Visiting a castle is a beautiful experience. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs have many castles to experience, making it the perfect place to see one. 

It’s an unforgettable experience to enjoy with your family. You’ll find some of the most intriguing castles in Scotland and get the opportunity to learn about all of the extraordinary and unimaginable things that have occurred within them.

Here are some of the best castles near Loch Lomond you can visit.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting Scotland. The castle is less than an hour from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. 

It’s one of the country’s largest and most important castles near Loch Lomond, and it sits in a very strategic position. The castle has taken part in many important historical events, and it’s definitely worth a visit.

Historic Environment Scotland manages it, and to date, it gets over 500 thousand visitors per year.

Stirling Castle has protected many kings and queens and was initially built in 1490. With time, it evolved into an acting military fortress because of its unique location. 

Today it is a perfect example of Renaissance architecture. Plan to visit Stirling Castle from April to October when all the main attractions are open to the public.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle is a 14th-century castle located in Northumberland, England. The castle is a bit further from Loch Lomond than the Stirling Castle. However, it’s still within driving distance. 

Earl Thomas of Lancaster built it as a statement of power. The castle was involved in the Wars of the Roses and changed hands many times. Today, English Heritage manages it, and it gets over 200 thousand visitors per year.

The Dunstanburgh Castle is a large castle with many towers and turrets. It’s worth a visit if you’re interested in medieval history. The best time to visit Dunstanburgh Castle is from April to September. All of the main attractions are available at that time.

Loch Leven Castle

Loch Leven Castle is a castle located on an island in Scotland. The castle sits about an hour and a half from Loch Lomond and was constructed in the 13th century. 

The history of this castle baffles many during their visit. The castle was once used as a prison, and Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned there for a time. 

Historic Scotland maintains and manages the castle and gets over 60 thousand visitors per year.

Loch Leven Castle is a small castle, but that doesn’t take away from its rich history and allure. The best time to visit Loch Leven Castle is from May to September if you’d like to experience all the castle offers.

Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Castle is located on the banks of the River Clyde, only 22 minutes away from Loch Lomond. The castle is full of long and rich history. 

The castle was once the capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, and many different clans have occupied it over the years. One thing that makes the castle so unique is that it sits on top of volcanic rock. 

Dumbarton Castle is 1500 years old and is a massive part of history. The castle served as home for Mary Queen of Scots, who came to the castle for royal refuge in 1547.

Thanks to the castle, she remained safe and was able to fulfil her duties as a queen. As the years went by, the castle became a military fortress and a prison.

The Dumbarton Castle is managed by Historic Scotland and gets over 40 thousand visitors per year. The best time to visit Dumbarton Castle is between April and September.

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle serves as the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, and it’s one of the most important castles in Scotland. The castle is located in a beautiful and unique setting on the banks of Loch Fyne, only 45 minutes from Loch Lomond.

It took 43 years to build the Inveraray Castle. Unfortunately, in 1877, it sustained a fire. Thankfully the castle wasn’t ruined. In fact, the repairs made it bigger and added a third floor, conical roofs, and corner turrets. 

It has been a tourist attraction since 1953. Remarkably, in 1940, the castle served as a military training centre that trained more than 250,000 soldiers during World War II.

Balloch Castle

Balloch Castle sits on the banks of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and it has a long and rich history. It is considered a category A listed building. Unfortunately, today it lives as an abandoned building.

Robert Lugar, who was a London architect, designed the castle. It features lancet windows, turrets, and crenellations. Despite being in ruins, the castle is still definitely worth a visit.

The castle was once the seat of the influential Clan Campbell who was part of the most powerful highland clans.

Blair Castle

Blair Castle is located in the Highlands of Scotland, about two hours from Loch Lomond. Of course, the castle is another one of the most important castles in the country.

The most exciting aspect of this castle is that it’s the ancient seat of the current Dukes of Atholl, who retains his own private army. The Atholl Highlanders serve as a ceremonial army and parade in traditional highland dress. 

The castle has been in the same family for over 700 years. It has been well maintained as it still has its original fittings. For nature lovers, there is the Blair Atholl estate which is the biggest nature reserve in the Highlands of Scotland. 

Not to mention, when you visit, you can explore the castle on your own without a guide.

Buchanan Castle

Buchanan Castle is an abandoned castle, but that doesn’t take away from its beauty, history, and importance. The castle was once the seat of the powerful Clan Buchanan and is now in ruins.

The castle is definitely worth visiting for anyone interested in Scottish history or castles. The Buchanan castle is unique because of its history. In 1852 James Graham commissioned the castle to serve as a family home.

It served as a hotel and a golf course after being sold and reopened in 1925. In addition, it was used as a hospital in 1941 during World War II.

Dundonald Castle

Dundonald Castle is a Gaelic-Norman castle located in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The castle is about an hour’s drive from Loch Lomond. The construction’s purpose was to serve as the seat of William Wallace. 

It has also been the home of Robert the Bruce and Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle has a fascinating history as it has been both a royal residence and a stronghold. There is also a small lake at the foot of the castle, providing excellent views to visitors.

Carrick Castle

Carrick Castle sits on the banks of Loch Goil in Argyll and Bute. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Loch Lomond. The castle was built in the 13th century by Clan MacDougall. 

It served as their stronghold until the 16th century when it passed on to Clan Campbell. The castle underwent renovation in the 19th century by English architect Gabriel. 

It has a square keep, tower house, and curtain wall. It also has four corner bartizans that once served as watchtowers during warfare.

Castle Campbell

Castle Campbell exists in Dollar, Clackmannanshire. The castle was the home of Clan Campbell from 1457 to 1886, when it passed on to the city of Dunfermline. 

It served as the seat of Stewart kings for over 500 years before getting passed on to its current owners. The castle is unique because it has two towers connected by a sky bridge. It also has a courtyard and an inner gatehouse.

Drummond Castle

Drummond Castle is located in Crieff, Perthshire. It is the home of the Clan Drummond. The castle was built in the 15th century and has belonged to many clan family members. 

The castle is breathtaking because it has a formal Italianate garden that John James Robinson designed. The gardens are well known as some of the best in Europe. The castle also has a beautiful view of the valley below.

Rothesay Castle

Rothesay Castle sits on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. The castle was built in the 13th century and served as a royal residence for many years. The castle is unique because it has an octagonal keep. 

The keep construction had the sole purpose of serving as a royal residence, and it has a spiral staircase leading up to the top. The castle also has beautiful gardens and impressive views of the island and is about two hours from Loch Lomond.

Wrapping Up

These are just some of the many castles near Loch Lomond & The Trossachs that you need to visit. Each one has a rich history, from sitting on a volcanic rock to serving as a place for royal refuge. 

Each provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy your family and experience life from the view of a castle window. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!