We are planning a trip to Scotland with three main interests, castles, geography and distilleries, probably in that order. We’ve done a bit of research (heck a month ago I couldn't name 3 castles). The challenge is which ones are “must sees”, “nice to see” or probably even a few “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”. Tough, if you've never been, maybe tough if you've lived in Scotland your whole life?
Now given schedule (our schedule and castle hours), travel distances and interests, there are lots of trade offs.
I’ve found out there are castles and then there are castles. Everything from ancient ruins and rubble to fantastic palaces. Private estates to Nat’l Trust of Scotland to for profit (or just upkeep) castles. We plan to see as much as possible. I like the idea of exploring old ruins (like the Balvenie or Dunnotar), the palaces (Like Glamis, Blair Athol, Scone) and also some of the fantastic gardens and estates.
I have seen some other posts with questions along the same lines. Be it, where do we start, what to see if you’ve got 2 days, 5 days, 11 days (like us) or longer. What to see near Edinburgh, Glasgow or elsewhere.
Anyway, I thought I’d start a thread focused on castles to see when traveling to Scotland.
I’ll start with a couple straight forward questions…
1) what is your list of castles that just can’t be missed (must see’s) and why?
2) What is your list of really worth seeing, if you’ve got the time?
3) And how should I put this? If you’ve seen “A”, “B” and ‘C” and had your fill, then skip “X” and “Y”?
4) Anyone planning a trip, a good question might be: We’re planning to be in for example, Inverness, what castles are close by?
5) Another question I have is, just how long should you plan (at a minimum) if you go to for example Castle Frasier.
Hopefully this will be useful and we get a good wide ranging discussion going.
Anyway, I’ll add my list so far as a reply.
Thanks in advance and best regards,
Kevin in America
(I’ll see you all in June!!!)