8 Best Castle Hotels in Scotland

by clients@lseo.com
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Wandering through the scenic landscapes of Scotland, it’s easy to be wowed by the timeless allure of its grand castles. These magnificent structures, set against the backdrop of rugged highlands, picturesque lochs, and rolling hills, whisper stories of a bygone era filled with valor, romance, and intrigue. Believe it or not, many of these historic sites aren’t just attractions; they’re also hotels. If you’ve ever fantasized about being treated like royalty, now’s your chance. These are the best castle hotels in Scotland!

Scotland is a place where the past and present coexist. Its landscape is dotted with countless ancient castles that now serve as hotels for lucky travelers. These majestic edifices are some of the most picture-perfect, Instragrammable places in the UK. They’re also some of the most opulent, ranking up there among the best luxury hotels in the world.

They say that heavy is the head that wears the crown. Luckily, a stay at one of the best Scottish castle hotels means getting to enjoy all the perks of being king (or queen) without any of the drawbacks. Those perks include an elegant ambiance, high-end amenities, and stunning views of some of the most beautiful places in Scotland. The next time you’re planning a trip to Glasgow or Edinburgh, why not take it to the next level? It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll never forget.

This article about the best castle hotels in Scotland contains affiliate links, where I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Best castle hotels in Scotland: 8 best Scottish hotels you can stay in

It’s not every day you get to spend the night sleeping in the same rooms as the Scottish nobility. Make the most out of it by staying at one of the very best luxury castle hotels in Scotland.

1. Mansfield Castle Hotel

Mansfield Castle Hotel, a Victorian-era castle in Scotland that now serves as a hotel
With 19 bedrooms, Mansfield Castle House is one of the roomiest and overall best castle hotels in Scotland.

Nestled in the Highlands of Scotland, Mansfield Castle Hotel stands as a beacon of luxury and elegance. As one of the best castles to stay in Scotland, this Victorian-era castle offers an experience that transcends ordinary accommodation. It immerses guests in a rich blend of tradition, comfort, and grandeur.

Each of the 19 uniquely decorated bedrooms at Mansfield Castle Hotel provides a luxurious retreat. Adorned with antiques and period features, these rooms offer authenticity and charm that cannot be replicated elsewhere. The exquisite dining experience at Mansfield includes gourmet dishes prepared with local ingredients. It embodies the culinary excellence synonymous with Scottish royalty.

Mansfield Castle Hotel’s ambiance is one of its defining aspects. Friendly staff, cozy fireplaces, enchanting gardens, and a serene environment resonate with peace and magnificence. The castle provides an ideal base for exploring the Highlands. Here, activities such as golf, fishing, and landscape appreciation are readily available.

By choosing Mansfield Castle Hotel, guests embrace a part of Scotland’s soul. This unique fusion of tradition and luxury promises a memorable journey. It’s sure to appeal to discerning travelers seeking a profound connection to Scotland’s heritage.

2. Glenapp Castle

Glenapp Castle in South Ayrshire, one of the best castle hotels in Scotland
Staying at Glenapp Castle is like stepping back in time… or into the pages of a fairy tale.

A magical coastal getaway, Glenapp Castle can be found in South Ayrshire. There, it offers escape into a world of luxury and romance. Recognized among the best castle hotels in Scotland, Glenapp’s fairy-tale turrets and meticulously maintained gardens capture the imagination.

Within the castle’s walls lie 17 luxurious rooms and suites. Each is a sanctuary of comfort, decorated with fine fabrics, antiques, and period features. Dining at Glenapp Castle is a gastronomic delight, too. This Michelin-starred restaurant serves exquisite Scottish-inspired dishes in an elegant setting, complemented by sea and island views.

What truly sets Glenapp Castle apart is its array of exclusive experiences. From private boat trips to Ailsa Craig to falconry and guided stargazing, the activities here are crafted to provide a unique connection to the land’s heart and beauty.

Glenapp Castle’s appeal is multifaceted, resonating with history, luxury, and pleasure. More than just a vacation destination, Glenapp Castle offers a journey through Scotland’s culture, nature, and hospitality. It’s a luxury Scottish castle that fulfills desires and expectations. Indeed, Glennapp Castle promises an unforgettable stay that leaves guests touched by the magic of Scotland.

3. Melville Castle

A view of Melville Castle in Scotland as seen from the lush greenery of its garden
Melville Castle’s proximity to Edinburgh helps make it one of the best castle hotels in Scotland.

A mere 7 miles from Edinburgh‘s bustling heart, Melville Castle is an oasis of tranquility and refinement. This stunning 18th-century castle is a testament to Scotland’s rich architectural heritage, earning its place among the best castle hotels in Scotland.

Surrounded by 50 acres of verdant woodland, Melville Castle offers 32 luxurious bedrooms, each meticulously designed to reflect the elegance of the era. The experience is further enhanced by the exquisite dining opportunities, where culinary excellence meets the finest local produce in a setting that is both regal and intimate.

For those seeking a unique venue for weddings, corporate events, or special occasions, Melville Castle provides an unparalleled backdrop. The historical ballroom, library, and drawing rooms can accommodate a wide range of functions, each space imbued with a sense of history and sophistication that can only be found in Scotland’s majestic castles.

Melville Castle’s proximity to Edinburgh allows guests to combine city exploration with a secluded retreat. With an outstanding range of services and facilities, Melville Castle persuades by offering an experience that marries tradition, luxury, and convenience.

4. Inverlochy Castle Hotel

Inverlochy Castle Hotel, one of the best castle hotels in Scotland, as seen from across the lake
It’s hard to find a more beautiful view than the one on display outside Inverlochy Castle Hotel.

More than just a high-class accommodation, Inverlochy Castle Hotel is an emblem of classic Scottish magnificence. Situated near Ben Nevis, the site is synonymous with prestige and comfort, making it one of the very best Scotland castle hotels by far.

Inverlochy’s seventeen individually designed rooms and suites are a haven of opulence, furnished with elaborate fabrics and period decor that resonate with the castle’s regal lineage. The award-winning dining experience is enhanced by the presence of world-renowned chefs, crafting dishes that celebrate Scottish gastronomy at its finest.

Beyond the walls of the castle, guests can indulge in an array of activities including fishing, hiking, and golf. The castle’s idyllic location provides a gateway to the splendors of the Scottish Highlands, with breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures awaiting exploration.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel invites guests to a world where luxury meets nature’s grandeur. The castle’s reputation for excellence, personalized service, and timeless elegance makes it an ideal destination for those seeking to experience Scotland in an extraordinary way.

5. Mingary Castle

Mingary Castle overlooking the sea from its place on the edge of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula
Overlooking the ocean, Mingary Castle is one of the best castle hotels in Scotland for nature lovers.

With a history spanning over a thousand years, Mingary Castle’s presence on the remote Ardnamurchan Peninsula is truly awe-inspiring. Having been meticulously restored, this ancient fortress now stands proudly as one of the oldest and best Scottish castle hotels.

Offering only four exclusive bedrooms, Mingary Castle provides an intimate and exclusive experience. Each room is a treasure trove of bespoke furnishings, ancient artifacts, and modern amenities, encapsulating the spirit of luxury Scottish castles.

The dining at Mingary is an intimate affair, where locally sourced ingredients take center stage in a menu that’s both innovative and grounded in tradition. The opportunity to dine in a room that has hosted kings and warriors adds a mystical dimension to the culinary experience.

Mingary Castle’s remote location lends itself to a serene retreat, where the rugged beauty of the Scottish landscape merges with the ancient walls of the castle. Guests seeking solitude, romance, or adventure will find Mingary a unique destination, where history and luxury coalesce in perfect harmony.

Choosing Mingary Castle is not just about selecting accommodation. It’s about embracing an experience that is profound, unique, and steeped in history. Mingary persuades by offering a piece of Scotland’s past, lovingly preserved and presented for those seeking something undeniably exceptional.

6. Neidpath Castle Cottage

Neidpath Castle Cottage, one of the lesser known but nevertheless best castle hotels in Scotland
The 14th-century fortress known as Neidpath Castle Cottage is a perfect entry point for your Scotland vacation.

A hidden gem tucked away in the scenic Scottish Borders region, Neidpath Castle Cottage offers an extraordinary lodging experience within an impressively historic estate. As one of the best Scottish castles you can stay in, Neidpath Castle Cottage promises a unique and charming stay.

Unlike traditional castle accommodations, the cottage offers a more intimate and homely feel, with luxurious interiors that cater to modern comforts while maintaining a rustic charm. The cottage’s two spacious bedrooms, elegant living spaces, and private garden provide an idyllic retreat for those seeking privacy and relaxation.

Guests at Neidpath Castle Cottage enjoy exclusive access to the age-old Neidpath Castle, a 14th-century fortress with a rich legacy. Guided tours provide an insightful journey into Scotland’s past, exploring ancient chambers, battlements, and stories that have shaped the region. The surrounding countryside offers a plethora of activities, from delightful walks along the River Tweed to exploring the picturesque town of Peebles nearby. Outdoor enthusiasts can revel in fishing, biking, or simply soaking up the natural beauty that defines this part of Scotland.

Neidpath Castle Cottage stands as a testament to Scotland’s ability to blend history and comfort. It offers a distinctive stay that resonates with warmth, authenticity, and elegance. You’re sure to feel like royalty yourself when you book a room here.

7. Fonab Castle Hotel

Exterior of Fonab Castle Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland
Staying the night at Fonab Castle is an experience rich with historical significance and luxurious comfort.

Epitomizing the splendor that defines the best castle hotels in Scotland, Fonab Castle Hotel overlooks the serene Loch Faskally, providing a one-of-a-kind view. This Edwardian castle, set in the heart of Perthshire, provides a stunning setting that captivates the soul.

Fonab Castle Hotel features 42 rooms and suites, each meticulously designed to offer a sanctuary of opulence. Rich textiles, contemporary furnishings, and state-of-the-art amenities provide guests with an experience that is both regal and comfortable.

Dining at Fonab is an affair to remember, with multiple dining venues offering culinary delights crafted with local and seasonal ingredients. The castle’s renowned Sandeman’s restaurant stands as a beacon of fine dining, where culinary artistry meets the grandeur of the surroundings.

The on-site spa provides a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation, with an extensive menu of treatments and therapies. Guests seeking adventure can explore nearby attractions, including the famous Blair Castle and the Edradour Distillery.

Fonab Castle Hotel is more than a place to stay; it’s a destination that captures the essence of luxury Scottish castles. With its breathtaking views, unparalleled service, and modern elegance, Fonab persuades guests to indulge in an experience that is both timeless and indulgent.

8. Cringletie House

The front and side view of Cringletie House, one of the best castle hotels in Scotland
Cringletie House’s commitment to farm-to-table cuisine makes it one of the best castle hotels in Scotland for foodies.

Nestled in the Moorfoot Hills near Peebles, Cringletie House offers a unique blend of aristocratic charm and modern luxury. As one of the best luxury castle hotels in Scotland, Cringletie House stands as a beautiful Victorian baronial mansion, promising a stay that is both majestic and inviting.

Each of Cringletie House’s 13 individually designed rooms and suites reflects a perfect balance of elegance and comfort. The rooms offer stunning views of the gardens and the countryside, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the Scottish Borders.

The culinary experience at Cringletie House is remarkable, with a dedication to sourcing local produce and crafting seasonal menus that showcase Scotland’s rich gastronomic heritage. The dining room, adorned with original features, provides an atmospheric setting for memorable meals.

Cringletie House also offers a host of leisure activities, ranging from croquet on the lawn to guided walks and fishing excursions. The castle’s spa and wellness facilities further enhance the experience, offering relaxation and rejuvenation in a luxurious setting.

As a final addition to this list of luxury Scottish castles, Cringletie House persuades through its harmonious blend of tradition, luxury, and personalized hospitality. Guests will indulge in a Scottish experience that transcends conventional lodging, where comfort, history, and elegance meet to create memories that endure.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the best castle hotels in Scotland

If you don’t count questions about what haggis tastes like or how to drown out the sound of bagpipes, then the most frequently asked questions I get about Scotland are about its castles. Below, you’ll find my answers. With this information, you should have everything you need to book a stay at one of the best Scottish castle hotels. Until next time, slàinte mhath!

How much does it cost to stay in a castle in Scotland?

Staying in a castle in Scotland is a dream for many, and the experience often comes with a wide range of prices depending on factors like location, level of luxury, and available amenities. Here’s a general breakdown of the prices for Scotland castle hotels:

  1. Budget Options: Some castle hotels or B&Bs offer relatively basic rooms that can start from £100 to £200 per night. These might be smaller rooms, possibly without many of the grander amenities that other suites or rooms might offer.
  2. Mid-Range Options: These are typically well-equipped rooms or suites in larger castles or manor houses. They might come with more amenities or offer a more immersive historical experience. Prices can range from £200 to £500 per night.
  3. Luxury Options: For those looking for a truly royal experience, luxury castle hotels offer the grandest rooms or suites, gourmet dining, spa services, extensive grounds to explore, and more. Prices typically start at £500 per night and can go well into the thousands for the most luxurious suites or exclusive castles.
  4. Exclusive Use: If you’re looking to rent an entire castle for a special occasion like a wedding, family reunion, or corporate event, prices can vary widely based on size and location. For smaller castles, you might start at £1,500 to £3,000 per night, while grander venues can cost £10,000 or more per night.
  5. Self-Catering Castles or Castle Apartments: Some castles offer self-catering options, where you might rent a wing or a portion of the castle and make your meals. This can be a more budget-friendly way to experience castle living, with prices often starting from £100 to £400 per night, depending on size and location.

What is the best castle hotel in Scotland to take photos of?

Scotland is home to countless captivating castles, each with its unique charm and historical significance. However, among the best castles to stay in Scotland, the title for the most photogenic arguably goes to Glenapp Castle. Its fairytale turrets, well-manicured gardens, and scenic coastal location provide endless opportunities for breathtaking photos. The castle’s exterior exudes an otherworldly charm, while the interiors are equally alluring with period decor and opulent rooms.

Of course, choosing the most photogenic castle depends largely on individual taste and the particular atmosphere or aesthetic one is seeking to capture. Scotland’s landscape, rich with history and natural beauty, ensures that many of its castles will leave visitors reaching for their cameras, each providing a unique and unforgettable visual experience. Whether you’re staying in one of the luxury Scottish castles or merely visiting them, the photo opportunities are as varied and vibrant as the castles themselves.

Can you stay overnight in a Scottish castle?

Yes, you can stay overnight in a Scottish castle! Scotland is home to numerous historic castles that have been converted into luxury hotels, bed and breakfasts, or self-catering accommodations. Here are some things to consider when planning your stay:

  1. Castle Hotels: These are the grandest options, where you can experience the royal treatment. Many castle hotels offer luxurious rooms, fine dining, spa services, and more. They often have beautifully preserved interiors that showcase the history and grandeur of the castle.
  2. Bed and Breakfast Castles: These offer a more intimate and cozy experience. You’ll typically get a comfortable room and breakfast the next morning. It’s a more personal way to experience castle living.
  3. Self-Catering Castles: For those who want more independence or are traveling with a group, some castles offer self-catering accommodations. This might be an apartment within the castle or even an entire wing, where you have facilities to cook for yourself.
  4. Exclusive Use: If you’re looking for a venue for a special event like a wedding or a large family gathering, many castles offer the option to rent out the entire castle or a significant portion of it for exclusive use.
  5. Ghostly Residents: Given their age and history, some Scottish castles come with tales of hauntings. If you’re intrigued by the supernatural, you might want to seek out one of these castles for a more thrilling overnight experience.

How are the best castle hotels in Scotland different from regular hotels?

Staying at the best luxury castle hotels in Scotland offers a unique and enchanting experience that sets it apart from a regular hotel stay. These castle hotels provide a glimpse into the country’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Historic Ambiance: Castle hotels are often centuries-old structures, exuding a distinctive ambiance of bygone eras. Their architectural marvels, adorned with ornate furnishings and period décor, transport guests to a different time.

Exclusivity: Castle hotels tend to be smaller in size, allowing for a more intimate and personalized experience. With fewer guests, the staff can focus on delivering exceptional service and attending to individual needs.

Cultural Immersion: Staying at a castle hotel immerses guests in Scottish history and traditions. Many castles are situated amidst breathtaking landscapes, providing an authentic taste of Scotland’s natural beauty.

Unique Accommodations: Castle hotels offer a variety of accommodations, from lavish suites to cozy rooms. Each room often boasts distinctive features like four-poster beds, antique furniture, and even original architectural elements.

Dining Experience: Castle hotels typically feature exceptional dining options that showcase local cuisine and ingredients. Guests can savor gourmet meals in elegant settings, often accompanied by panoramic views.

Activities and Events: These castle hotels often organize activities such as guided tours, whisky tastings, and outdoor adventures. Special events like themed dinners or traditional entertainment enhance the overall experience.

Sense of Grandeur: The grand architecture, vast grounds, and often stunning views contribute to an overall sense of grandeur, creating lasting memories.

In contrast, regular hotels prioritize modern amenities and convenience. Castle hotels offer a unique chance to step back in time. Here, you can indulge in the magic of Scotland’s history and charm.

A view of Edinburgh Castle from a nearby fountain
Though Edinburgh Castle is the most visited castle in Scotland, visitors cannot stay the night.

Where can you sleep in a castle in Scotland?

Sleeping in a castle in Scotland is a dream come true for many travelers. There are plenty of options, ranging from luxurious castle hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. Here are some of the most notable castles in Scotland where you can spend the night:

  1. Edinburgh Castle: While you can’t stay overnight in the famous Edinburgh Castle, you can stay nearby in the Dalhousie Castle Hotel. This is a 13th-century fortress turned luxury hotel, complete with a spa and an owl who delivers your wedding ring if you decide to tie the knot there!
  2. Inverlochy Castle Hotel: Located in Fort William, this 19th-century castle offers a luxurious stay surrounded by beautiful highland landscapes.
  3. Glenapp Castle: This 19th-century castle in Ballantrae offers a luxurious stay with the bonus of award-winning dining.
  4. Culzean Castle: Located on the Ayrshire coast, this castle offers the Eisenhower Apartment. It’s named after the former US president who stayed there. The rest of the castle is open to the public as a museum.
  5. Stonefield Castle: This 19th-century gothic castle on the Kintyre peninsula offers both history and breathtaking views of Loch Fyne.
  6. Fonab Castle: Located in Pitlochry, it’s a newer castle but offers all the luxury you’d expect, complete with modern amenities.
  7. Ackergill Tower: This 15th-century castle located in Wick, Highland, has its private beach and offers a unique experience with a blend of history and luxury.
  8. Tulloch Castle Hotel: Located in Dingwall, this castle dates back to the 12th century. It offers cozy accommodations and ghostly tales.
  9. Barcaldine Castle: Located near Oban, this restored 17th-century castle offers a bed and breakfast experience in a romantic setting.
  10. Dornoch Castle Hotel: Overlooking the historic town of Dornoch, this castle turned hotel offers comfort, history, and even a renowned whiskey selection.

What is the most visited castle in Scotland?

The title of the most visited castle in Scotland goes to the historic and impressive Edinburgh Castle. Positioned atop Castle Rock, this iconic fortress dominates the skyline of Edinburgh. Moreover, it serves as a symbol of Scotland’s vibrant history and heritage.

Edinburgh Castle’s strategic location makes it a focal point throughout various historical periods. This includes key roles in numerous medieval sieges and military conflicts. Today, it stands as a connection to Scotland’s past. It also houses several museums and exhibitions, including the National War Museum and the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Visitors flock to the castle to explore its ancient chambers. There, they can witness the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish monarchs. The castle also offers breathtaking views over the city, adding to its appeal.

While it is not one of the luxury Scottish castle hotels featured in this guide, its significance and array of attractions walls make Edinburgh Castle a must-visit landmark. The castle’s captivating history, stunning architecture, and the daily firing of the One o’Clock Gun are just a few of the features that continue to draw tourists from around the world.

What Scottish castle was filmed in Downton Abbey?

The stunning Scottish castle featured in the popular television series Downton Abbey is none other than Inveraray Castle. This castle, located in Argyll and Bute, served as the fictional “Duneagle Castle” in the series, as seen in the 2012 Christmas special episode.

Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell. The castle’s neo-Gothic architecture, along with its beautiful interiors and expansive grounds, make it an ideal setting for the grandeur and elegance portrayed in Downton Abbey.

Visitors to Inveraray Castle can explore the impressive staterooms. These include the State Dining Room and Tapestry Drawing Room, both of which were used during filming. The surrounding gardens and woodlands also offer a beautiful backdrop, reflecting the classic and romantic imagery associated with the series.

Like Edinburg Castle above, Inveraray Castle isn’t featured in this guide to the best castle hotels in Scotland. That doesn’t mean it’s not still worth visiting, though. The castle’s appearance in Downton Abbey has only added to its appeal. Visitors flock here to experience a piece of the fictional world of British aristocracy as portrayed in the beloved series. Whether you’re a fan of the show or an admirer of history, Inveraray Castle offers a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s heritage.

Inveraray Castle, famous for its appearance on the TV show Downton Abbey
Inveraray Castle’s appearance on Downtown Alley has helped shine a light on the beauty of Scotland’s castles.

Where was Queen Elizabeth’s favorite castle?

Reportedly Queen Elizabeth’s favorite castle in Scotland was the Castle of Mey, located in Caithness. Situated on the northern coast, the Castle of Mey is the northernmost inhabited castle on the British mainland.

The Queen Mother acquired the castle in 1952, shortly after the death of her husband, King George VI. At the time, the castle was in a state of disrepair. However, she undertook a significant restoration to turn it into a comfortable residence. The Queen was known to have a deep affection for Scotland, and the Castle of Mey became her beloved retreat.

She would spend several weeks each year at the Castle of Mey, often visiting in August. Her love for the castle and the surrounding area was apparent in the way she cared for the property and engaged with the local community.

While the Castle of Mey is not featured as one of the best Scottish castle hotels in this guide, it is open to the public for visits and offers a unique insight into the personal tastes and private life of Queen Elizabeth. The castle’s charming interiors, beautiful gardens, and stunning coastal views reflect the peaceful and serene atmosphere. There’s no doubt contributed to the Queen Mother’s fondness for this Scottish treasure.

How far in advance do I need to book a room at the best castle hotels in Scotland? 

To secure a room at any of the best castle hotels in Scotland on this list, it’s advisable to book well in advance. Ideally, you should try to book several months ahead of your intended stay. These unique and sought-after accommodations tend to have limited availability due to their historical significance, charm, and exclusivity. The peak tourist seasons, such as summer and around major holidays, can see a surge in demand. This, in turn, further reduces the availability of rooms.

Booking 6-12 months ahead is a prudent timeframe, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak travel periods. This early booking ensures you have a wider selection of room types and dates to choose from. However, for special occasions or during popular events, you might even consider booking more than a year in advance to guarantee your desired room and dates.

Last-minute bookings are riskier. Availability can be extremely limited and you might miss out on the chance to experience your preferred castle hotel. By planning ahead and securing your reservation in advance, you’ll increase your chances of enjoying an enchanting Scottish vacation.

Enjoyed reading this post on the best castle hotels in Scotland? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment