Four ancient Scottish castlesfeature in this tour – Drummond Castle and Gardens , Stirling Castle , Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace
1 Drummond Castle and Gardens
Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.
Drummond Castle Gardens, which are protected as a category A listed building — in contrast to the B listed castle — already attract thousands of visitors per year, and are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.The gardens — complete with peacocks — feature ancient yew hedges and the remaining beech tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1842.But the grounds — which also featured in 1995 feature film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson — have had a huge boost in tourist numbers thanks to the so-called “Outlander effect”.
2 Doune Castle
Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip. Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
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3 Linlithgow Palace
This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most disturbing scenes of the TV show Outlander .
Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.
Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.
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4 Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture.
From Stirling Castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views of the Forth Valley and Ben Lomond , as well as two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town.Like Edinburgh Castle , Stirling sits on a volcanic rock dominating the city skyline .
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Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.
Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. The refurbishment of the Great Hall was completed ten years ago . A particular feature of the Great Hall is stained glass windows featuring clan crests . A number of banquets and concerts are held in the Hall throughout the year .
The selection of castles visited may change during the winter as some castles , notable Drummond Castle , close at the end of September until March or April .
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