Braemar, Ballater AB35 5XR, UK
Photo courtesy of Braemar Media
Braemar CastleBraemar Castle has been through a lot. Built as a Highland hunting lodge for the Earl of Mar in 1628, the classic tower house was repeatedly sacked throughout the years, torched by John Farquharson in 1689 and again by the English in 1715 and 1745. Still, here it stands, serving as quite the specimen with its L-shaped tower house and round, cantilevered turrets. For the past 200 years, it’s been the family home of the chief of Clan Farquharson, and today visitors can tour 12 furnished rooms, including the drawing room where Queen Victoria took tea. Be sure to peak into the pit, a bleak, windowless prison once used for sheep and cattle thieves, then check out the 18th-century graffiti left by English soldiers.