With research* revealing that almost half (49%) of Brits have never visited a Scottish Castle, VisitScotland is encouraging visitors to get castle-bagging.
The research - which comes as the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology comes to a close - also reveals that the Queen’s holiday home, Balmoral Castle, is Scotland’s second best-known castle (53%) after the iconic Edinburgh Castle, which 80% of British people were aware of.
Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland was voted the most romantic-looking castle** with over a quarter (29%) of the votes, followed by Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire (16%) and popular visitor favourite Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands (12%).
On the opposite side of the scale, Slains Castle in Peterhead was voted as the most likely to be haunted with almost a quarter of votes (22%), followed closely by the iconic Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven (19%) and in third place, Brodick Castle (12%) on Arran.
The best castle in Scotland accolade went to Edinburgh Castle with over a third of the votes (39%) ahead of Stirling (5%) , Urquhart (2%) and St Andrews Castles (2%).
Seven out of ten people (72%) stated they would like to stay overnight in a castle while on holiday in Scotland which is good news for the castles that have been converted into hotels and holiday homes throughout the country.
In total, Scotland is thought to have around 3000 standing castles, ruins and documented sites. Of these, about 1050 are merely sites, including those where a house has been built on the site of a previous castle and about 825 are standing ruins. At the last count, around 660 were in use (private house, hotel or wedding venue) and around 469 were open to the public, though some only for a couple of weeks each year.***
Aberdour Castle in Fife and Castle Sween in Argyll are thought to be two of the oldest datable standing castles in Scotland, dating from around 1200 and the youngest castle in Scotland is thought to be Carbisdale Castle which was built in 1907.
From World Heritage Sites to listed buildings, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology has celebrated 270 events across the Scotland and a wealth of activity including workshops, competitions and new products developed in celebration of the year.
Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive said:
“Castles are an iconic and integral part of Scotland’s history and culture. From the grandiose castles of Stirling and Edinburgh to the remote charms of Eilean Donan and Castle Stalker– there is something unique and special about every single one and each has their own significant story to tell.
“Scotland’s history and culture is one the top reasons for visiting Scotland. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends – the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology has shone a spotlight some of our greatest assets and icons as well as our hidden gems.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to experience a Scottish castle in their lifetime, so we would encourage everyone to make it their mission - to bag a Scottish castle alongside a Munro on their visit here!”
To discover more about Scotland’s Castles, visit:
Image: Dunrobin Castle courtesy of VisitScotland
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