DESTINATION WEDDING | CASTLE WEDDINGS IN SCOTLAND

Scotland, home of legendary figures like William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots, is known for its many historic castles (including Aitch Castle, former home of Scottish king Robert the Bruce) that provide the romantic backdrop for timeless destination weddings. And, not surprising for a country that invented scotch whiskey and moves to the swirling sound of the bagpipes, the Scots know how to throw a party.

In fact, the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is famous for its festivals, with annual summer celebrations of film, literature, jazz and blues music, and the unforgettable Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Medieval and Georgian architecture abound. Edinburgh Castle is one of several destination wedding venues available to couples; others include the George Hotel in Edinburgh’s historic New Town, Carberry Tower, a 16th-century estate home, and Broxmouth Park, a Georgian mansion surrounded by parkland. The ruins of Craigmillar Castle, which played a key role in Scottish history, is popular for wedding photos.

Shopping and nightlife attract couples to the “dear green place” of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, which also has more than 90 parks and gardens. For a Glasgow destination wedding, consider the baronial Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in the leafy Pollokshields suburbs, or sail down the river Clyde to the Isle of Bute, where you can celebrate a wedding complete with moat and tall round towers at Rothesay Castle. Inverness is not only the gateway to the Scottish Highlands but also to mysterious Loch Ness and Scotland’s whiskey-producing regions and towns. Ackergill Tower is a Highlands wedding castle with miles of private beachfront.

Oban is the main departure point to the islands of the Hebrides; it’s also Scotland’s seafood capital. Golfers, of course, know the Scotland is the birthplace of golf: the game has been played at St. Andrews since at least 1574, and the coastal town remains the home of the British Open. Nearby wedding venues include the Fairmont St. Andrews and the Old Course Hotel, which sits directly on the ancient links course.

>Written by: Bob Curley