We take a look at the finest country houses, castles and estates for sale in Scotland.
From its position just to the east of Callander — the ‘gateway to the Highlands’ — The Gart boasts views of Ben Ledi, and the Highlands themselves, beyond.
The Scots baronial country house, which dates from 1835, has been completely redecorated by the current owners. Keen entertainers will be delighted to learn that the 100ft long reception room has been preserved. There’s also a well-stocked library, a cinema room in one of the turrets and a gin and whisky bar.
Right now, the idea of swapping city life for the wilds of Scotland sounds great — almost too much so. And when we see a property for sale along the lines of Glencruitten House, that feeling gets even stronger. Especially when you consider that Glencruitten’s price tag of £975,000 via Galbraith is less than you’d pay for a terraced townhouse in Henley.
The great highlight is the library — or the Lorimer Library, as its known, after its designer — which is accessed either from the main doorway or else, brilliantly, via a spiral staircase from the estate office below, from which you emerge half-way into the room, opposite a vast stone fireplace.
The turrets clinging to the golden stone of this just-big-enough home near St Andrews give it a delightful feel of a castle that you can live in — and a place where you can gaze out on the countryside from your castellated roof terrace.
There’s no getting away from the fact that this is an 18th century house which has seen better days, and a bit of decorating will likely be needed to restore it to its full glory.
But any work will be well worthwhile for a nine-bedroom full of period charm — not least the grand entrance hall with columns and a sweeping staircase .
This castle-in-miniature on the banks of Loch Long, in the upper reaches of the Firth of Clyde, is an eight-bedroom home full of charm and whimsy — there’s even a flagpole.
The main house dates to 1860, while there’s also a two-storey coach house and ornamental gardens of an acre and a half. You can see over the latter from the turret room (used as study and library) and the adjoining roof terrace, which seems a perfect spot for evening drinks watching the sun go down over the loch.
If you’re leaning towards the ‘estate’ side of the ‘castles and estates’ brief of this article, then Cairnty looks perfect: there are 586 acres of land included with this residential and sporting estate, which enjoys a spectacular setting in the lower Spey valley.
That’s not to say anything against the main house itself — far from it. This Georgian-style home was completed just eight years ago, and is a beautiful, modern family home described by the owners as ‘the house built without compromise that keeps on giving’. The main house has eight bedrooms, high-speed broadband and ground-source heating.
There’s a mix of farmland, woodland and meadows — and if you feel the need to take on a project, then a ruined cottage within the estate could be truly beautiful.
For the price of a small, two-bedroom flat in London, you could instead purchase this 14-bedroom castle on the eastern outskirts of Forres.
Though many of the fine, original features remain—including wooden panels, decorative fireplaces and tall corniced ceilings—Newbold House is a decorator’s dream. There’s the opportunity for favrious business ventures and the accomodation is adaptable.
The castle’s real gem is the beautifully maintained, walled garden, where you’ll find an abundant selection of fruit and vegetable plants.
If you are after a more manageable, but nonetheless impressive Scottish residence — complete with turrets and castellations — Kinlochaich House might just tick all the right boxes.
This Georgian, Gothic style property constructed in the 18th century, but having earlier origins, is a very attractive and imposing house set in mature grounds and accessed via a sweeping gravel driveway.
With the main accommodation providing five bedrooms, there are three separate apartments offering flexibility and the possibility for commercial use. And if you wish to put your own stamp on your home, Kinlochlaich provides the perfect canvas for a little artistic modernisation.
Originally commissioned by Robert Bruce in the 17th century as Lairds House, Auchenbowie House was substantially remodelled in 1768 and again in the 1900s and occupies a scenic parkland setting surrounded by 11 acres of formal gardens and paddocks.
The façade of this magnificent residence is a particular feature and it is studded with large windows allowing light to flood the spacious rooms including nine bedrooms, many with fine fireplaces. Staff accommodation is provided at the rear of the property.
Should you need to venture from this glorious property there are motorway connections, rail links and both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports are within easy reach.
A true 14th century landmark rising proudly from surrounding farmland, the magnificent Fa’side Castle commands spectacular views over the Forth Estuary and the Lothians. Despite its historic origins, it is well designed for modern life with practical kitchen, magnificent hall and five bedrooms in addition to unique B&B accommodation in a tower and two cottages.
For those with a head for heights, it features a glass walkway atop an old dungeon and a foof top walkway to take in the panoramic views, as well as many classic features of the era.
Excellent transport links mean Edinburgh is an easy commute. Excellent local schools are within easy reach and the locality boasts the oldest golf course in the world — Musselborough — in addition to famous walking and cycling trails and wonderful beaches.
More than 800 years of turbulent Scottish history sit lightly on the castellated walls of majestic Seton Castle near Longniddry, on the Firth of Forth, some 10 miles from Edinburgh’s vibrant city centre.
Robert Adam’s last Scottish masterpiece, it sits in gracious splendour within 13½ acres of lush lawns and paddocks, surrounded by the rolling fields and woodland of East Lothian’s famous golf coast.
No, the price isn’t a typo. This really is a castle at less than the price of a Range Rover.
That said, you’d be a lot more comfortable living in the Range Rover — at least until the work is done, for Knockhall Castle has been a ruin for over a quarter of a millennium, ever since the former stronghold of Clan Udny burnt down in 1734.
For whoever takes it on, however, the potential here is quite incredible.
Easily reached from Edinburgh, this Baronial mansion comes with stables, fishing rights on Heriot Water and well-established gardens.
Aside from the verdant 12 acres of land, Borthwick Hall has 10 bedrooms and a multitude of handsome entertaining rooms.
Interesting, the master bedroom is on the ground floor, making it ideal for anyone who wishes to make Borthwick their forever home.
Spread over 5,500 acres, the Kildrummy Estate has not one, but two principal houses, plus about 2,000 acres of farmland and 1,300 acres of commercial forestry and native woodlands.
Sporting opportunities include salmon and trout fishing on the River Don, grouse shooting and deer stalking on the higher ground, and roe-deer stalking on the woodland fringe, all of which allows for year-round sport.
Brechin Castle is big – very big. Eight reception rooms, 16 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms mean that this is a place big enough for pretty much anything that you could throw at it, an early 18th century place set in 40 acres.
The rolling grounds and situation on a bluff overlooking the River Esk are brilliantly dramatic, while the walled gardens are famous in their own right.
The castle itself is full of original detail, with carved wooden walls, fine ceilings and columns in the main entrance hall.
The drawing room is particularly noteworthy, full of detailed woodwork designed by John Keeble and created by local craftsmen. This is house from a time when things were done on a grand scale.
With 16 bedrooms, Glenborrodale Castle, on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula near Acharacle, is the quintessential castle in a breathtaking setting.
Built in 1902 in red Dumfriesshire sandstone, this Baronial mansion dominates a steep, south-facing hillside overlooking Loch Sunart, the Isles of Carna and Oronsay and the Morven Hills.
It could be a sprawling home, but there are facilities set up to run the place as a hotel, wedding venue or anything else. There is staff accommodation, a professional kitchen and a gate lodge all in place to help.
Beyond the house there are huge grounds of almost 133 acres, including a boathouse and jetty, a walled garden and two islands, the Isles of Risga and Eilean an Feidh.
Six miles north of Gretna and just 15 from Carlisle, Robgill Tower was once an important strategic stronghold on the border between England and Scotland. Today, that location makes it ideal for those who want to retain easy access to London – fast trains from Carlisle reach Euston in three and a half hours.
The attractions of the house go far beyond that, however: this is a fine little castle that’s been beautifully and sympathetically restored, with all sorts of original features retained – most notably this gorgeous and romantic dining room set up in the cellar.
There are also superb sporting facilities: stables, paddock, an indoor pool and gym, plus a snooker room for more sedate moments of leisure.
Gardeners will be just as delighted to find as fine a greenhouse as you could imagine in a private home.
Set on over nine acres, Tillycorthie is simply magnificent. With Spanish influences evident in the beautiful palmed courtyard, the Mansion House has been used as a family home, an academic facility and is now looking for a new owner, with residential and commercial possibilities.
Renovated since it’s 1911 construction, Tillycorthie comes equipped with fully functional ornate fireplaces, moulded ceilings and a 3000 bottle capacity wine cellar, as well as the latest luxury kitchen appliances and a home gym. With a spiral staircase leading to a tower with a rooftop vista of the Scottish countryside, this period property really is straight out of a fairytale.
Dating to the 17th century, the strikingly pretty Cassillis Castle was the home of the Earls of Cassillis. Laid out over five floors, this is a labyrinthine building with huge rooms, magnificent ceilings, spiral staircases, sweeping hallways, breathtaking views and extraordinary grounds.
The Drawing Room is arguably the pick of the many rooms, built in the style of William Burn’s work, though believed to be the work of David Bryce. Vast windows flood the room with natural light, and whilst the fireplace forms a centrepiece for the room, it is undoubtedly trumped by the fine ceiling plasterwork.
The Inner Hall and Dining Room also have grand fireplaces, with the hall’s glazed roof bathing the space in natural light.
The spiral staircase is part of the original Keep of Cassillis, and is built clockwise – apparently the best way to make it easy to defend by a right-handed swordsman.
The Ballroom and adjacent Library were originally the bedroom and living quarters of the Earls of Cassillis. At almost 30′ in length and 20′ in width, the Ballroom is a superb room for entertaining, with windows overlooking the River Doon below.
There is even a secret staircase just off the entrace to the keep, which lead up to the East Chintz Room. At the top of the steps a faded, hand painted notice on the wall advises staff that this staircase was for the use of the Earl and his family only: the sign reads ‘Step no further Master Porter!’.
Grand as it is, the castle is just the starting point – there is also an attendant gate lodge, garden cottage and walled garden, coach house and stable block, all within 310 acres of rolling South Ayrshire countryside that encompass a long stretch of the River Doon. The fishing rights are included as part of the sale.
The property is also only a short distance from the coast, with the famous Turnberry golf course within easy reach.
The Cassillis Estate is for sale via Savills – see more pictures and details.
The lovely Earlshall Castle is a dream find for lovers of history or golf: it’s just a few miles from St Andrews, was built by the descendants of Robert the Bruce, and once hosted Mary Queen of Scots.
The castle, as it stands today, is a 10-bedroom building with a great hall, dining room, gun room, library, study and 10 bedrooms, among other things.
Without doubt the most eye-catching of the interior spaces is the Long Gallery, whose painted ceiling is justly famous for its intricacy. It dates back to the 17th century, and is a phenomenal and unusual work.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
These beautiful listed country homes stand in the heart of some our most beautiful countryside.