace Hotel, and Glengorm Castle. Stay at the castle hotels and experience their unique charm and romantic grandeur.