5 Unknown Scottish Castles That Really Blew Me Away

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

This summer I have visited many of Scotland's Castles. My partner and I were both fortunate enough to receive Historic Scotland memberships from family at Christmas and we have made it our mission to make the most of them by seeing as much of Scotland's historical past as we can.


While we have visited many of the well known places this year (Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle to name a few) it is the smaller and less well known castles that have really surprised us.


Tolquhon Castle


This Aberdeenshire Castle is a real hidden gem and one which I will never forget visiting.


Situated near the town of Pitmedden and only a half an hour drive from Aberdeen, this is a fairytale castle not to be missed!


Unlike many castles that were built for defence purposes, this castles was built to impress and show off the wealth of the family and even to this day, it has the real WOW factor!


With many rooms to explore, a secret hiding place and a unique prison below one of the bedrooms - this castle has so much to see and explore.


It also goes without saying that it is very picturesque and full of photographic opportunities.



Huntly Castle



Situated in the Aberdeenshire town of Huntly, this castle stands tall on the outskirts of the town and adds real character to the area.


I was very taken a back by this castle as it has so many hidden gems and secrets attached to it. From the entrance you are greeted with stunning masonry work and designs, but the true hidden wonders are much harder to find.


We all love a castle with a bit of mystery and this one certainly has that. En-route to the dungeon, many drawings can be seen carved into the walls - from stick men to symbols and other unusual shapes. It really ignites the imagination and opens up all sorts of interesting questions.






Upstairs you are greeting with this very grand and well preserved fire place that really shows off the wealth and grand interior of this castle home.


There is even a lovely staircase up to a castle top room with a stunning view overlooking the surrounding green landscape.


One of my favourite things to undertake on my trip here was to find a flower shape carving drawn into one of the walls.


If you like exploring and taking a step back in time, this castle is certainly worth a visit.






Elcho Castle


This castle blew me away and the hidden gems within were well worth the detour to enjoy.

Situated 15 minutes from Perth, this castle towers above the shores of the River Tay. This fortified mansion was once a family home and it's many rooms show off it's true grandeur.


This castle was a real surprise to me. From the moment we arrived we were blown away with the structure and beauty of this old family home. Situated beside a farm, this is the perfect castle to visit for a bit of peace and quiet. It even had an orchard in the grounds and if you plan your visit at the right time of year, you can pick the apples to take home by purchasing a bag from the shop.


This castle is home to a stunningly large old grand table - the likes of which I've only ever seen in movies. It is also home to some very impressive old candle stick holders giving it a real fantasy feel. For me the main attraction here is the stunning roof top views and rooms that there is to explore. I was also taken aback by how many toilets (or latrines as they are called) were in the castle and if you like to see old artwork, it has some preserved plaster work to enjoy too.



Huntingtower Castle


A castle full of preserved wall art and a stunning painted ceiling.

Situated on the outskirts of Perth, this castle is driven past by many but taking the time to actually stop here and explore the castle is a real treat.


It's not often you stop off in a castle and are greeted with many signs of old wall art and paintings, but this castle is full of old designs and wall features. The main attraction is the stunning painted ceiling. Historic Scotland even provide you with a blanket so you can lie on the floor and truly admire the ceiling for all of it's worth. This certainly is a very unique experience and a great way to enjoy the Scottish history and heritage.


This castle is also home to many bats which roost in the old buildings exterior, and allow castle grounds to come alive at night. This is a castle full of fantasy and if you like an old fashioned love story - you'll enjoy learning about this castles history while you're here too!



Edzell Castle


Situated near Brachin in Angus, this castle is the perfect place to come to relax, unwind and enjoy a picnic.


It wasn't the castle itself that took my breath away here (although it is interesting to explore and learn about) it was the castle garden and outhouses that really show it's beauty.


This walled garden is full of interesting wall carvings and masonry work that you could spend hours truly enjoying and immersing yourself in. The garden is very well maintained and the birds eye view of it's symmetrical shapes is stunning from the top of the castle.


Edzell is also home to a stunning summer house that resides in the corder of the walled garden. This is a lovely small building that is a real treat to enter and admire.


The castle court yard and entrance tunnels are well worth an explore too and you get a real sense of the hustle and bustle of castle life here.



All 5 castles featured here are truly unique in nature and it's great to get off the beaten track and explore some of the less well know castles that reside here in Scotland.



Want to see more?

Head over to my YouTube channel to see some of my vlogs from these places and see the true beauty of what theses stunning castles have to offer.


youtube.com/kimgrantphotography

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