Top 10 Scottish treasures

Published 14 February 2016

From fantastical castles to Victorian country houses, Scotland is home to some spectacular architecture.

Theicon signifies when there is a National Art Pass offer

Craigievar Castle

  • Aberdeenshire
Free entry
10% off

Virtually unchanged since it was completed in 1626, this magnificent Jacobean castle rises from Aberdeenshire's rolling hills like a vision from a fairytale. The interiors, complete with stunning 17th-century plaster ceilings, are furnished with beautiful original woodwork.


Hill House

  • Argyll & Bute
Free entry

This charmingly asymmetrical house was created by esteemed Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Designed with painstaking attention to detail inside and out, with an exterior form that follows the interior design, Hill House is one of the greatest examples of 20th-century Scottish domestic architecture.


Mount Stuart

  • Argyll
25% off entry

Looming larger-than-life over the diminutive Isle of Bute, Mount Stuart is as much a shrine to Victorian ingenuity as it is a family home. The oversized abode boasts the world's first heated swimming pool, and was the first in Scotland to feature electric lighting.


Georgian House

  • Midlothian
Free entry

In the late 18th century, when the wealthy of Edinburgh migrated from the fading glory of the Old Town to the emerging splendour of the New, many of them took residence in town houses like this. Designed by Robert Adam and filled with period treasures, Georgian House is a fascinating insight into the past.


Dumfries House

  • East Ayrshire
Free entry

Housing a treasure trove of Thomas Chippendale furniture, Dumfries House is one of Britain's most beautiful stately homes. The entire house and its contents were saved from sale in 2007 with help from the Art Fund's largest-ever grant.


Duff House

  • Aberdeenshire
Free entry and free exhibitions

Duff House is a spectacular building and estate, one of Britain's finest Georgian country houses with gardens to match. It contains wonderful paintings and furniture on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland.



  • East Lothian
Free entry

While many renovated country houses can feel impersonal and sterile, Newhailes retains the warmth of a house which was once a well-loved home. One of the focal points of the Scottish Enlightenment, its library was described by Dr Johnson as 'the most learned room in Europe'.


Bowhill House and Country Estate

  • Borders
50% off entry

The family home of the noble Buccleuch family is also host to the spectacular Duke of Buccleuch art collection. Visitors can admire paintings by Rembrandt, Leonardo, Gainsborough and more alongside thousands of ceramics, miniatures and objets d'art.


Falkland Palace & Garden

  • Fife
Free entry

This fantastical castle set among the lush woodlands of Fife was once home to the kings of Scotland, from Robert III to Charles II. The palace is home to the world's oldest Real Tennis court, with an active tennis club dating back to 1541.


Blair Castle

  • Perth and Kinross
25% off entry

The private home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, Blair Castle dates back to the 13th century, although it was substantially remodelled during the Georgian and Edwardian periods and now presents an appropriately Scottish baronial face to the world. Inside, rooms filled with paintings and fine furniture, arms and armour, porcelain, embroidery, tapestry, Masonic regalia and Jacobite relics conjure up different episodes in Scottish history.

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