The Good Scottish Castles You Can Bide In

For Cond Nast Traveler, by Paul Rubio.


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.

See our listing of “the worlds largest” haunted palaces in the world

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