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April 10, 2009

Scotland’s Finest Castle Landscapes

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Filed under : General Green
Over two thousand castles are known to have been constructed in Scotland. Some are now just records in history books and some lie in ruins. Others are home to royalty and wealthy landowners. Some proudly stand guard over the major cities but perhaps the most visually impressive are those set against Scotland’s most spectacular rural scenery. These are some of the finest examples.

Eilean Donan Castle

Built in 1220 as a defense against the Vikings, Eileen Donan Castle sits on a small island in Loch Duich in the Western Highlands and is connected to the mainland by a footbridge. It has been featured in many Hollywood films, including Highlander and The World Is Not Enough.

Kilchurn Castle

At the northeastern end of Loch Awe, Argyll and Bute, lies Kilchurn Castle. Built in 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy, it now lies in ruin. It had originally stood on a small island but is now connected to the mainland after the water level dropped in the early nineteenth century.

Duart Castle

Dating back to the thirteenth century, Duart Castle is located on the Isle of Mull, off Scotland’s west coast. Seat of the Clan MacLean, it was laid siege to by Cromwellian forces in 1647 but was successfully defended by the Royalist Clan MacLean. Featured in the 1999 film, Entrapment.

Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker is a privately owned four story tower house set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, Argyll. There has been a structure on the site since around 1320, though the current building is believed to have been constructed around 1440. It was featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Castle Campbell

Formerly known as Castle Gloom, Castle Campbell was originally owned by the Stuart Clan. It was built in the late fifteenth century and sits above the town of Dollar in Clackmannanshire, central Scotland.

Ardvreck Castle

Constructed around 1590 by the Clan MacLeod, Ardvreck Castle was once a large, imposing structure but today lies in ruin. It can be found beside Loch Assynt, Sutherland in the northwest Highland area. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose. He was a Royalist who sought refuge there in 1650 but was tricked into entering the dungeons where he was held before being handed over to Cromwellian forces and later tried and executed.

Dunnottar Castle

Virtually surrounded by fifty meter high sheer cliffs, parts of Dunnotar Castle date from the thirteenth century. It is located near the town of Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen. Dunnottar is said to be the scene of one of William Wallace’s most notable victories over the English in 1296. The castle is featured in Mel Gibson’s 1990 version of Hamlet.

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