Scotland is full of stunning and majestic castles, with some of the quirkiest living on the west coast. Scottish Castles were built and used as fortresses, their main purpose being to withhold enemy attacks and keep occupents safe. When people think of Castles in Scotland they usually think of Edinburgh, Stirling and the Scottish Highlands. However the west coast of Scotland has a few hidden gems that are definitely worth a visit.
Duart Castle is the ancestral home of Clan McLean and sits guarding the sea cliffs on the Isle of Mull. The castle was restored from ruin in 1911 and is one of the last privately owned clan castles in Scotland.
There is so much to discover when you visit Duart Castle; the magnificient Great Hall that boasts walls that are 23 feet thick, along with family portraits and Coats of Arms. You can also look around the Edwardian state rooms that house a collection of military uniform and dresses that date back to 1750. To end your day you can walk the battlements and enjoy the breathtaking views that Mull has to offer.
Inverary Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, the Chief of Clan Campbell whose family have resided in Inverary since the early 15th century. Situated on the shores of Loch Fyne, the castle is one of the most beautiful visitor attractions on the west coast of Scotland.
Visitors to the castle can browse the Armoury Hall that contains around 1300 pieces including a preserved sword from the Battle of Culloden. The Dining and Tapestry Drawing Rooms contain French tapestries which were woven especially for the castle.
After exploring the castle visitors can enjoy the view from the beautiful garden, and refreshments in the tea room. For any fans of Downton Abbey the castle is well worth a visit; the 2012 Christmas special was filmed there!
Situated on the Isle of Bute; Rothesay Castle dates back to the 13th century. The castle has a long and close connection to the Stewart Dynasty and was built by the family to defend against invading Viking forces. The castles circular curtain wall make it one of the most unique and well preserved Scottish landmarks.
The Great Hall of the castle was restored in 1900 and now contains information showing the history of the castle and its inhabitants. Rothesay Castle sits directly infront of Bute Museum which you can visit after looking around the castle. The museum houses many of the artefacts that were found in the castle during its restoration and is a great family day out.