The Best Castle Hotels in Scotland, UK

The 12 Best Castle Hotels in Scotland

In most parts of the world, towering turrets, romantic spires, and fortified battlements are all the stuff of fairytales, legends, and Hollywood movies. But not in Scotland, where medieval castles and baronial estates are transformed into luxury hotels and boutique bed and breakfasts!

Travel into the remote Scottish Highlands or journey over land and water to the far-flung Scottish Isles, and you’ll find that the romance of centuries past endures in these hard-to-reach corners of the United Kingdom. 

You’ll love how crumbling 13th-century towers have been meticulously restored and painstakingly converted into boutique accommodation. Medieval fortifications that were besieged by merciless English kings have been preserved, renovated, and turned into beautiful castle hotels where you can spend a weekend surrounded by both history and luxury. 

Not all of Scotland’s castles are medieval in origin. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the wealthy landowners and merchant-class began building lavish mansions and acquiring vast estates in the countryside. 

They built extravagant country homes in what became known as the “baronial style,” inspired by the medieval castles of old but very much built for comfort rather than defense. Even Queen Victoria was a fan, and she visited many castles that have now been converted into luxury hotels.

There’s no doubt that Scotland is brimming with incredible castle hotels. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best castle hotels in Scotland to help you plan your perfect getaway!

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Where are the best castle hotels in Scotland?

Where to Stay in Scotland: Best Castle Hotels

You’ll love how Scotland’s best castle hotels are often located in the country’s most wild and rugged outdoor destinations. If you’re a romantic for travel, then you’ll appreciate the remote locations and often arduous journeys it takes to reach these windswept spots on the Scottish Isles or isolated villages in the Highlands. 

If you’re looking for medieval castles, then some of the best castle hotels in Scotland can be found on the west coast. Hard-to-reach peninsulas, a broken and rugged coastline, and hundreds of offshore islands made western Scotland the ideal base for medieval warlords. Many of the Clans built dramatic towers, follies, and castles in strategic or simply remote locations, and today they still require long car rides and multiple ferry crossings to reach! 

The Scottish Highlands were another favorite for castle-builders, and many more castle hotels can now be found surrounded by mountain peaks and on the shores of the great lochs. Fort William, Loch Lomond, and Pitlochry are all home to gorgeous castles and estates, and they are all surprisingly accessible by car or train from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

And, if you don’t want to go too far off the beaten path, Scotland’s two biggest cities have luxury castle stays all within a 30-minute drive. The countryside may have been swallowed by urban developments, but the historic castles remain. To inspire your next trip to the United Kingdom, here are the coolest castle hotels in Scotland!


The 12 Best Castle Hotels in Scotland

1. Inverlochy Castle Hotel 

“I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot,” are the famous words spoken by Queen Victoria when she stayed at Inverlochy Castle Hotel in 1873. The hotel’s marketing might be well over a century old, but we’re confident you’ll agree with the former British Queen’s sentiments. When you first arrive outside the grandiose castle’s entrance – in the tranquil surroundings of the Scottish Highlands – you’ll immediately see why this is one of the best castle hotels in Scotland! 

You’ll love being treated like royalty when you follow in the footsteps of the British monarchy by booking one of the 17 luxury suites at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel. Each of the rooms has been individually designed, with color schemes ranging from deep royal reds to tasteful blue tartan. Bathrooms feature freestanding bathtubs and bespoke toiletries, while personal lounging areas look out over the castle’s private loch and 75,000 acres of private grounds. 

You can enjoy regal outdoor activities during your stay, including fishing excursions on the lake, clay pigeon shooting, and off-road Land Rover experiences. After a day of adventuring, freshen up, put on your best outfit, and take your seat at Michael Roux Jr. Restaurant, where the tables, chairs, and furnishings were gifted by the King of Norway! 

At the Michael Roux Jr. Restaurant, French culinary techniques meet seasonal Scottish ingredients. Enjoy Scottish sea trout in a lemongrass sauce to start, followed by duck in duck jus, and clotted cream parfait to finish. 

The castle is just a few miles away from Fort William, and while you could use this luxuriously renovated hotel as a base for climbing Ben Nevis or exploring the Scottish Highlands, we expect you’ll find it hard to leave!


2. Glenapp Castle

Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire has all the trappings of a quintessentially Scottish manor house. This grand baronial home dates back to 1870. During your stay, it’s possible to fish for salmon in the rivers, play croquet on the lawns, hunt for pheasants on the grounds, and sit back and relax with a Scotch in the drawing-room. 

Glenapp Castle has been turned into a glorious 5-star hotel, with just 17 luxury rooms that have all been individually designed to reflect the baronial past of the estate. Don your luxury linen bathrobes, lounge in your tartan-lined armchair, and look out over the gardens from the high Victorian windows of your castle bedroom. 

You’ll appreciate how the Glenapp Castle Restaurant grows much of its produce on the castle grounds, while the rest is procured from local fishermen and farmers in Ayrshire. You’ll have a true baronial dining experience, with the highlight being the elaborate six-course dinner menu consisting of haggis, salmon, cod, John Dory, and more. 

You’ll be happy to know that Glenapp Castle even received the approval of Winston Churchill, who stayed on the estate in 1944 while planning the liberation of occupied Europe! Glenapp Castle is located in Ballantrae, just a short drive from the wild Ayrshire coastline.

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3. Dalhousie Castle Hotel

If you’re looking for a serious dose of history, then one of the best castle hotels in Scotland is the Dalhousie Castle Hotel. Book a stay here, and you’ll not only be living in luxury, but you’ll be following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s most infamous historical figures. 

Dalhousie Castle Hotel is located just a short journey south of Edinburgh. Its close proximity to the ancient Scottish capital means that it’s been visited by everyone from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Victoria!

Dalhousie Castle Hotel is the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland, with over 800 years of turbulent history behind it. Although it’s now a luxury 5-star spa hotel, the renovated turrets and gatehouses have survived countless sieges and battles – usually against the invading armies of marauding English kings. 

You can experience a medieval stay at the castle, with opportunities to learn archery or falconry on the grounds. The appropriately named Dungeon Restaurant serves up Scottish fish, steak, and cheese on candlelit tables. You’ll be surrounded by suits of armor and medieval weaponry while you enjoy your gourmet dinner!

The luxury rooms and suites are far from medieval, although many do feature antique four-poster beds and traditional tartan furnishings. Comfort and relaxation are paramount here. Plus, you can step your holiday up a notch with a relaxing session at the Aqueous Spa, where you can pamper yourself with the hydro pool and therapeutic treatments. 


4. The Barcaldine Castle

The Barcaldine Castle offers classic bed and breakfast-style accommodation with a seriously luxurious twist. Located on the banks of Loch Creran, you’ll enjoy beautiful views from the comfort of your restored castle room. 

This is one of the most unique castle hotels in Scotland because it’s one of the most historic castles on the Scottish mainland. You’ll love uncovering the castle’s rich heritage during your stay. The Barcaldine Castle dates back to 1609 when it was founded by the infamous “Black Duncan” Campbell. 

There are six rooms to choose from, or if you’re traveling as a group, you can always book the entire castle for your trip into the Highlands! Two of the rooms feature grand, four-poster oak beds, which were installed during the castle’s first 1898 renovation. There have been countless updates since, but all of the bedrooms have kept their traditional Scottish look while welcoming modern, luxurious amenities.


5. Stonefield Castle Hotel

One of the most unique castle hotels in Scotland is found overlooking the beautiful waters of Loch Fyne in the charming waterside fishing village of Tarbert. Stonefield Castle Hotel dates back to 1837, and you’ll love its 19th-century history and heritage!

There are 38 boutique rooms to choose from, each of which keeps in character with the Victorian origins of the castle. There are four-poster beds, antique chairs and tables, and plenty of tartan furnishings. The rest of the hotel is happy to keep in character as well, and lounge areas are styled with original wood paneling, marble fireplaces, and hunting trophies.  

You can spend the day walking through Stonefield Castle’s 60 acres of woodland, boating on Loch Fyne, or soaking up rural life in the village. Remember to book a table at Stonefield Castle Restaurant, where you can enjoy freshly caught fish or locally reared meat while you admire the view over the loch. The restaurant uses seasonal ingredients sourced from nearby suppliers, while their ambitious kitchen even offers a specialty vegan haggis if you’re not a meat or fish eater. 

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6. Sherbrooke Castle Hotel

The best castle hotels in Scotland aren’t always located in hard-to-reach Highland locations or remote Scottish isles. Some of the best are conveniently located in the suburbs of cities. If you’re looking for a mix of the Scottish countryside and urban convenience, then the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in southern Glasgow could be the perfect fit for you!

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel was originally built as a baronial mansion by one of Glasgow’s richest Victorian merchants. Dating back to 1896, much of the countryside around Sherbrooke Castle Hotel has since been swallowed up by Glasgow’s continual expansion, but the hotel has retained acres of beautiful grounds for guests to enjoy at their leisure. 

You’ll love how Sherbrooke Castle Hotel still features its original and enduringly romantic turrets, with the best rooms and suites offering four-poster beds and sweeping views over Glasgow. You can enjoy a champagne-laden Afternoon Tea on the outdoor terrace, but save room for a gourmet dinner at the castle’s Morrison Restaurant. 

Named after the castle’s wealthy founder, John Morrison, the restaurant serves up a traditionally Scottish menu with a gourmet twist. Haggis is drenched in a creamy whisky sauce, while the venison sausages are served up with delectable creamed potatoes. 


7. Fonab Castle Hotel

If you’re looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway in the Scottish Highlands, then look no further than the tranquil surroundings of Fonab Castle Hotel. This 5-star spa hotel is situated close to Pitlochry, and it’s in the perfect, secluded location to escape it all. 

Fonab Castle Hotel has everything you need for a spa break. After checking into your luxury room, you can head to the Woodland Spa for a quick dip in the 15-meter indoor swimming pool. Relax in the spa pool, then sweat it out in the sauna and steam room before enjoying a massage. 

Visit The Bar for a pre-dinner cocktail with views over the loch before taking your table at either Sandemans Fine Dining restaurant or the more relaxed Fonab Brasserie. Sandemans Fine Dining serves up a seven-course, gourmet menu, while the brasserie offers a “Lifestyle Menu” featuring items like baba ganoush, veggie burgers, and smoked salmon. 


8. Crossbasket Castle

If you’re looking for luxury in a historical setting, then it’s going to be hard to beat Crossbasket Castle. This 17th-century castle has seen its fair share of lords and ladies pass through its magnificent entranceway, and you’ll be delighted to learn that each of the nine suites at the Crossbasket Castle has been named and designed in honor of former castle custodians. 

From the spiral staircase of the Lindsay Tower Suite to the velvet sofas of the Downie Suite, you’ll love how every suite in the castle has its own unique style and taste. Most of the rooms feature freestanding bathtubs, as well as antique chandeliers and historic beds. 

The highlight of a stay at Crossbasket Castle could easily be the food. Michale Roux Jr. has put together the hotel’s eclectic fine dining menu, and you’ll instantly fall for the unique fusion of French and Scottish dishes. The five-course tasting menu features such culinary delights as west coast crab and avocado, rabbit and pickled rhubarb, Tweed Valley beef with wild garlic and Diane sauce, and Albert Roux’s classic lemon tart with raspberry sorbet.

You’ll find yourself far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow. But if you feel like doing some exploring, Crossbasket Castle is conveniently located a 25-minute drive from Glasgow city center.

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9. The Witchery by the Castle

One of the coolest castle hotels in Scotland isn’t technically a castle, but it does sit in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle! Plus, it’s decked out with all sorts of unusual medieval decor. In fact, The Witchery by the Castle is one of Scotland’s most atmospheric hotels, and it’s one of the more unique castle hotels in Edinburgh. 

The rather haunting exterior of The Witchery by the Castle is lit up after dark by mysterious red and orange lighting, while the gothic entrance and lobby are illuminated by candlelight. You’ll walk past suits of armor and heraldic shields as you make your way to your boutique hotel room, where you can expect there to be more medieval memorabilia and plenty of antiques. 

You’ll need to book well in advance because The Witchery by the Castle only has nine suites on offer. They’ve all been individually designed, and in keeping with the gothic styles of the rest of the hotel, you’ll love the deep purples and romantic reds that characterize the decor. 

Each room has unique features. The Library suite is home to a secret bathroom that’s hidden behind a movable bookcase, while the Armoury Suite features a four-poster oak bed that wouldn’t be out of place in the bedroom of a medieval Scottish king! 

The Witchery by the Castle is intended for romance, and you can woo your date with a candlelit dinner at the Secret Garden restaurant, where the fine dining menu consists of gourmet dishes such as shellfish bisque and red deer. 

Check Price & Availability on Booking.com


10. Mingary Castle

Remote, secluded, and enduringly romantic, Mingary Castle is one of the best castle hotels in Scotland. Perched on a dramatic, lonely, and rocky outcrop overlooking the windswept Sound of Mull, Mingary Castle’s location on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is one that’s steeped in history, heritage, and mystery. 

On the outside, Mingary Castle looks like it could crumble in the next storm. Don’t be fooled, though, because the castle has stood watch here since the 13th century. For many hundreds of years, this was the seat of power of the local Clan Maclain, but in 2016 the castle’s decaying interior was entirely repurposed and renovated into a luxury boutique hotel.

There are just four suites within the walls of Mingary Castle, and you’ll love how all of them feature medieval-inspired four-poster wooden beds furnished with hand-sewn curtains, quilts, and coverings. Plus, each suite has unique features waiting to be uncovered!

The bathroom of the MacDougall Suite was formerly a secret chapel, which for 500 years lay hidden in the labyrinth of castle corridors. To reach the McCain Suite, you must traverse the hand-carved oak staircase leading to one of the castle’s top floors (and yes, the views are glorious!). 

Mingary Castle might be remote, but you can still enjoy a fine dining experience during your stay. The restaurant serves up a full Scottish breakfast in the mornings and a gourmet, multi-course tasting menu in the evenings. 

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11. Glengarry Castle Hotel

Immerse yourself in the Scottish Highlands with a luxury stay at Glengarry Castle Hotel. This is one of the best castle hotels in Scotland because it’s ideally situated on the beautiful banks of Loch Oich, just a short drive away from the infamous shores of Loch Ness.

Glengarry Castle Hotel isn’t a medieval castle – although the crumbling ruins of Invergarry Castle are a short walk away. Rather, it’s a traditional stately home. Glengarry Castle was built for comfort, and the bedrooms reflect this with their four-poster beds, traditional furnishings, and patterned quilts.

Spend the day walking around the loch or hiking into the Highlands before retiring to Glengarry Castle Hotel for a three-course dinner. Salmon, lamb, and Angus beef are all on the menu at the castle’s restaurant. Once you’ve had your fill, you can finish the evening with a dram of whisky as you sit in front of the roaring fire. 


12. Glengorm Castle

You can escape the rest of Scotland with a stay at Glengorm Castle, a remote 19th-century home built on the wild and windswept northern coast of the Isle of Mull. This is the western edge of Britain, and you’ll have unbeatable views over the Sound of Mull and the Outer Hebrides as you watch the sunset from your luxurious bedroom. 

Glengorm Castle was originally built to be a family home, and that tradition still continues today. There are just five rooms in the castle itself because much of the estate is still occupied by the owners (and their dogs)! That means you’ll be treated with true Scottish hospitality, as you’re welcomed in by the family and made to feel right at home on the Isle of Mull. 

Your room at Glengorm Castle will be homey, with quaint wooden wardrobes, super-comfortable king-sized beds, and deep bathtubs. Settle in, then make your way to Glengorm Castle’s Library, where you can enjoy the delights of complimentary Scotch whisky. If you’re feeling cold, the castle’s large public hall has a roaring open fire to keep guests warm on those chilly evenings. 

In the morning, you’ll be served a hearty breakfast of fresh eggs and local sausages. Glengorm Castle is a bed and breakfast, but if you prefer to self-cater, the family also owns several fully-equipped cottages that are spaced out in remote locations across the extensive castle grounds.

That completes our list of the 12 best castle hotels in Scotland! Did we miss any cool castle hotels in Scotland? Comment below so we can add them to the list!


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most romantic hotel in Scotland?

“I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot,” are the famous words spoken by Queen Victoria when she stayed at Inverlochy Castle Hotel in 1873. The hotel’s marketing might be well over a century old, but we’re confident you’ll agree with the former British Queen’s sentiments. When you first arrive outside the grandiose castle’s entrance – in the tranquil surroundings of the Scottish Highlands – you’ll immediately see why this is one of the best castle hotels in Scotland!

What is the most historic hotel in Scotland?

If you’re looking for a serious dose of history, then one of the best hotels in Scotland is the Dalhousie Castle Hotel. Book a stay here, and you’ll not only be living in luxury, but you’ll be following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s most infamous historical figures. Dalhousie Castle Hotel is the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland, with over 800 years of turbulent history behind it. Although it’s now a luxury 5-star spa hotel, the renovated turrets and gatehouses have survived countless sieges and battles – usually against the invading armies of marauding English kings.

What hotel in Scotland has the best spa?

If you’re looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway in the Scottish Highlands, then look no further than the tranquil surroundings of Fonab Castle Hotel. This 5-star spa hotel is situated close to Pitlochry, and it’s in the perfect, secluded location to escape it all. Fonab Castle Hotel has everything you need for a spa break. After checking into your luxury room, you can head to the Woodland Spa for a quick dip in the 15-meter indoor swimming pool. Relax in the spa pool, then sweat it out in the sauna and steam room before enjoying a massage.

Which castle hotel in Scotland is best for foodies?

The highlight of a stay at Crossbasket Castle could easily be the food. Michale Roux Jr. has put together the hotel’s eclectic fine dining menu, and you’ll instantly fall for the unique fusion of French and Scottish dishes. The five-course tasting menu features such culinary delights as west coast crab and avocado, rabbit and pickled rhubarb, Tweed Valley beef with wild garlic and Diane sauce, and Albert Roux’s classic lemon tart with raspberry sorbet.

What is the coolest castle hotel in Scotland?

One of the coolest castle hotels in Scotland isn’t technically a castle, but it does sit in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle! Plus, it’s decked out with all sorts of unusual medieval decor. In fact, The Witchery by the Castle is one of Scotland’s most atmospheric hotels, and it’s one of the more unique castle hotels in Edinburgh.


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Anna
Anna
3 days ago

Glengorm Castle is no longer taking guests in the castle as of 12/11/2023. The owners are moving back into the main castle, and only services apartments will be available from that date forward.

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