We take a look at the finest country houses, castles and estates for sale in Scotland.
A staggering 32 bedrooms are within the walls of this 15th century castle, located in a magnificent setting just yards from the sea. Ackergill Tower dates to 1475, but this castle was significantly extended in the 19th century.
The place is in superb condition, having been run as a successful hotel and business venue for the past few years. The main dining hall, pictured here, is a sight to behold.
The grounds are equally impressive: there are 30 acres including sporting rights, while there are several other accommodation buildings included – not least the extraordinary treehouse.
Rothes Glen House, just a few miles from Elgin, offers a staggering amount of castle – almost 15,000sq ft and 10 acres – considering the asking price.
The turrets give it a true fairytale look, while the 11 bedrooms mean that it’s large without feeling too big to be a family country retreat – indeed, it has been a family home for the last 14 years.
This classic Scottish Baronial mansion is dominated by its four-storey central tower which has fine views over surrounding countryside, and boasts a corbelled and crenallated wallhead with cannon water spouts.
But the castle is actually newer than it looks, having been built in 1893 by Alexander Ross to replace an earlier house which burned down.
This glorious castle near Arbroath is a genuine 14th century building, beautifully and sympathetically updated while retaining the original grandeur and elegance.
There are ten bedrooms set across three main floors, and myriad other rooms – the floorplan of this 15,000sq ft home looks like a series of Cluedo boards taped together.
Just as attractive as the building itself is the setting within 15 acres of grounds.
The garden and courtyard walls, together with the wooded grounds, ensure that the castle real privacy.
Fairytale Craigcrook Castle, in four acres of landscaped grounds, including mature woodland and a walled garden, is an astonishing property just three miles from Edinburgh city centre that is on the market for the first time in 300 years at a price of £6m.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this 16th century castle – from the outside, at least – is the round tower that boasts far-reaching views of Costorphine Hill, Blackhall and the Firth of Forth.
Inside, there are six bedrooms in total set over three floors and a wealth of unusual features, including a fabulous stained glass window – that is part of an internal door – and some handsome wooden-panelling .
The castle became a well-known cultural hotspot in the 19th century, famous for its soirees, and was visited by the likes of Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, George Eliot and Tennyson.
There are four acres of grounds included which take in a walled garden and woodland.
The castle became known for its cultural soirees and was visited by Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, George Eliot and Tennyson.
The 13-bedroom home at the heart of the Penninghame Estate is breathtakingly beautiful, for the building itself, the setting and interiors which have been done with astonishing charm. The mix of original features and 21st century gloss is brilliantly judged.
The oldest parts of the mansion date back to 1700, with the bulk of the building having been constructed in 1869. As well as the bedrooms there are five main reception rooms, 10 bathrooms, a library and a gym. The sprawling floorplan is so large that you almost need a compass to get your bearings while studying it.
The wider estate extends to around 100 acres, consisting of parkland, woodland and a large walled garden.
There is also 1500m of waterfront, with the River Cree running through the grounds and adding to the enchanting beauty of the natural surroundings and the comfort, peace and tranquillity.
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.
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.
Hensol is an impeccable estate by the River Dee which immediately put us in mind of Balmoral, the Queen’s favourite Scottish residence. It might be smaller, with fewer turrets, but the solid looks and glorious setting have a familiar and regal air.
The part-Gothic, part-Tudor design of the house drips with grandeur, and the rooms inside live up to the promise of the architecture. As well as the 10 bedrooms you’ll find four reception rooms, a conservatory and a wine cellar.
The house itself is only the very start of the story, incidentally: the estate stretches to almost 1,100 acres, with roughly the same again available by separate negotiation.
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.
With 15 bedrooms and seven reception rooms, Solsgirth House in Dollar is a grand, splendid building that is easily accessible yet has a romantic private location.
Internally the accommodation is both impressively proportioned and manageably laid out. The main reception rooms on the ground floor which include drawing room, dining room, library and ballroom all have large windows with lovely views across the formal gardens or the woodland policies with the Ochil Hills beyond.
Within 10 miles of the centre of Glasgow – and about the same distance north of the airport – lies the Craigallian Estate.
It’s a beautiful country estate with an imposing Victorian house at the centre, which enjoys beautiful surroundings within an estate that comprises some 340 acres – including a loch with boathouse, forestry and pasture land.
The house itself, built in 1884, is vast: it has 11 bedrooms, six reception rooms and a conservatory. Finding all this so close to one of Britain’s finest cities is extraordinary.
An elegant Category A Listed mansion set within 25 acres, Shennanton House is in the heart of the beautiful Galloway countryside.
And the grandeur of the architecture is the equal of the grandeur of the scenery: this magnificent building is a fine example of English Tudor/ vernacular style and is set within mature landscaped gardens and grounds which extend to approximately 25 acres.
From the entrance gate and the lodge, a long driveway passes through woodland, including beech, oak and rhododendrons and the open lawns include a four hole pitch and putt course, croquet lawn and tennis court – the sporting theme continues inside, incidentally, with a fully-equipped games room.
The property could be used as one single home, though needs a little work to do so: It was extensively refurbished in 1988 and converted into four self contained properties each with an abundance of charm and character to provide spacious and luxurious accommodation of between three and five bedrooms, the majority with en suite facilities.
Barholm Castle is a traditional Scottish tower house dating back to the 15th century that is on the market for £695,000 via Knight Frank.
John Knox is reputed to have hidden out here during 1566 while on the run from his enemies; his accommodation was apparently on the 4th floor, which is now a large bedroom towards the top of the home.
When Knox stayed here, he’d presumably have used a wooden staircase which has since gone: the stone stair tower is a later addition, having been erected in 1573. Those stairs still stand, taking you from the kitchen diner on the ground floor, past the ‘great hall’ on the first floor, up to the top.
While it’s a fine place on the inside, for our money it’s the location that is most breathtaking: it’s situated on a hillside overlooking Wigtown Bay and the Machars of Wigtownshire.