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Drummond Ca s t l e feat u res prominently in VisitScotland’s list of top castles.
In a fitting finale to the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, the national tourism board has been on the hunt for the best castles in Scotland.
It singled out Drummond Castle, Elcho Castle, Castle Menzies and Huntingtower Castle as its four favourites in Perthshire, with Drummond Castle also in at number five in the list of Scotland’s fairytale castles.
And, with over 50 others to choose from, VisitScotland says exploring Scotland’s castles is the perfect way to learn more about the history of an area.
Research by the organisation shows 49 per cent of Brits have never visited a Scottish castle.
Jim Clarkson of VisitScotland said: “Perthshire is well known for its history and heritage and castles are one of the best ways to explore its past.
“From grandiose attractions to atmospheric ruins, there is something unique and special about every single one and each has its own significant story to tell.”
He continued: “Everyone should have the opportunity to experience a Scottish castle in their lifetime so we would encourage everyone to make it their mission to bag a Scottish castle and a Munro on their visit here.”
Although Drummond Castle near Muthill is not open to the public, its impressive gardens are. The formal gardens, first laid in the early 17th century, are said to be among the finest in Europe.
They offer views of the castle and a chance to explore ancient yew hedges and copper beech trees, two of which were gifted by Queen Victoria during a visit to Strathearn. Drummond Castle Gardens have also featured in many films and adverts, including Rob Roy and more recently the hit series Outlander.
The 16th century Castle Menzies near Aberfeldy was restored during the 20th century by the Menzies Clan Society.
For over 400 years it was the clan seat and played and important role in Highland history, including housing Bonnie Prince Charlie during the second Jacobite uprising.
Huntingtower Castle on the edge of Perth was built in three stages dating back to the 15th century, with spectacular painted ceilings.
It is probably best known for being the place where Mary, Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley sheltered during the Chaseabout Raid in 1565 - a rebellion by her half-brother James Stewart over her new marriage.
Elcho Castle in the Carse of Gowrie is a 16th century turreted building on the banks of the Tay, complete with grand staircases, grilled windows, glorious views and a spectacular orchard.
Jim Clarkson added: “In total, Scotland is thought to have around 3000 standing castles, ruins and documented sites.
“Of these about 1050 are merely sites, including those where a house has been built on the site of a previous castle and about 825 are standing ruins. At the last count 660 were in use as a private house, hotel or wedding venue and around 469 were open to the public.”
Tops Drummond Castle