The Best Castles Near Loch Lomond

Best Scottish Castles INVERARAY-CASTLE

Scotland’s Loch Lomond is located in the centre of the country and is an enormous Loch that attracts an abundance of tourists annually, both for its gorgeous natural landscape, as well as for its plethora of historic and fascinating castles. This list will highlight the best castles near to Loch Lomond, as well as their key highlights, location, and opening and closing times.

The best 9 castles to visit near Loch Lomond

1. Dumbarton Castle

Famous for having the longest recorded history of any stronghold in the entirety of Scotland, Dumbarton Castle is a stunning and historic castle that is perched upon a large plug of volcanic basalt, otherwise known as Dumbarton Rock. The rock in which the castle is situated is believed to date back an incredible 334 million years ago; the castle that stands today was originally built in the Middle Ages, though it has changed shape and style throughout the years. Today it is open to the public, who are captivated by its expansive history.

Where: Dumbarton, Scotland

When: Middle Ages

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

2. Carrick Castle

Located upon the west shore of Loch Goil, which is in the Cowal peninsula in Argyll and Bute in Scotland, lies the beautiful and historic Carrick Castle, which is a tower house that dates back to the 14th century. The castle was built by the Campbell clan at the end of the century, as they were particularly dominant in the area at this point in time; later, in the year 1563, Mary, Queen of Scots visited the castle. Today, Carrick Castle is open to the public, and it is privately owned.

Where: Loch Goil, Scotland

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 15:00pm

3. Doune Castle

Doune Castle is an impressive medieval stronghold that dates back to the thirteenth century, and is located near to the scenic Scottish village of Doune, in the Stirling region of the centre of Scotland. It is believed that after the castle’s initial construction, that it was heavily damaged in the midst of the Scottish Wars of Independence, before it was later rebuilt in the 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, who was the son of King Robert II of Scots, and has remained in this style since then.

Where: Doune, Scotland

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

4. Inveraray Castle

Located in Scotland’s western county of Argyll lies the stunning Inveraray Castle, which is a large, and architecturally impressive country house. It is idyllically perched upon the shores of Loch Fyne, which is the longest sea loch in the entirety of Scotland. The castle was originally constructed in the middle of the 18th century and was constructed in line with the principles of Gothic Revival architecture, that was immensely popular at the time. The castle is famous for its heritage, but it is also well known for its role in modern history; in the year 2012, the Christmas episode of Downtown Abbey was partially filmed at the castle.

Where: Inveraray, Scotland

When: 18th century

Style: Gothic Revival

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

5. Stirling Castle

Situated upon a large and dramatic crag, that forms part of the Stirling Still, lies the breath-taking Stirling Castle; it is gloriously enveloped by luscious green natural scenery and a landscape that goes on for miles and miles. The majority of the castle that remains in existence today dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, though there is a small amount that does date back to the 14th century. The castle has had a long history with being a Scottish royal residence, as well as a defensive fortress, playing a key role in several important conflicts. Today, the castle is open to the public and houses a fascinating museum that exhibits the castle’s impressive and expansive heritage.

Where: Stirling, Scotland

When: 14th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

Check out: Famous castles to visit in Scotland. 

6. Rothesay Castle

Idyllically located on the Isle of Bute in western Scotland lies the stunning ruined Rothesay Castle, which dates back to the turn of the 13th century, when it was built either by Alan Fitz Walter, Steward of Scotland, or his son Walter. During the Middle Ages, the castle played a primarily military role, and it served as a stronghold; during the 16th century, the castle was expanded and modernised, and many critical additions were added, including four round towers, and a forework, that was all surrounded by a moat. Since 1961, the castle has been in the hands of the state, and is now regarded as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and is managed by Historic Scotland.

Where: Isle of Bute, Scotland

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

7. Castle Campbell

Castle Campbell is located in the town of Dollar, in the Clackmannanshire region of central Scotland, and is a stunning medieval fortress that dates back to the 12th century. The early castle does no longer exist, and instead, the one that stands today was constructed in around the year 1430 for John Stewart, Lord Lorne, or one of his kinsmen. The castle served as the lowland seat of the earls and dukes of Argyll between the 15th and 19th centuries; like many historic castles in Scotland, Castle Campbell was also visited by Mary, Queen of Scots during the 16th century. Today, the castle is open to the public, and many visitors are drawn to its fascinating history and gorgeous surrounding landscapes.

Where: Dollar, Scotland

When: 12th-century origins

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 15:00pm

8. Drummond Castle

Situated in Perthshire in Scotland lies the beautiful Drummond Castle, which is a historic landmark that offers visitors a wonderful history, as well as stunning grounds and gardens. The origins of the castle date back to the 14th century, where the lands of the castle were owned by the Drummond family, who constructed the original tower house. Over the following centuries, more additions were added, and the castle was expanded and renovated, including in the 17th century, where the castle was reconverted into a mansion style. Today, the castle is an A listed building and is a very popular tourist site.

Where: Perthshire, Scotland

When: 14th-century origins

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

9. Dundonald Castle

Situated upon a hill that overlooks the scenic Scottish village of Dundonald, lies the beautiful Dundonald Castle, which is a large fortified tower house, that was constructed for Robert II after he came to power in Scotland in the year 1371. During this time, the castle was primarily used as a royal residency for Robert II and his son, Robert III. Throughout the following centuries, the castle changed shape multiple times, and also changed its primary function depending on the needs of the time.

Where: Dundonald, Scotland

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 15:00pm

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