10 Castles Near Edinburgh To Visit For An Enthralling Experience
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Castles Around Edinburgh

1. Craigmillar Castle
2. Tantallon Castle
3. Dirleton Castle
4. Crichton Castle
5. Blackness Castle
6. Lauriston Castle
7. Rosslyn Castle
8. Craigcrook Castle
9. Borthwick Castle
10. Dalhousie Castle

A journey to Scotland isn't complete unless you explore an array of castles near Edinburgh. These Scottish castles have been around since the 12th century when they were first built, and continue to be an essential part of the cultural identity of the country. In the past, they protected the country from foreign invaders and acted as the first line of defense, but later on, they were used as the mansions of the country's most powerful families. Therefore, the surrounding area of Edinburgh is dotted with castles, many of which are steeped in royalty and military history.

There are castle hotels to stay in, castles on islands that previously held captive queens and of course the big kahuna itself, The Edinburgh Castle, to astound you with its architecture. Visit the birthplaces of James V and Mary, Queen of Scots, marvel at Scottish tower homes, and explore the stunning Scottish countryside, everything right near the city walls of Edinburgh.

Here are some of the best Castles Near Edinburgh:

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Craigmillar Castle

  • The castle of Craigmillar is one of the best-preserved castles near Edinburgh.
  • The castle looks like a fortress straight out of the Middle Ages, even now.
  • Take in the sights of Edinburgh from the top of the "other castle," have a picnic in one of its many courtyards, or play hide-and-seek in its mazelike corridors.
  • The castle's history is tied to Edinburgh and Mary, Queen of Scots. After Rizzio's death, she hid in Craigmillar Castle.
  • This castle plotted Lord Darnley's assassination as well.

Location: Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4SY. 

From 1st April-30th sept, daily 10 to 5 and from 29th Dec to 31st march, Daily 10 to 4.

£7 per ticket

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Tantallon Castle

  • This imposing castle among castles near Edinburgh was the bastion of the Douglas family, and it stood on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and Bass Rock.
  • Tantallon's towers are the best vantage points for seeing the Bass Rock and spotting gannets diving into the North Sea.
  • Tantallon was severely damaged and abandoned, but its ruin is beautiful.

Location: North Berwick, East Lothian, EH39 5PN

1st Apr-30th Sept: 9.30 am-5 pm, 1st Oct-31st Mar from 10 am-4 pm 

Distance from Edinburgh:
It’s a 50 min ride, that is 30.4 miles 

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Dirleton Castle

  • Visit the highest point of the last remaining massive medieval fortress- the Dirleton Castle.
  • Dirleton Castle among the castles near Edinburgh was used by three noble families for over 400 years.
  • Well-known features of the gardens include a Victorian garden and an Arts and Crafts herbaceous border.
  • The herbaceous border's claim to fame as the longest in the world is confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records.
  • There are two steps leading down to the courtyard. fragrant flowers and plants can be seen in the main garden.

Location: Dirleton, North Berwick EH39 5ER, UK

1st Apr-30th Sept: 9.30-5, 1st Oct-31st Mar 10-4


Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 41 minutes to cover 21.9 miles to travel from Edinburgh to Dirleton Castle.

Check This Out: Things To Do In Edinburgh

Crichton Castle

  • One of the enormous, high-class castles around Edinburgh with an eye-catching, Italian-style front of faceted masonry is Crichton Castle.
  • Visitors can access places leading from there that rely on the visitor's mobility as each chamber and cellar has up to three steps leading to it.
  • Crichton Castle is most renowned for its spectacular north range, which features a diamond-faceted crimson masonry exterior.
  • Sir William Crichton's ghost is said to leave the stables and enter the castle tower on his death anniversary.

Location: Crichton, Pathhead, Midlothian, EH37 5XA

Temporary closed

£6 per ticket

Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 31 minutes to cover 14.6 miles to travel from Edinburgh to Crichton Castle.

Know More: Places To Visit In Edinburgh

Blackness Castle

  • Blackness was a garrison stronghold and prison, not a lordly home.
  • This 15th-century castle in the list of castles near Edinburgh has a formidable fortification that looks like a "ship that never sailed."
  • In Season 1 of Outlander, Blackness Castle among the castles around Edinburgh stood in for Fort William.
  • Blackness was commissioned by the Crichtons, one of Scotland's most renowned families, to overlook the Firth of Forth.
  • Visitors can learn about them as they climb the castle's towers and curtain wall and observe the Firth of Forth and its bridges.

Location: Blackness, Linlithgow, EH49 7NH

1st Apr-30th Sept: 9.30-5, 1st Oct-31st Mar 10-4 

£7 per ticket

Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 41 minutes to cover 18.1 miles to travel from Edinburgh to Blackness Castle.

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Lauriston Castle

  • Another on the list of castles near Edinburgh is Lauriston, a wonderful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful views of the Firth of Forth.
  • Stroll through the woods, relax in our Japanese garden, or visit a turn-of-the-century Edinburgh middle-class home.
  • This castle under the castles around Edinburgh is home to Mimi's Little Bakehouse.
  • William Robert Reid decorated Lauriston with mezzotint engravings, Sheffield plate, Scottish and English furniture, and Chinese and Dutch blue and white porcelain.

Location: Blackness, Linlithgow, EH49 7NH

grounds - 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Mimi's Bakehouse 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Sunday.

£8 (£6)

Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 22 minutes to cover 5.9 miles to travel from Edinburgh to Lauriston Castle.

Do Checkout: Things To Do In Birmingham

Rosslyn Castle

  • Rosslyn Castle, primarily constructed in 1450, sits in a stunning setting, a tree-covered limestone spine rising sharply from the River Esk on three sides making it unique amongst the castles near Edinburgh.
  • Rosslyn Castle has been the home of the St. Clair family for centuries.
  • One of the famous castles around Edinburgh known for The Da Vinci Code, a novel by Dan Brown is estimated that the 'lantern' or 'lamp tower' by the bridge, was constructed sometime after the Battle of Roslin in 1304, making it the oldest surviving structure in the Castle. 

Location: Rosslyn Chapel, Chapel Loan, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9PU

Monday through Saturday, our first-time slot is 9 am- 5.10 pm

£9.50 per ticket (Concession for the disabled over 60, the unemployed, students, or the armed forces)

Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 32 minutes to cover 14.2 miles to travel from Edinburgh to Rosslyn Castle.

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Craigcrook Castle

  • Another on the list of castles near Edinburgh is Craigcrook Castle which was not notable when it was built.
  • However, building styles allowed much of the castle to be placed in the early 17th century.
  • The Castle has a mezzanine, three levels, and a boardroom with oak paneling.
  • The Castle offers bright, expansive office space with regal grandeur.
  • The ground floor has spacious, adaptable areas for office or client entertaining.
  • Visitors can also see a 17th-century wall enclosing the garden, which contains a 1626 roll-molded archway.

Location: Craigcrook Place 96, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 14 minutes to cover 4 miles to travel from Edinburgh to Craigcrook Castle.

Know More: Places To Visit In Manchester

Borthwick Castle

  • Step through the historic arched entrance of Borthwick Castle, and you'll be transported to a hidden world of luxury and grand style, surrounded by 600 years of spectacular Scottish history.
  • This magnificent and authentic castle dates back to 1430 and has been lovingly restored for use in private functions, business gatherings, and weddings.
  • As a result, Borthwick Castle provides peace, luxury, and a classic Scottish feel under one roof. 
  • The venue's 12 plush bedrooms and three grand ballrooms make it an excellent choice for large corporate weddings and also different from other castles near Edinburgh.

Location: North Middleton, Midlothian, EH23 4QY

Distance from Edinburgh:
It takes about 30 minutes by air and 12 miles by car.

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Dalhousie Castle

  • If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, all you have to do is step inside this ancient fortress.
  • It's a place to make memories, relive 800 years of history, and experience the best Scottish hospitality on eleven acres of private parkland and forested valleys. 
  • To experience the splendor of Scotland's oldest inhabited castle is to feel like a real-life prince or princess.
  • Falconry and archery are among the noble activities you might attempt during your stay, or you can simply relax in one of the plush chairs in the Library's oak paneling with a dram of whisky.

Location: Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH19 3JB

Distance from Edinburgh:
Located only eight miles from Edinburgh.

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Liverpool

People Also Ask About Edinburgh

  1. Which are the best castles near Edinburgh?

    1. Stobo Castle: Stobo Castle among the castles around Edinburgh, is now a luxury spa and a hotel. Early 20th-century Japanese Water Garden is like walking through a Monet picture here. Some of the interiors might be updated, but the old-timey atmosphere gives the house a traditional, regal sense.

    2. Palace of Holyroodhouse:
    It was a Queen's Scottish residence that now served as a hotel. Where every room feels more lavish than the last. It's close to the town center and opens year-round, including the King's bed-chamber and Mary QueenScots' chamber. You can walk around Beautiful gardens. In addition, 12th-century Holyrood Abbey is a must-see.

    3. Dundas Castle: A 15th-century castle in the list of castles around Edinburgh that can be rented in its entirety. The castle has 17 bedrooms, so you can live like the Laird of your own estate for as long as you choose. The earliest component dates to 1416, but the majestic main edifice is dated 1818. This venue hosts some of the most elegant weddings in all of Scotland.

    4. Hopetoun House:
    Hopetoun is more than a "home" or a "get-together" paradise. The Hopes have lived in this mansion since the late 1600s. Luckily, they allow people for events, clay-shooting, archery, or roam. The castle is a regular filming site, just 35 minutes west of the city, and it's especially popular with Outlander fans.

    Recommended Read: Edinburgh Museums
  2. Which are the best castles near Edinburgh to visit with family?

    1. Linlithgow Palace: James I built much of the palace around 1424. Linlithgow became the home of many Scottish rulers and noblemen, including Mary Queen of Scots. The palace is open daily, so discovering the historical facts of this castle with your family makes it a great family destination.

    2. Craigmillar Castle:
    To look at the landscape around Craigmillar Castle, you might have an experience of the remote Scottish Highlands to spend cozy times with your family. Craigmillar is a must-see for tourists because of its illustrious history as the hideaway (and later jail) of Mary, Queen of Scots. The tower house, built in the 12th century and once stood 17 meters tall, has survived the centuries of decay that have ravaged the rest of the maze-like building.

    3. Borthwick Castle:
    Visit one of the largest castles near Edinburgh with your family, notable for its two towers. This magnificent fortress was commissioned by Sir William de Borthwick, who offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the life of King James I. It is mostly used as a location for events nowadays, so visitors can have a look at this on open days.

    4. Dalhousie Castle:
    The earliest known construction on the Dalhousie property dates back to the mid-1100s. Currently, the castle operates as a spa and picturesque event space. The towering red stone walls of the fort have housed some of the most important figures in Scottish military history, including Edward I and Oliver Cromwell.

    Check This Out: Things To Do In Edinburgh With Kids
  3. Which is the most popular castle in Edinburgh?

    Edinburgh Castle, located in the city's downtown, is the most popular and well-known castle in the region. The oldest part of this fortification, which dominates the skyline of Edinburgh from its perch on Castle Rock, was constructed in the 12th century.
  4. Are there free Castles near Edinburgh?

    Edinburgh is a city rich in heritage. Explore the magnificent city and visit the historic Royal Mile and the world-famous Scottish castle at no cost as you roam this gorgeous city. For example, you may hike up Arthur's Seat or check out the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh.
  5. What is the best time to explore Castles near Edinburgh?

    Castles around Edinburgh are best explored in the summer (June–August). The one o'clock gun is a crowd favorite and notable feature, but it also increases the concentration of customers at that time of day. Early mornings are the right choice if you want to avoid crowds.

    Do Checkout: Things To Do In Edinburgh This Weekend
  6. Which are London's top activities and attraction tickets that I can book via Thrillophilia?

    Here are some of London's top activities and attraction tickets that you can book via Thrillophilia:
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Places To Visit In Edinburgh
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Amazing experience. Learn't a lot about Scottish whisky.

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