Reflecting more than 700 years of Scottish history, the 13th century Blair Castle is a must see for anyone visiting Scotland. Spread out over 30 rooms, the castle’s collections provide a broad overview of Scottish life over the centuries. Displays include furniture, artwork, arms and armor, porcelain, embroidery, lace, relics and various family treasures.
Visitors touring the castle learn about the history of the building and its owners, the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. The Picture Staircase is home to the family portrait gallery, while the Tapestry Room features tapestries that once belonged to King Charles I. The 18th century Dining Room showcases local landscape scenes and ceiling plasterwork depicting the four seasons and the Ante Room commemorates the life of the 10th Duke, who gave the castle and grounds in trust to the nation of Scotland. The largest room in the castle, the Ballroom remains unchanged from when it was completed in 1876 and is still used for balls, wedding receptions and private dinners.
The castle grounds are well worth a stroll as well. Laid out in the 18th century, they include a walled garden, a wooded grove, and an adventure playground for children.
To reach Blair Castle, take the train to the Blair Atholl Station and then follow the road running through the village for about half a mile to the castle. Alternatively, Citylink offers bus services from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Inverness to Blair Atholl, stopping a half mile from the castle, in front of the Atholl Arms. Another great option is to join a day tour from Edinburgh that includes Blair Castle and several other Scottish highlights.