Doune Castle

Castle in Doune

Magnificent Doune Castle is one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Scotland, having remained largely unchanged since it was built for the duke of Albany in the 14th century. It has been used as a set for the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) – the audioguide is narrated by Python member Terry Jones – and the TV series Outlander and Game of Thrones. Highlights include the cathedral-like Great Hall, and a kitchen fireplace big enough to roast a whole ox.

The castle was a favourite royal hunting lodge, but it was also of great strategic importance because it controlled the route between the Lowlands and Highlands. Mary, Queen of Scots, once stayed here, as did Bonnie Prince Charlie. There are great views from the castle walls, and the lofty gatehouse is very impressive, rising nearly 30m.