The Scottish Highlands are an area forever steeped in lore and myth and come with an abundance of castles to experience and explore. This fact alone make Scotland a great destination for families with children of all ages. Read on to discover some of the best castles around to explore together and let yourself be transported back in time with the spellbinding tales each is host to.
The historical spot where Scottish kings were crowned, Scone Palace is one of the most historically significant and hallowed places in all of Scotland. It also is a great spot for families who can enjoy a variety of fun activities. Children will love running through the 100-acre grounds which are home to the Murray Star Maze and adventure playground.
There are plenty of animals on display such as miniature Shetland ponies, Highland coos and June the donkey, while inside the castle you’ll discover life-sized Siberian stuffed tigers and other unique treasures. Adults will appreciate the 400-year-old history which includes a replica of the Coronation Chair and Stone of Destiny.
- Kelburn Castle, North Ayrshire
Kelburn Castle and Country Centre is a gem of a find for families since there’s so much to see and do on-site. Children will adore the numerous pathways of the Secret Forest, and the made-for-them Stockade fort, with its 20-foot tower.
If the weather plays along, then the aerial playground of Adventure Course will keep them delighted for ages, as they travel through the suspended walkways and enjoy the rope swings, otherwise the Playbarn with slides, a castle, caves, and rock-climbing is an alternative. Adults will find the estate and horse-riding opportunities a good draw, and a wander through the estate grounds is certain to bring back a sense of peace and calm.
Sometimes, it’s good to enjoy things at a more sedate pace. The below castle offer a reprieve for travel-weary parents.
- Blair Castle and Gardens, Perthshire
Blair Castle and Gardens is steeped in tales that span the centuries and several sets of monarchs and the Treasure Room puts many of these tales on display in a variety of exhibits. The beautiful and stately setting will fascinate adults, while the popular Diana’s Grove with a woodland playground will be a hit with the children.
If the weather is a bit gloomy when you arrive, the Castle Detective Challenge will cheer up the children as they scramble, and head scratch, their way through the puzzles and picture clues provided upon request.
- Stirling Castle, Stirling
With a 16th century design and a history of being built for love, Stirling castle is a definite ode to the French Renaissance style, built by King V for his French queen, Mary of Guise.
Children will adore the period attire that actors wear and will easily become intrigued by the world of the Royal Stewart Court with enactments done on Saturdays and Sundays. Adults will enjoy wandering the halls and appreciate the architecture on show in one of Scotland’s most renowned stone castles.