Scottish castles remind us of Scotland’s colourful history, when these beautiful settlements were at the heart of bloody battles being fought by Scottish clans seeking to protect their land from invaders or conquer the land of others.
Scotland has thousands of castles and strongholds (or ‘Clan seats of power’) that act as striking reminders of our country’s Clan history and how powerful it was in shaping the Scotland we live in even today.
Estimates show that Scotland has around 500 clans and historically they all had their own territories and castles and some like Clan Campbell, historically one of the most powerful Highland clans, had multiple settlements that can still be found today.
In appreciation of Scottish heritage and our country’s dark history, here are 16 famous clans from Scotland, the castles that were historically theirs and where you can find them.
1. Clan Macleod - Dunvegan Castle
Clan Macleod is thought to have descended from a warrior called Leod who was said to be the son of Olaf the Black, the King of Mann. Clan Macleod is closely associated with the Isle of Skye and as such you can find this castle off the West Coast of Scotland.
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2. Clan Macdonald - Castle Tioram
Castle Tioram has been dated back to the twelfth century by some and it was originally a principal stronghold of Clann Ruaidhrí and the traditional seat of 'Clan Raghnaill' which is a branch of Clan (Mac) Donald. Today it lies in ruin on a tidal island named Eilean Tioram in Loch Moidart in the Highlands.
Photo: via WikiCommons
3. Clan Keith - Dunnottar Castle
The Gaelic translation for Dunnottar is "fort on the shelving slope" and this is why the fortress has played such a prominent role in Scottish history back in the 18th century with the Jacobite rising because it was a defensive and strategic location. Described as a "ruined medieval fortress" today you can still explore it at the north-eastern coast of Scotland, 2 miles away from Stonehaven.
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4. Clan Mackenzie - Eilean Donan
This castle is considered one of the most beautiful Scottish settlements of its kind and it has even inspired sets in Disney movies. It sits at the meeting point between three great lochs and it is surrounded by forests and mountains, located by the village of Dornie that is on the route to the Isle of Skye.
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