8 fairytale castles in Scotland you must see

. 3 min read

We have likely all seen the wonderful  2012 Disney Pixar film Brave and delighted at Princess Merida of DunBroch's antics as her mother, Queen Elinor, attempts to prepare her for her impending betrothal by completing her "princess education and training".

The Disney Pixar team are reported to have based their animated castle on the real life ruin of Dunnottar Castle. But Scotland has at least 8 real life castles fit for the most demanding of princesses. These 8 castles have a magical air of fairytale to them that conjures up images of many fine things, romantic adventures and dreamy fantasies.

Fairytale castles truly fit for a princess



Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Dunrobin Castle is also one of Britain's oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and later, the Dukes of Sutherland.

Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of clan MacLeod for 800 years. Originally designed as a fortress, today you can tour an extraordinary castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, take a boat trip to see the Loch Dunvegan seal colony.

Fyvie Castle

This magnificent fortress in the heart of Aberdeenshire is a sterling example of Scottish Baronial architecture. The rooms are filled with antiquities, armour and lavish oil paintings. Ghosts, legends and folklore are all woven into the tapestry of Fyvie's 800-year-old history. We know William the Lion was at Fyvie around 1214 and later Robert the Bruce and Charles I were among its royal guests.

Castle Fraser

With a core that possibly dates back to the 1450s, Castle Fraser is a fabulous place to soak up the atmosphere of old Scotland. One of the largest tower houses in the country. Home of the Fraser family for more than 400 years, the castle is filled with family portraits, ornaments and mementos – all of which have their own colourful stories to tell about the lairds.

Duns Castle

Standing proudly since the 14th century, Duns Castle is in a unique location in the Scottish Borders, surrounded by tranquil parkland, on the outskirts of the small market town of Duns. It is an authentic romantic Scottish castle in a beautiful setting.

Culzean Castle

This glorious 260ha estate was once the playground of David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis – a man who was keen to impress with his wealth and status. Opulent to the extreme, the park is planted with conifers and beech, sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves, and finished off with a Swan Pond, an ice house, flamboyant formal gardens and fruit-filled glasshouses.

Craigievar Castle

Nestled on a picturesque hillside, the elegant pink tower of Craigievar Castle is spellbindingly beautiful, sure to enchant children and adults alike. Begun in the Scottish Baronial style around 1576, this iconic tower house is among the best preserved and the most loved in Scotland; its exterior remains virtually unchanged since William Forbes completed it c1626. Craigievar was a family home until the 1960s, creating a quirky blend of cosy interiors and rare antiquities within the ancient walls.

Eilean Donan - Kyle of Lochalsh

Eilean Donan is recognised as one of the most iconic images of Scotland all over the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish Highlands.