5 castles to add to your Edinburgh list

02 July 2021

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Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.


Old meets new here in Edinburgh, a perfect blend of history and modernity. A treasure trove of castles laden with stories of grand battles, sieges, exploits of pirates, ghosts, phantoms, and witches along with tales of kings and queens. Go back in time, escape the humdrum of the city, to these Scottish castles full of allure and mystery. Collect a couple of pals and embark on a quest to experience the richness of Scottish history.

Edinburgh Castle

This 900-year-old structure is amongst the oldest castles in Europe, having a dynamic history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison, fortress and now a war museum. Edinburgh castle is a repository of the royal crown jewels, Scottish artefacts, and stories of kings, queens, and an odd pirate or two. A symbol of Scottish pride, it dominates the skyline of the city.


Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 131 225 9846

Website:  https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/plan-your-visit

Castles in Edinburgh
By Gunnar Ridderström/ Unsplash

Holyroodhouse Palace

The official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland is open to the public all year round barring the first week of summer when the queen resides in it. Located at the bottom of the royal mile it has served as the principal royal residence since the 16th century. This neoclassical structure founded as a monastery in the 12th century has a close association with Scottish history. From an abbey to an opulent palace, Holyroodhouse palace has performed many roles and is now an important focal point of national celebrations and important events in Scotland.


Location: Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, United Kingdom

Phone:  +44 303 123 7306

Website:  https://www.rct.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse

Castles in Edinburgh
By Chris Sharman/ Wikimedia Commons

Lauriston Castle

Lauriston Castle is a hidden gem in Edinburgh. It is a prime example of Edwardian architecture with lush green grounds that are free and open to the public, a quaint Japanese garden, regular historical-themed performances, and a spectacular view of the sea. This allegedly haunted 16th-century Edwardian castle-turned-museum will help you escape the humdrum of the city.


Location: 2 Cramond Rd S, Edinburgh EH4 6AD, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 131 336 2060

Website: https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/lauriston-castle

Castles in Edinburgh
By Supergolden/ Wikimedia Commons

Linlithgow Palace

15 miles away from Edinburgh is the Linlithgow palace perched atop a hillock adjacent to a beautiful inland lake, surrounded by lofty trees and lush green grounds. This palace has long been associated with the Scottish royalty and is the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, a woman who has played an integral role in shaping Scottish history. A 40-minute scenic drive away from Edinburgh, a visit to Linlithgow should be the next stop on your castle quest.


Location: Kirkgate, Linlithgow EH49 7AL, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1506 842896

Website:  https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/linlithgow-palace/

Castles in Edinburgh
By Rob & Lisa Meehan/ Wikimedia Commons

Blackness Castle

Scotland’s formidable stronghold, an allegedly haunted castle overlooking the River Forth, this 11th century castle that served as a prison is a 45-minute drive away from Edinburgh. Entering the main gate you find yourself in an impressive courtyard surrounded by towers. The striking appearance of this castle with its distinct shape, its austere grey walls, and enclosed courtyards have attracted filmmakers from all over the world. Along with providing a panoramic view of the Riverfront, a visit to this castle isn’t for the faint of heart, are you up for the challenge?


Location: Blackness, Linlithgow EH49 7NH, United Kingdom

 Phone: +44 1506 834807

Website: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/blackness-castle/

Castles in Edinburgh
By M W/ Pixabay
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