The castles may be smaller as you go further north in Scotland, but they have seen more history than most and make great affordable family stays. If you like stone walls and roaring fires, these castles will end up on your bucket list!

Castle Law

This fortress was built around 1440, as a wedding gift for Princess Mary, the eldest daughter of King James II, on her marriage to Thomas Boyd, the Earl of Arran. With vaulted ceilings and a stone bath, log fires, stone walls and high beamed ceilings, this feels like a real Scottish stronghold. Sleeping up to 14 people in 7 bedrooms, the tower is packed full of 4-poster beds, all spread over the top three floors. The view from the battlements is the ideal spot to watch the sun rise and fall, with the Isle of Arran on the horizon. The original trapdoor, where guilty parties were dropped into the dungeon below, is still visible in the great hall. Warning - children should be on their best behaviour!

Forter Castle

Forter Castle was built in 1560 and destroyed by the Duke of Argyll in 1640, then rebuilt by the Pooley family after laying a ruin for 350 years. This chunk of historic castle was originally built to fortify and protect the entrance to the Balloch Pass to Glenshee and the important Moneca Pass to Braemar. Great thick wooden doors, stone spiral stairs and an inlet log fireplace dominate one side of the great hall, along with an amazing, elaborate painted ceiling.

This is where rustic has been transformed into luxury by designer, Katharine Pooley. The castle sleeps 12 or 16 guests with the four additional single beds located at the top of the castle, suitable for children sharing. This property is great for families, and don’t be concerned...you will not have to defend the Balloch Pass; there will not be any marauding clans during your stay! If you want to be in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, this is the perfect spot!

Aikwood Tower

The first mention of Aikwood comes in the Lord Treasurer of Scotland’s accounts of 1455, when it was one of the ‘forest steadings’ of Ettrick Forest, leased from King James III to Lord Home.

Aikwood Tower sleeps ten people in five bedrooms. This is an intimate castle and, yes, it has a Kerry-handed (left turning) spiral stone staircase, plus a roaring fire in the great hall, entered via the original oak front door. It displays endearing quirks of architecture and craftsmanship, immediately apparent when you enter the castle. This is a brilliant mix of old and new, with plenty of space for all the family.

The vaulted ceiling in the dining kitchen area is a cosy social hub, but the log fire in the great hall is the place to be for a wee dram in the evening and makes a great backdrop for a private house party.

With Edinburgh just an hour's drive away, this is Scotland's finest example of understated luxury...and has all the trappings of the 21st-century, whilst maintaining a unique Medieval allure.

Lochhouse Tower

Hidden in the trees as you enter the Scottish border town of Moffat, this 3-bedroom pele tower (Scottish strong house) was built in 1536 by the Johnstone Clan. There are stone walls everywhere and a vaulted basement with a spacious modern kitchen/dining area is the place to create your Medieval feast. If you have to defend this castle, there is plenty of Medieval armour on hand!

If you enjoy fishing, you can catch your evening meal just outside the front door in the castle’s own private fishing loch with boat. Modern comforts include a covered hot tub...not a good idea to have your armour on when getting in!

Muckrach Castle

If you like the Highlands of Scotland and want a view of the mountains, this castle in rural Speyside has a conservatory which, although not part of the original castle when it was built in 1583, offers fantastic views in the Cairngorm National Park...yes mountains, and lots of them!

The castle will sleep eight adults and two children in five bedrooms. The property boasts wooden and stone spiral stairs with a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen dining area. The great hall is panelled in wood and this is always the place to be when the fire has been lit.

Just three miles from the village of Grantown-on-Spey, this castle give you access to everything outdoors Scotland can throw at you. If you prefer a creamed tea, there are plenty to choose from as well! Crathes Castle and Gardens are within easy reach.

Castles available to book through Celtic Castles

Search »