CASTLES, ABBEYS, PALACES AND FORTS
Discover the stories about the people, the places and the powers that have shaped over 5,000 years of Scottish history. Here are just some of the best, but click here for information on all Historic Scotland sites across the country.
Edinburgh Castle: A mighty fortress, the defender of the nation and a world-famous visitor attraction, the Castle has dominated Edinburgh's skyline for centuries. The mighty volcanic rock on which it stands has been occupied for thousands of years. Today the Castle is home to Scotland's crown jewels (the second oldest in Europe), the Stone of Destiny, three military museums, the National War Memorial, the Prisons of War exhibition, and much more. Make sure you have time to explore all of them.
Stirling Castle: Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's most celebrated and much-loved castles. For centuries, Scotland's monarchs held court here and revelled in its beauty and grandeur. The Castle's Royal Palace has been returned to its impressive Renaissance glory and, with its lavishly decorated rooms and costumed characters, the Palace is at the heart of the new experience.
Urquhart Castle: On the shores of Loch Ness. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart was the scene of great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Control of the Castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence i the early 14th century. The power struggles continued as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both the Castle and the glen up to the 1500s. The last of the government troops garrisoned here during the Jacobite Risings in the 18th century blew up the Castle when they left. Urquhart’s iconic ruins remain, offering glimpses into medieval times and the lives of its noble residents.
Each of our sites offers a glimpse of the past. Some are places of majesty, some date back thousands of years, but all have a special place in Scottish history. Explore our website to see where you can go to learn more about Scotland.
Enjoy access to all Historic Scotland attractions with our great-value Explorer Pass.
The Explorer Pass gives you access to all our attractions which makes it a great-value way to discover Scotland’s history. Click here for more information.
There is an exciting programme of events taking place at Historic Scotland sites all year, you can see some highlights below. Click here for full event listings.
EVENTS AT HISTORIC SCOTLAND PROPERTIES.
Kings and Clansmen, Fort George, 11th and 12th August
Meet the rival forces of the Jacobite Risings face to face and find out the real stories which inspired the television serial "Outlander". Learn secret Jacobite symbols, handle a real sword and watch the fearsome Highland charge!
Knight at the Castle, Edinburgh Castle, 5th October
Brand-new for 2018 to celebrate the Year of Young People, take this opportunity to experience Edinburgh Castle as you never have before! www.edinburghcastle.scot/knight
Linlithgow ExFEARience: Portal to the Past, 26th, 27th and 28th October
As you tour the magnificent palace you will soon discover all is not what it seems. Will you be brave enough to face what the archaeologists have unleashed? www.historicenvironment.scot/events
Spotlight on Mary, Craigmillar Castle, 1st-4th November
Experience Craigmillar Castle in a new light as the story of the infamous Craigmillar Bond is brought to life through illumination and projection. Timed evening tours will depart from Holyrood Park. www.historicenvironment.scot/events
Stirling Castle Christmas Events, Various Dates
Join us at Stirling Castle for a festive shopping fayre, theatre, pantomime, ceilidhs and carols as we celebrate Christmas. www.stirlingcastle.scot/festive
Castles, gardens, houses, museums to visit in Scotland