Bartholomew's Map Takes Clients Castle-Hopping in Scotland

Reed Travel Features

GLASGOW, Scotland -- There are more than 1,500 castles keeping watch over Scotland.

Many still are used as private homes, while others have been preserved for visitors.

Although most travelers include Edinburgh and Stirling castles on their tours, there are many others worth a visit. Travelers planning to make castle-hopping part of their trip should pick up a copy of Bartholomew's Castles Map of Scotland.

Here are a few castles clients might want to add to their list:

* Dunvegan Castle, located in the northwest of Skye, is one of the few Scottish castles that has housed the same family since it was built. Twenty-one generations of the Macleods of Dunvegan, high chiefs of Clan Macleod, have lived here. Dunvegan shows every building style from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It is filled with historical treasures, including the Fairy Flag, a silk banner made in the Middle East more than 1,000 years ago that supposedly protects the clan from harm.

* Glamis Castle, whose earliest part dates from the 15th century, was built by the first lord of Glamis, whose family, the Lyons, was granted the land in 1372. Glamis is said to be one of the most haunted castles in Scotland, but one would have to ask the Queen Mother, because it is her family home. Both she and Princess Margaret were born in the castle. It is the seat of the Earls of Kinghorne and Strathmore, who still live there.

* Crathes Castle, located near Banchory and west of Aberdeen, has all the makings of what children envision when they think of castles: turrets, stone gargoyles and ornately painted ceilings. Construction on the building began in 1553 and took more than 40 years to complete. It was built by the Burnetts of Leys, who had been given the land by Robert the Bruce. Stepping outside the castle, guests will find awe-inspiring 18th century gardens containing rare plants and bordered by 200-year-old hedges.

* Drum Castle, located near Aberdeen, has been owned by the Irvine family for over 653 years. The structure is a combination of a 13th century square tower, a 16th century chapel and Victorian rooms. The surrounding gardens feature a variety of roses.

* Fyvie Castle, also located near Aberdeen, boasts sculpted dormers, crow-stepped gables and a collection of arms and armor. The five towers of Fyvie each are named for one of the families who owned the castle since the 14th century. The last family to own the castle was the Leith family.

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