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Culzean Castle

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Perched on a cliff looking out to sea and surrounded by 600 acres of manicured gardens and forests, Culzean Castle (pronounced Cullane) is one of Scotland’s most impressive stately homes. It’s been in the hands of the Kennedy clan since the 14th century, though it wasn’t until 1777 that Culzean went from windswept medieval castle to the neoclassical dream seen today. No expense was spared during Culzean’s 18th-century redesign, when the 10th Earl of Cassilis commissioned the leading architect of the day, Robert Adam, to work his magic on the family home.

Today, Culzean Castle is run by the National Trust for Scotland, and it is even featured on the reverse side of five-pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. With its cliff-top walks, beaches, pagodas and caves, the stately home and gardens are worth a full day’s dedication. Visitors can even stay the night in the Eisenhower apartment on the top floor. Remember to look out for the iconic oval staircase.

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