Both Scotland and Ireland are fascinating vacation spots. With a high sense of culture, gorgeous natural grounds, and excellent historical sites, there is more than enough to do here. Today, however, let’s focus on the latter!
With over four thousand castles and palaces combined between the two, you can quickly gain knowledge about Scotland and Ireland without having to wait in line at the museum! So, if you are ready for some of the best architectural works and most interesting stories, let’s get on with our list of the best castles, palaces, and towers in Scotland and Ireland!
6 Amazing castles in Scotland and Ireland:
#1 Edinburgh Castle
Undoubtedly the most famous attraction in the country, and a part of every bigger, private & small group tours to Scotland, Edinburgh Castle remains at the top of the most-visited palaces in Europe. And really, it is not even questionable.
The court was home to the Kings and Queens of Scotland for many centuries, so it makes sense why the area is so well-protected and visited. Though, on the outside, you would not think that the castle is of royalty. All of the extravagance and jewels are on the inside, and from the exterior, you would deem it a Harry Potter castle at best!
Though, speaking of jewels, make sure to visit the main hall with the Honours of Scotland and the Crown Jewels. These royal artifacts are one of the main reasons the castle is so famous, so do not miss out!
#2 Howth Castle
Laying just outside the village of Howth in Dublin, Howth Castle is probably the most significant palace in Ireland, especially knowing the historical context.
For years it was the residence and the ancestral home of the line of the St. Lawrence family, which had held the area since the Norman Invasion in the 12th century. So, safe to say the Howth Castle is quite important to Irish development.
The whole estate includes miles of natural grounds, such as the Howth cliffs, views of Dublin Bay, light woodland, and the island of Ireland’s Eye. Apart from that, visit the lavish rooms, library, and exhibition halls. With the way the castle has been expanding over the years, it has almost become a tourist resort!
#3 Abernethy Round Tower
Taking a little break from expansive palaces, let’s visit one of the two towers in Scotland. Funnily enough, this one was actually built under the Irish architectural styles and design!
Abernethy Round Tower is located in Perth and Kinross area in Scotland, and while not as touristy as Edinburgh Castle, still has its particular charm that makes you want to visit! Protected as a national monument, the tower dates back to the 11th century, making it one of the oldest ones still standing in Europe.
Various changes have been made over the years, though primarily for travelers’ convenience. Abernethy is still remarkably well-preserved, so drive a short distance from Edinburgh and explore a thousand-year-old site of great significance and symbolism!
#4 Kylemore Abbey
An absolute winner of the most beautiful surroundings and natural panoramas, Kylemore Abbey is a must-see, and we cannot stress this enough! Seriously, might as well put it in your itinerary right now!
Nestled in the heart of Connemara, which is widely known as the most beautiful place in Ireland, Kylemore is a gem of history, beauty, and serenity. You can actually reach this jewel quite easily from the capital city; just take the train from Dublin to Galway, and make sure your camera is ready for the sights!
The Benedictine monastery is relatively young, considering. Founded in the 1920s, the abbey was overlooked by Benedictine Nuns and was certainly well taken care of. Definitely book a tour to see the Victorian Gardens, Benedictine chapel, and Connemara through the window.
#5 Balmoral Castle
Lastly, let’s visit the world-famous Balmoral Castle in Scotland! Mainly known for being the summer residence of the Royal Family of Great Britain, the fortress is actually quite quaint and charming.
Initially bought by Prince Albert in the 19th century, Balmoral has been in the family ever since. Technically, it only belongs to the highest power of Britain, in this case, King Charles III, and not the whole family.
So, visit the grounds, perfectly-trimmed gardens, art exhibitions, souvenir shops, and even a public cafe. These are open to tourists daily, yet there are some additional rooms to see if you are lucky with the timing. As the British Royal Family still frequent the estate, opening hours depend on their schedule, so make sure to check before you go!
The time has come for you to fill in that itinerary! With such beauties as these, your Scotland-Ireland tour will prove to be the best time, so do not hesitate and book everything now. Make sure to double-check the opening hours if they apply, and have a great Scottish and Irish holiday!