25 Castles near Edinburgh

The castles near Edinburgh are rich with Royal and military history. In Edinburgh city and in the countryside surrounding Edinburgh you will find many castles that were owned or visited by the Scottish monarchy.

Visit one of the oldest castles in Scotland, or dive into the Scottish Royal history by visiting one of these 25 castles near Edinburgh. Including castle hotels near Edinburgh and inspiring castle ruins.

Castles in Edinburgh

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© Visit European Castles

Edinburgh Castle

Standing atop Castle Rock in the center of Edinburgh stads one of the oldest fortified places in Europe. The castle has been a royal residence, a military garrison, a prison, and a fortress. Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI of Scotland at the castle. The castle also houses the National War Museum.

Edinburgh Castle visitor information: The castle is open daily from 9.30am You can book your tickets online.

Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom

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© Visit European Castles

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is Queen Elizabeth’s official residence in Edinburgh and home of the Scottish Royal history. Located at the end of the Royal Mile, you can visit the palace to learn more about the Palace’s connections with some of Scotland’s most prominant figures like Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. And you will learn how Queen Elizabeth uses the Palaces for official functions in Scotland.

Palace of Holyroodhouse visitor information: The Palace is open Thursday-Monday; 9.30am-4.30pm. Please note that it’s a working Palace, so sometimes it is closed due to events being held. Visit the website for the most recent information.

Address: Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, United Kingdom

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photo: Supergolden / CC BY-SA 3.0

Lauriston Castle

Lauriston Castle is a 16th-century tower house with 19th-century additions overlooking the Fife of Forth in Edinburgh. Originally it was a L-shaped tower house but a Jacobean range was added in 1827 turning the tower into a country manor.

The castle’s last residents were Mr and Mrs W. R. Reid, and Mrs Reid’s brother Mr William Barton. They were wealthy Edwardian middle class Scotsmen who were cultured and widely-travelled. They left the house and its Edwardian interiors to the nation. Surrounding the house are woodlands and a Japanese garden,

Lauriston Castle visitor information: The grounds are open daily free of charge. For actual opening times of the castle you can visit the website.

Address: 2 Cramond Rd S, Edinburgh EH4 6AD, United Kingdom

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photo: Magnus Hagdorn / CC BY-SA 2.0

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle is a ruined medieval castle a couple of miles outside Edinburgh city center. Mary, Queen of Scots stayed at the castle in 1566 to convalesce after the birth of her son James VI. Craigmillar is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Craigmillar Castle visitor information: The castle ruins are open daily. Tickets can be bought on the website.

Address: Craigmillar Castle Rd, Edinburgh EH16 4SY, United Kingdom

photo: Kim Traynor / CC BY-SA 3.0

Merchiston Tower

Merchiston Tower or Merchiston Castle was the seat for Clan Napier in Edinburgh. The castle was built by Alexander Napier, the 2nd Laird of Merchiston around 1454. It was also the home of John Napier, who invented the logarithms. The tower is now part of the Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus.

Address: Colinton Rd, Edinburgh EH10 5DT, United Kingdom

Craigcrook Castle

Three miles outside Edinburgh city center stands Craigcrook Castle. The main part of the castle is built in the 17th century, with later additions. In the 19th century the castle was owned by Francis Jeffrey (Lord Jeffrey) who turned the castle into a literary hub. Even after his death there were literary soirées attended by Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, Lord Tennyson, and George Eliot.

The castle is not open to the public.

Address: Blackhall, Edinburgh EH4 3PE, United Kingdom

Castles near Edinburgh

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photo: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fortress on the south shore of the Firth of Forth. The castle was built in the 1440s when Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow (one of the main residences of the Scottisch monarchy). The castle was one of the most advanced artillery fortifications of its time, though it was sieged by Oliver Cromwell’s army.

Blackness Castle was used as a film location for the Starz serie Outlander.

Blackness Castle visitor information: The castle is open daily (with the exception of Fridays between April 1-December 23).

Address: Blackness, Linlithgow EH49 7NH, United Kingdom

photo: Mat Fascione / Dalmeny House / CC BY-SA 2.0

Dalmeny House

Dalmeny House is the home of the Earl and Countess of Rosebery. The house is located to the north-west of Edinburgh on the Fifth of Forth. Dalmeny was the first country house in Scotland to be built in Gothic Revival (or Tudor Revival) style.

While the exterior of Dalmeny House is in Gothic Revival style, the interiors are in Regency style. The house has a large art collection partly due to the marriage of the 5th Earl to Hannah, the daughter and heir of Meyer de Rothschild.

Dalmeny House visitor information: The house is open for guided tours on selected days. Visit the website for more information.

Address: South Queensferry EH30 9TQ, United Kingdom

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photo: George Gastin

Hopetoun House

Hopetoun House is a grand country estate near South Queensferry. The house was built between 1699–1752 for Charles Hope, 1st Earl of Hopetoun. And it’s one of the finest stately homes in Scotland. The south wing is currently the home of the family of Adrian Hope, 4th Marquess of Linlithgow. The Georgian interiors showcase period furniture, paintings, tapestries and clocks, with beautifully crafted finishes of carving, gilding and plaster work. Surrounding the house is an English landscape garden.

Hopetoun House visitor information: The house and grounds are open in the summer months (starting on Good Friday). They also offer children acitivities. Visit the website for actual opening times.

Address: Queensferry, South Queensferry EH30 9RW, United Kingdom

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photo: Camer01 / CC BY-SA 3.0

Midhope Castle

Midhope Castle is a 16th-century tower house in the hamlet of Abercorn. The castle became famous for appearing as Lallybroch, the family home of Jamie Fraser, in the Outlander serie.

The castle is located on the Hopetoun Estate. The castle is not open to the public, but the grounds of Hopetoun are open in the Summer months (see above).

Address: Midhope Castle, Abercorn, South Queensferry EH30 9SL, United Kingdom

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photo: Andy Hawkins / CC BY-SA 2.0

Aberdour Castle

Aberdour Castle is a castle in the village of Easter Aberdour. The oldest part of the castle dates back to 1200, which makes it one of the two oldest datable standing castles in Scotland. The castle has been extended multple times over the centuries. The mid-16th century terraced gardens are one of the oldest in Scotland. Today, only the 17th-century wing is roofed and the tower is mostly collapsed.

Aberdour Castle visitor information: The castle is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland and open all year round.

Address: Aberdour, Burntisland KY3 0SL, United Kingdom

photo: Alex Sanz / CC BY 2.0

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is a ruined palace built in the 15th by King James I. Linlithgow was one of the principal residences of the Scottish monarchy in the 15th and 16th centuries. The ruined palace is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

Linlithgow Palace visitor information: The castle and grounds are open to the public. Visit the website for current opening times.

Address: Kirkgate, Linlithgow EH49 7AL, United Kingdom

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photo: Jonathan Oldenbuck / CC BY-SA 3.0

Barnbougle Castle

Barnbougle Castle is a 19th century castle on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. The history of the estate goes back to the 13th century but the current castle is a reconstruction built by the 5th Earl of Rosebery (who was also the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1894 to 1895).

Barnbougle Castle lies on the Dalmeny Estate and is now and exclusive event venue. Visit the website for more information.

Address: Barnbougle Castle Rosebery Estates, South Queensferry EH30 9TQ, United Kingdom

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photo: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Newbattle Abbey

Newbattle Abbey was a Cistercian monastery turned stately home near the village of Newbattle. The monastery was founded in 1140 and much loved by the Kings of Scotland. Parts of the abbey were turned into a stately home in the 16th century. The house was modified and rebuild by John Mylne in 1650, William Burn in 1836 and David Bryce in 1858. In 1822 King George IV and Queen Victoria stayed at the castle.

Newbattle Abbey visitor information: The abbey is open for guided tours for small or larger groups. You can book a tour on the website.

Address: Newbattle Rd, Newbattle, Dalkeith EH22 3LL, United Kingdom

photo: Supergolden / CC BY-SA 3.0

Rosslyn Castle

Rosslyn (or Roslin) Castle is a partially ruined castle, 9 miles south of Edinburgh. There has been a castle on site since the 14th century, but the current castle was built after the destruction during the War of the Rough Wooing in 1544. The castle is is available to rent as holiday accommodation through The Landmark Trust.

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photo: Peter van der Wielen / CC BY-SA 3.0

Borthwick Castle

Borthwick Castle is one of the largest and best preserved medieval fortifications in Scotland. The castle was built in 1430 for Sir William Borthwick. In August 1563 and October 1566, Mary Queen of Scots visited Borthwick Castle. And in 1567 she came to Borthwick with her husband, where they were besieged while under the protection of the 6th Lord Borthwick. She escaped the siege, but was soon after arrested.

Today, Borthwick Castle is an event and wedding venue. The castle is occiasionally open to the public on open weekends. Visit the website for more information.

Address: Borthwick Casle, North Middleton, EH23 4QY, United Kingdom

photo: D. Gordon E. Robertson / CC BY-SA 3.0

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle is a ruined mid-14th-century fortress looking out onto the Firth of Forth. It was the last medieval curtain wall castle to be constructed in Scotland. The massive red sandstone curtain wall is set high on a cliff and was the home to the Red Douglas dynasty.

You can see a replica gun (an exact copy of the ones used to defend against James IV and James V), one of the finest 1300s curtain walls in Scotland, and views onto the North Seato the Bass Rock.

Tantallon Castle visitor information: The castle and grounds are open to the public. Visit the website for current opening times.

Address: Near North Berwick, East Lothian, EH39 5PN, Unitek Kingdom

Dirleton Castle

Dirleton Castle is a 13th-century fortress and one of the oldest strongholds in Scotland. For 400 years it was the home of three nobel families, until it got damaged by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1650. The castle is set in beautiful gardens with the world’s longest herbaceous border. You can visit the pretty chapel and cavernous storage vaults in the Haliburton range. And one of Scotland’s best-preserved pigeon houses.

Dirleton Castle visitor information: The castle is open Saturday-Monday all year round (except the winter holidays).

Address: Dirleton, East Lothian, EH39 5ER, United Kingdom

photo: Kim Traynor / CC BY 3.0

Dalkeith Palace

Dalkeith Palace is a country house in the Dalkeith Country Park. The Palace was built between 1701–1711 on the site of Dalkeith Castle, a medieval castle. The palace was the seat of the Dukes of Buccleuch from 1642 until 1914. The Palace is modelled on William of Orange’s “Het Loo Palace” in The Netherlands.

The Palace has been frequently visited by important guests like, Bonnie Prince Charlier, King George IV, Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and George V. The Palace was an educational institute in the 20th century, but it has recently been sold with plans to open the Palace to the public. The country park surrounding Dalkeith Palace is open to visitors.

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photo: Robert W Haworth / CC BY-SA 3.0

Dundas Castle

Dundas Castle is a castle located just west of the city Edinburgh. In 1416 the first part of the castle was built by the Dundas family. Oliver Cromwell has stayed in the castle in 1650, around the time of the Battle of Dunbar. In 1818 the main part of the house was built in Tudor Gothic style, which you can still see today.

The house is now owned by Sir Jack and Lady Stewart-Clark who have turned the castle into an exclusive event and wedding venue. On the Dundas Castle Estate are also holiday homes. Visit the website for more information.

Address: Dundas Castle, South Queensferry EH30 9SP, United Kingdom

Niddry Castle

Niddry Castle is a 16th century tower house near Winchburgh. On 2 May 1568, Mary Queen of Scots stayed here after her escape from captivity in Loch Leven Castle. Niddry Castle is also mentioned in the Walter Scott novel “The Abbot” about Queen Mary’s escape from Loch Leven Castle to England. The four storey L-plan tower house is not open to the public.

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photo: Magnus Hagdorn / CC BY-SA 2.0

Hawthornden Castle

Hawthornden Castle is a 17th-century L-plan castle with a 15th-century ruin attached to it. The castle is located on the River North Esk, close to Roslin. Poet Sir William Drummond of Hawthornden, was born at the castle and he extended it in 1638 into the L-shaped north range you see today. British-born American actress, philanthropist, arts patron, and socialite Drue Heinz bought the castle who turned it into a place for writers called the Hawthornden Literary Retreat. For more information on the retreat you can visit the website.

Address: Hawthornden Castle, Lasswade EH18 1EG, United Kingdom

Castle Hotels near Edinburgh

Dalhousie Castle

Dalhousie Castle is a castle in Cockpen, 8 miles south of Edinburgh. The castle was the seat of the Earls of Dalhousie. The oldest part of the castle is the 15th century drum tower. But the majority of the castle was built in the 17th century. The castle was used by Oliver Cromwell as the base for his invasion of Scotland.

Today, Dalhousie Castle (Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle) is a luxury castle hotel. Book your stay at Dalhousie Castle Hotel.

Address: Bonnyrigg EH19 3JB, United Kingdom

Fa’side Castle

Fa’side Castle is a 15th-century keep in East Lothian. The castle was severly burned by the English before the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. In 1567 Mary, Queen of Scots left Fa’side for the Battle of Carberry Hill.

In the 16th century the castle was rebuilt and extended. The castle is currently in private ownership, but they do offer Bed & Breakfast accomondations at the top of the 14th-century tower. Visit the website for more information.

Address: Fa’side Castle, Tranent, East Lothian, EH33 2LE

Melville Castle

Melville Castle is a Gothic castellated mansion near the North Esk. The castle was built between 1786–1791 by James Playfair for Henry Dudas, 1st Viscount Melvile.

Today, Melville Castle is a castle hotel with 33 bedrooms and suites. Book your stay at Melville Castle Hotel.

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