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Castles in Angus and Dundee

Contrasting landscapes including rugged coastlines, sweeping lowlands and Highland Glens, this area of Scotland offers natural beauty, culture and tradition from ancient populations, to kings and queens and the adventurers and explorers in between. Known as the City of Discovery for the scientific achievements made there, Dundee sits on the Firth of Tay and is also the perfect jumping off point to discover the castles of Angus and Dundee.

Within Dundee City itself sits Dudhope Castle, medieval tower house originally built in the 13th century by the Scrymageour family, who sold this Category A listed building in 1668 to John Graham of Claverhouse, later known as "Bonnie Dundee". Mains Castle is a nearby 16th century castle located in Caird Park. Also built in the 16th century is Powrie Castle, which was razed shortly after being built and remains a ruin today. Ballumbie Castle built by the Lovell family was a third 16th century castle in Dundee, which, along with the 19th century Ballumie House, are located just outside of Dundee.

On the eastern edge of Dundee sits Claypotts Castle, a medieval structure in suburban West Ferry built in 1569-1588 by John Strachan, and is still almost perfectly intact but no longer inhabited. Under two miles from Claypotts Castle is the historic Broughty Castle completed in 1495. Broughty Castle remained in military use until 1932, and in 1969 the castle opened to the public as a museum. A 15 mile drive northeast up the coast from Broughty Castle is the privately owned Colliston Castle, sitting inland near Arbroath. This castle was built in 1545 by Scotlandís last cardinal, Cardinal David Beaton and continually altered and extended in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Glamis Castle, Angus & Dundee copyright Kylemunro1
Glamis Castle © Kylemunro1

5 miles from Colliston Castle is Ethie Castle, a 14th century castle dating back to 1300, originally built by monks of the nearby Arboath Abbey, passing through the hands of David Beaton, purchased by the Carnegie family, and continues to today to be privately owned.

10 miles from Ethie Castle along the coast is Red Castle of Lunan, a ruined fortified house originally built in the late 12th century to repel Viking invasions. The tower is a protected category A listed building today.

On the way to the inland town of Brechin is Kinnaird Castle, which sits among 1300 acres of parkland and is home to the Earl and Countess of Southesk. It has remained in the family for the last 600 years. The 13th century Brechin Castle is located in Brechin proper, and is the seat of the Earl of Dalhousie, who is the clan chieftain of Clan Maule of Panmure in Angus, and Clan Ramsay of Dalhousie in Midlothian.

8 miles north of Brechin is the ruined 16th century Edzell Castle which was begun in 1520 by the Earl of Crawford. Edzell is now in the care of Historic Scotland and open to the public. Continuing now southward, 10 miles from Edzell is Melgund Castle, near Aberlemno. A 16th century privately owned residence, Melgund is said to have been built on the orders of Cardinal David Beaton.

Claypotts Castle, Angus & Dundee copyright Ydam
Claypotts Castle © Ydam

Just 6 miles from Melgund is Finavon Castle on the River South Elsk. Finavon is a 17th century ruined castle and a 19th century mansion home which combine to complete the former estate of the Lindsay Earls of Crawford.

Heading 16 miles west, Balintore Castle, a privately owned Victorian Category A listed building near Kirriemuir which remained a ruin until 2007, when it was snapped up with intent to restore the structure.

Moving back down southeast through the Leys of Cossans is Glamis Castle, situated near the village of Glamis, and home to the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. This castle is open to the public, a very popular tourist destination as it was the home of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, her second daughter, was born there. Glamis Castle features on the reverse side of ten pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

15 miles further east of Glamis Castle is Guthrie Castle, located 18 miles northeast of Dundee. This privately owned property was originally built in the 15th century though underwent work in the 19th century to complete the structure as it looks today.

Angus & Dundee castles

Balintore Castle
Ballumbie Castle
Brechin Castle
Broughty Castle
Claypotts Castle
Colliston Castle
Dudhope Castle
Edzell Castle
Ethie Castle
Finavon Castle
Glamis Castle
Guthrie Castle
Kinnaird Castle
Mains Castle
Melgund Castle
Powrie Castle
Red Castle

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