The Good Scottish Castles You Can Bide In

For Cond Nast Traveler, by Paul Rubio.

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When you visit Scotland, you won’t go far without appreciating its medieval heritage — there are centuries-old castles from the northernmost contacts of the Orkney Islands down to Edinburgh and Glasgow, with more than a few options across the Highlands. Better still? Many of these castles have been saved and informed as five-star hotels, so you, more, is also possible royal. These are some of the best.

1. Balfour Castle

North of the Scottish mainland, on a 1,000 -acre estate on the mist-shrouded Shapinsay Island, this 19th-century, exclusive use, baronial palace is the five-star reality of extreme storybook imagination. The nine-bedroom, nine-bathroom castling is the most northerly in “the worlds”; it’s also a quintessential turreted limestone fortress with beautiful Gothic ceilings and silk wallpapered chambers inside.

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Courtesy Inverlochy Castle

2. Inverlochy Castle

Just shy of the ruinings of the original 13 th-century Inverlochy Castle, this eponymous mid-1 9th-century hotel was once the private home of Lord Abinger, and a favored rest place of Queen Victoria when she traveled through the Highlands in 1873. Nowadays, it’s a 17 -room luxury getaway where pampering is balanced with serious sportiness — mountain biking, whitewater rafting — in a country setting near Fort William.

Courtesy Fonab Castle