Movie Review: “Mona Lisa Smile”

Directed By Mike Newell Written By Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal Produced By Richard Barrata (co-producer) Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas (producer) Joe Roth (executive producer) Paul Schiff (producer) Deborah Schindler (producer) Original Music By Rachel Portman Cinematography By Anastas N. Michos Film Editing By Mick Audsley The Cast Julia Roberts as Katherine Ann Watson Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy Abbey Ginnifer Goodwin as Connie Baker Kirsten Dunst as Betty Warren Juliet Stevenson as Amanda Armstrong Julia Stiles as Joan Brandwyn Dominic West as Bill Dunbar Maggie Gyllenhaal as Giselle Levy

Summary Of The Movie In Mona Lisa Smile, Julia Roberts leads an all-star cast of prominent young actresses including Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal and newcomer Ginnifer Goodwin, in a story of women struggling to define themselves in a world that has already defined them. Katherine Watson (Roberts) travels from California to the New England campus of Wellesley College, in the fall of 1953, to teach art history. In the post-war era, Katherine expects that her students, the best and the brightest in the country, will take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

Soon after her arrival, however, Katherine discovers that the environment at the prestigious institution is steeped in conformity. According to their poise and elocution, teacher Nancy Abbey (Marcia Gay Harden), an engagement ring on a young woman’s finger is considered a bigger prize than a well-rounded education. When Katherine encourages her students to think independently, she runs afoul of the more conservative faculty and alumni, including one of her students, the upper crust Betty Warren (Dunst).

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The recently married, Betty becomes a formidable adversary when Katherine persuades her best friend, Joan Brandwyn (Stiles), to apply to Yale Law School – even as Joan is awaiting a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend. For the smart and provocative Giselle Levy (Gyllenhaal), Katherine becomes a much-needed role model and mentor. The sweet and shy Connie Baker (Goodwin) also draws courage from Katherine’s example and gains the confidence to break through her insecurities. In a world that told them how to live, Katherine teaches them how to think for themselves.

Through her students’ trials to find their own way, Katherine learns to chart a different course for herself as well. Review Of The Movie World War II had been the first time in history when women were told they could do a man’s job. They took off their corsets and took over the factories. Then, after the war, they were re-corseted with clear roles as housewives who supported their husbands and raised their children. On the surface it all seemed fine, but underneath the seeds were planted for the next generation.

Mona Lisa Smile is an exploration of a time and place, after the war, where rebellion and individuality were very much frowned upon, yet the seeds of change had already taken root. The protagonist of the motion picture, Katherine Watson (played by Julia Roberts), is shown to be one of the most brawny, independent and liberal thinkers of her time. Settled in a time frame, where marriage was the whole and soul purpose of the existence of a woman, Katherine is seen to break those bonds and live on her own terms. She, just like any another girl, was also engaged to marry at the age of 18.

However, after Pearl Harbor, she and her fiance realized that both of them had changed for good and called it quits, after which, Katherine went to L. A for graduation, and turned out to be an art history professor. She embodied the best kind of spirit for a teacher, one that allows individuality and exploration of our personal strengths. Though her students at first, regard her a spinster for being over the age of 30 and unmarried, Katherine feels comfortable with her decision which some of the young women find intimidating and others, empowering.

The daughter of a Wellesley alumna who is as involved in the college as she is in her daughter’s life, Betty, regards Katherine’s challenge to the status quo almost as a personal affront. In the very beginning of the movie we see Betty being just horrible and condescending to everyone around her. Later, in the movie, you come across her mother, a formidable and intimidating woman, and you see why Betty turned out that way. When Betty’s illusions are shattered and her ‘perfect’ marriage is threatened, however, her cold exterior quickly thaws.

All her life has been shaped by her mother and she believes that once she gets married everything will be perfect. But she doesn’t love her husband and neither does he love her. It’s just a planned affair. She pretends to be happy and puts on a smile. Finally, you see her break down. Ultimately, it’s Katherine who gives her the courage to be herself and fight her personal vendetta. That’s essentially what the movie is about, being true to yourself and becoming the person you want to be. Betty’s journey is her inner battle between image and truth.

She fights Katherine’s lessons and her presence at first only because, if Katherine is right, then her life is a sham. While she hails from the same social background as Betty, her roommate and class valedictorian Joan Brandwyn has a completely different reaction to intellectual challenges presented by her art history teacher. Like the other girls at Wellesley she knows how to recite and regurgitate information. She’s a great student, but she’s a textbook great student. Then Katherine comes along and tells her to think for herself and that’s really seductive to Joan.

She is about to be engaged, but with Katherine’s encouragement, she decides to apply to law school anyway. Joan is the woman, Katherine decides, who has the most potential for change, so she devotes her energies to making sure that Joan recognizes that she has a choice. Once Joan chooses, Katherine needs to learn to respect her choice. Giselle Levy is a sophisticated student who shocks her fellow students by having numerous affairs at a time when such behavior was considered scandalous. When Katherine comes to teach at Wellesley, Giselle is fascinated.

She has been desperate for some kind of validation for her unorthodox feelings and here is Katherine who acknowledges her difference and says it’s okay. Giselle’s essential problem is not her behavior, but the judgment that’s placed on it by her peers and society at large. Giselle is pretty in-your-face and she doesn’t know why everybody is making such a big fuss that she sleeps with more than one man. All she’s saying is that you should eat food if it tastes good, dance if you like the beat and have sex if you want to have sex.

Now, some people might say Giselle’s broken or unhappy, or that she’s overcompensating for something, but I tried not to judge her while watching the movie. Though she has many advantages in life, Connie is plagued by insecurities. She thinks she doesn’t have beauty, or talent, or smarts. All she’s got are these other girls, and that is so important to her that she allows herself to be their punching bag. Yet, Connie possesses strong attributes, like her appreciation for the possibilities of love as well as her talent at playing the cello.

The cello is Connie’s form of expression, the only form of beauty she’s ever been able to associate herself with. Through Katherine, Connie gains confidence and opens herself up, for the first time, to the possibility of romance. Suddenly love becomes an option for her and not just a dream. And that sort of power enables her to put herself first for once. Like the other girls, she undergoes a real change. Connie realizes she doesn’t have to go out and become Joan of Arc in order to be important in her own life.

Nancy Abbey teaches speech, elocution and poise at Wellesley. Nancy is trying very hard to be representative of what she thinks a woman should be, which is ‘simply lovely. ‘ There is a gentleness and grace about her manners and it’s a shame we’ve lost that sense of poise. But Nancy also has a turbulent underbelly caused by the repression of the times. It’s poignant that Nancy chooses to remain at home, a spinster, because society’s judgment about her age makes her feel it’s too late for her to go out and risk something different.

Mona Lisa Smile is a real mirror of the period and a tribute to the Wellesley women who were the pioneers in terms of going out and forging paths and shoving their way into businesses that didn’t want them. They were the generation who went out into the world and made a change. Throughout the movie, Katherine tries her best to empower women around her and to break the bonds that bind these intellectuals. The movie follows the journey of change in every individual and talks about the struggle of the individual – male or female.

Everyone is looking to find their proper place in life, where they can serve the most and be at their best. The movie doesn’t tell us what to think or it doesn’t distinguish right from wrong; instead, it paints a depiction of both sides of the story and states you can do both – have a career of your choice and get married – albeit doing it a little unsubtle at times. One of the things you realize while watching the movie is the sensitivity depicted in it. By the end of the movie, you realize that success may not mean the same thing to other people as it does to you.

For a few, having a family, being able to manage your household and having dinner ready by 5 is a huge success; while for others, success could mean turning out as lawyers, doctors, etc. We realize that as Catherine tenaciously went about her business making a difference in the lives of her students and the people around her, she made a difference in her own life just as well. Her journey as a teacher was a part of her formation. We cannot ‘make a difference’ in the lives of others without impacting our own. There is an ongoing dialectic that propels us into action for others, but it undoubtedly is action for ourselves as well.

It is only in the end of the movie, that we realize that Catherine herself lives in the confines of her own biases and disregards. That is what changes about her ultimately and she makes peace with the traditionalists around her and accepts that some women will always be happier in families rather than in themselves, but also paves the path for women who wanted so much more than a family. Throughout the movie you see brilliant 1950 based sets, cathedrals and brilliant locations. The cinematography of this movie is quite fine as its simplicity is its brilliance as is the background score.

The original work of Rachel Portman is outstanding as the theme of Mona Lisa Smile is quite addictive. The cast, crew and director, according to me, have done a splendid job with this motion picture. Though this movie has been thoroughly criticized and been compared to the old movie, the deadly poets, I am still very much of the opinion that this movie is one of its kind. It is a movie that truly moved me and which made me appreciate the fact that I was born in the 21st century where every woman thinks of herself as an individual first and then as a daughter, mother, wife, etc.

Movie Review: A Fond Kiss

Fond Kiss Movie review by Ahed El-Najar Ae Fond Kiss is a romantic drama, directed by Ken Loach in 2004. The movie was filmed in Pollokshields, which is a district in the south side of Glasgow. Cross cultural romance, social difference and racial discrimination are three words which describe the theme of the movie very good. The movie opens with Casim’s sister Tahara, which is being chased around the school. Students are calling her bad names because of her cultural background. Tahara get so upset that she starts chasing the boys in anger. Casim follows her around the school, trying to control her.

She chases them into a music classroom, where Roisin is the teacher. Tahara manages to break a guitar before she leaves. Here is where Casim meets Rosin for the first time. He feels a bit guilty for the guitar, so he buys a new one for her. He also offers her a ride home, because she lives on the other side of town. Both Casim and Roisin are presented as two very nice persons. They work different places and share a lot of interests. Casim is a DJ at a nightclub with his closest friend Hamid. Their plan is to save up money for their own club. Roisin is a music teacher at a Catholic school.

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She is a very good teacher, and the students seem to like her a lot, so does The headmaster . Their love for each other grows very fast. It doesn’t take a long time before their a couple. The only difference for them is their cultural background. Casim comes from a family with strong faith for the Muslim religion. His parents are planning a marriage between him and his first cousin named Jasmine. His father is also preparing for their family, so he enlarges their home. In the beginning his family thinks that Casim is ready for the marriage. But what really happens is that he goes out with Roisin.

They have a secret relationship, and Roisin thinks that what they do is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with what they do. They are in love, so they stay together. But Casim’s faith is very strict. In his case, Casim is not allowed to go out with white girls. He has to get married with someone that his parents select for him. It is perfectly clear that this is a difficult situation, because every time Roisin asks to see Casim’s family he says no. He tells her that it is not inappropriate for her to meet them. She feels that this is bad, because she wants to see how his family is.

Roisin does not have any family, her parents died when she was young. Casim does not care very much about this, even though you can see fear in his eyes. He is afraid to tell his family about his relationship with Roisin. His girlfriend does not know about how difficult it is for him. All along his family is arranging the marriage, and Casim does not tell this to Roisin. He even tells her to knock down when they drive at places where his family work or live, because he is afraid to be seen with her. In the theory Casim is going to marry someone he does not want to marry.

But his secret gets revealed to Roisin when they are in Spain on holiday. He tells her that he has not spoken with his family about his situation, and that his family expects him to marry Jasmine. When Roisin hear this, she got sad and angry. Casim got very upset as well, and told Roisin that he was sorry. But it does not help in the beginning. But when Casim tells Roisin that he does not want to marry Jasmine, and that he is going to talk with his parents, her mood gets better. As the time goes on their relationship is still a secret for casim’s parents and family.

Even though he promised to talk with his parents, he chooses not to do so. So the relationship between the two becomes weaker and weaker. They argue a lot, and they are very unsure on what to do. But things get even worse for the couple. Roisin gets an offer which includes her, a full time job at the Catholic school. But she has to ask the parish priest for permission. He does not accept because she has sex outside the marriage. He is even rasist and dislike Muslims, because he asks her what kind of man she had sex with “is he a kind of muhammedman”.

The headmaster at the school does not care about this in the beginning, but he has to fire her unwillingly. If he wouldn’t fire her, he would be in a lot of trouble. This means that Roisin has to get a new job at a school which is not Catholic. When things couldn’t possibly be any worse, other people get affected by their love. Casim’s older sister Rukhsana is supposed to marry someone she love, but he does not want her. That is all because of Casim’s dirty actions toward their faith. To top it all, Casim tell his parents how he feel.

He tells them that Roisin is his true love, and that he will stay with her forever. His parents get very upset, and his father tries to make him leave her. But Casim made up his mind; he chooses to stay with his beloved Roisin. I liked the movie pretty much. The plot and acting was very successful, and the theme was very strong and sad in one way. The ending was both great and sad, some kind of happy ending when they meet again in the end. Casim and Roisin finds each other with the power of love, but Casim’s family get ruined in one way. I also liked the music chose for the movie.

The songs Ae fond kiss and strange fruit are two songs which shows great parallels to the movie itself. I did understand the movie pretty well as well, because I am a Muslim and know how the situation is. Though I am happy my parent’s faith for the Muslim Religion is not that strong, that differs between people. This review should had been sent to you for long time ago, but the day I fall in the motorcycle accident was the date for this review, I totally forgotten about it, perhaps my mind got a bit broken by the accident . I apologize . Yours Ahed

What to photograph: The Best Style of Photography You Can Use in Venice

General: Basically, you can take photos of anything, from architecture to street life photography and everything in between. You can jump from bridge to bridge, focus on main tourist attractions, or even get lost with the purpose of discovering some of the stunning hidden streets and channels of the city. Chances to photograph beautiful sights in Venice are limitless.
The only limitation will be your time. If you are limited on time, we recommend that you focus on the main tourist attractions of Venice. Descriptions of the main tourist attractions that you should visit are suggested on this page. Follow them one-by- one, or organize them to suit your starting point (accommodation). If you have a full day, then you should be able to cover all 10 key spots.

Street Life:

If you go outside the main tourist attractions or decide to walk between streets without a map to guide you, then you will discover countless opportunities for street life photography. You will be able to meet local people, see how they live, and take pictures of Venetian street life and the wondrous canals of the city.

Long exposure shots:

Venice is a city on water that is surrounded by water. Between the streets there are hundreds of canals, which give you an unlimited amount of opportunities to use long exposure shots. Our recommendation is to use long exposure shots in the area of St.Marco Square, the Rialto Bridge, or other landmarks that are located on or near bodies of water. You can even combine architecture, street life, and long exposure photography for some magnificent pictures.

Black and White:

In Venice, you can use black and white photography in almost any picture that you choose. You should use it especially when there is a strong contrast between shadow and bright areas or if the colors simply don’t match your ideal shot. B & W photography will provide more emotion in your pictures. You can also use it when you want to add structure and expose precise details. Our advice is to use it whenever you feel like taking a chance and experimenting with the many black and white options that you have!

Festivals & Events:

The Carnival of Venice is one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in the world. It usually starts in the last week of January and finishes in the first week of February. Check the official web page for more information and the exact schedule of the festivities. From the photographic perspective, there is also a festival called the Festa del Redenote (occurs in the third weekend of July), which features spectacular fireworks and a gondola regatta.


Don’t leave Venice without a few classic portraits of Venetian people. Get lost in Venice’s streets and you will inevitably find some friendly local people. You can definitely use some iconic people as the subject of your shots, such as: Gondoliers, waiters, people at the food markets, etc.

The White Whale And Me

Recently I have thought a lot about Moby Dick. The analogy of the “White Whale” is something many of us are fixated on whether we have read the epic piece of classic literature or not. It is a vital idea in modern society. The pursuit that destroys you without ever being completed. The unfinishable task.

For me, that task is likely composing the perfect Tweet. For Herman Melville that task was writing the perfect book, except for some Moby Dick is just that. Of course, a man of ambition is only as good as his next task and topping himself became the feat that Melville would likely never accomplish. It makes you wonder if he was able to take some solace in his own darkly beautiful analogy.

Spoiler alert: Moby Dick follows the attempt of Captain Ahab to defeat a whale that once destroyed his boat and bit off his leg. The book is long and tells an arduous story of adventure and internal drama and yet it all unfolds quickly. In the end, the whole wins, the whale always wins. Nothing worth aiming for is ever accomplished, the journey is it’s own end.


Documentary Movie-maker

One of the most up and coming fields in the world of film is the art of documentary and experimental movies. In the beginning of the 20th century with the commercialization of movie, many documentaries were produced with anthropological aspects. Many travelers, anthropologists, naturalists, and adventurers used the modern technology to document the strange and new discoveries they had found. In more recent times, documentaries have been produced to educate on a mass scale, for example, Michael Moore’s documentaries. The majority of modern documentaries are based on political and economic situations on a global scale. Many naturalistic documentaries are still produced and have become quite a common occurrence thanks to the widespread acceptance of works by the National Geographic Society.


The beauty of documentaries was defined by John Grierson in the early 20th century who claimed that it was a new form of art. The actor and actress are no longer needed, it is enough just to have a camera in the right place at the right time, and we ourselves in our natural state are the actors of these movies. In this sense, the art of documentary can become experimental and truly artistic in the right hands. For such a simple, yet complex, technique of film it is not entirely necessary to study at a film school, however, with the arrival of the 21st century, a whole century’s worth of techniques and methods have been developed that should be studied and understood by an aspiring documentary maker.


Many of universities offer Documentary Studies departments, some of those which are more well-known are those of the Duke Center for Documentary Studies, The Documentary Center at George Washington University, Maine Media Workshops’ Documentary Filmmaking courses, Stanford University’s Documentary Film and Video course, UC Berkeley School of Journalism, The New School’s Documentary Media Studies, and the New York Film Academy’s Documentary Filmmaking Conservatory. Each program varies slightly from the other, and some institutions offer both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Documentary Studies.


Nonetheless, the usual coursework outline consists of both practical and theoretical classes such as movie/video writing and directing, nonfiction film production, digital video, advanced documentary directing, advanced film and video production, producing practicum, theories of the moving image, documentary issues and traditions, and international documentary. Although the history of documentary film is quite young compared the history of other artistic fields, it has already created itself quite a broad resume of traditions such as romanticism, city symphony, Kino-Pravda, newsreel, cinéma vérité, and political weapons. The knowledge of these classical traditions and modern movie history are quite crucial to an aspiring documentary maker. In addition to practical work, it is highly advised to achieve a strong understanding of these methods and analyze them before beginning your career.


Helpful Tips When Camping in the ‘Land Down Under’

Starry nights, cosy bonfires, melted marshmallows, howling of the wolves, bright moon—these are just some of the things that make sleeping outdoors in a tent thrilling. And no matter how many times you have gone camping, there is always something new and different in each place you visit. Thus, if camping in the UK has left you wanting a more exciting adventure, explore Australia.


A trip to this place allows you to discover a completely new environment. Moreover, it is a great place to put your survival skills to the test. But of course, considering that it will be your first time, it is important to be well prepared for the trip. With that said, here are some things you need to do in order to enjoy the great Australian outdoors for the first time.


– Plan the overseas travel carefully. First, make a checklist of the things you need to bring for the trip. Include enough clothing, camping equipment, a map, and other essentials. Second, know where you will go. Search the Web for information about campsites around the continent. Third, consider your mode of transportation. If you are going far south, then consider looking for a campervan rental in Tasmania, for example, so that travelling to your destination will be convenient.


– The Australian outdoor is filled with wildlife. Thus, store your food in boxes or containers so as not to attract them. Keep them in the van or inside the tent to prevent the prying noses of some animals away.


– Camping under the stars with a bonfire to roast marshmallows is certainly fun and romantic. However, know about the fire restrictions in camping grounds before lighting a match. To have full guidance, check with the area’s local authorities to avoid any forest fire, which is quite common during the dry season. Also, when you leave the site, remember to extinguish the embers with water, even if you are just going swimming at a nearby lake.


– It is easy to get lost when you are in an unfamiliar territory but you can avoid this by having a Global Positioning System or GPS device. This way, you will reach your destination safely and timely. Knowing which way to go helps you reach camp well before the sun sets, enough time to prepare dinner or set up your tent.


Are these ideas helpful enough?


Camping in Scotland, with the Dunnottar Castle as your view, was certainly exciting. How much more when you are in the ‘Land Down Under’ where the scenery is exquisite? Indeed, the experiences you will gain from the Australian wild will add more stories to your list of unforgettable adventures.


Touring Castles in the UK and Spending an Excellent Holiday!

These ancient fortresses used to stand straight and proud in their respective boroughs. However, because of time and neglect, these magnificent palaces have begun to disintegrate and some, in fact, are already ruins. Fortunately, as what we can read in the world news today, castles in the UK are now being cared for more by people who want to protect their physical remnants and historical significance. Because of this, you now have the chance to explore their stories.


Taking a guided tour in these buildings can be a fun and exciting adventure. Here are some of the things that you can expect in visiting these ancient structures.


  1. Rediscover the elegance of old days

As what you can read in the current headlines, the Bagots Castle in Coventry is being slowly restored. The actual building itself is almost ruined to pieces, yet, among the remains, you can still observe the workmanship that was used in creating the edifice. In these, you can get an idea of how the building must have looked like when it was still in good condition.


  1. Learn about the early ways of living

In recent news, it was reported that the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority had produced an MP3 audio trail that you can listen to as you walk around Neven Castle. With this, you can get interesting information about the excavation of the manor and the discovery of the numerous items that had been unearthed. Through those items, you can have a concept of how the inhabitants of the place had lived years ago.


  1. Know about the palaces’ historical significance

Some of these great citadels were owned by prominent people in the past. Thus, when you visit their homes, you can learn about the roles that these structures had played in the ancient times. Aside from this, you can also obtain a closer glimpse of the events that had happened decades ago.


Overall, you can have an exciting experience when you take castle tours in the UK. With these visits, you can enrich your knowledge about the history of the country and you can have a great time as well.


Various Types of Scottish Castles to Visit


Scotland had seen many battles and invasions in the past, and, thus, it was only logical for its inhabitants to construct fortresses to defend themselves. Because of this, you can find numerous forts in the country, which you can visit for a wonderful getaway nowadays. As you explore them, you may notice that not all of these edifices have the same forms. This is caused by the fact that the styles of these buildings evolved as time passed by. To make the most out of your holiday, here is some information on the kinds of castles that you might come across.


  • Motte and Bailey

This classification, which was one of the earliest designs of strongholds, is composed of two parts. The first is a small lookout usually built on top of a large hill and is often surrounded by a wooden fence. The second part is a huge fortress in which the citizens lived. These two structures are then connected to each other by a bridge.


  • Stone Keep

This type of castle is a strong and sturdy edifice generally constructed in the middle of an outer wall that provided a dependable defense. The barrier contained some turrets in which the guards could stay and watch for any danger. The main entrance to the building is usually a drawbridge because the whole area was most often built with a moat.


  • Concentric

This design is comprised of two walls. The inner one was often composed of thick stones and had many turrets. The outer one was a similarly sturdy yet much lower fence. This structure provided excellent protection because of its strategic shape.


All in all, these are the major types of castles that can be found in Scotland. You should make sure to visit each kind during your tours to have an idea of what each looks like and to observe the differences among these classifications.

Paying Scotland’s Spookiest Castles a Visit

Not a long time ago, many of our parents lulled us to sleep by stories of how beautiful queens and princesses were, how noble was a king, and how courageous were their royal knights. And with such bedtime tales, many of us grew up believing that castles are a nice place to be. But, beneath those majestic fables of chivalry, such fortifications have a secret to tell – and funny enough, they have their own resident spectre to let you into their deepest and darkest mysteries.


Now, if you are one of those brave souls who will do anything to experience an adventure or a scare of a lifetime, pack your luggage on your next holiday break and book a flight to Scotland, where almost every palace you encounter can give you either. And once you have stepped foot on Scottish soil, ask your travel agent how you can tour or spend the night in any of these terrifying venues.


Glamis Castle, Angus


From Edinburgh, take the train and two buses to get to this place, which is considered as one of Britain’s most majestic castles. And while friendly tour guides will gladly tell you that this is the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth II, many of them will not announce that this royal estate also holds the reputation as Scotland’s most haunted castle.


Hence, do not be surprised if the grounds are open to public tours only or that the nearest hotel is still a few miles away. If your curiosity gets the better of you and you try to sneak in here at night, you might just bump into the poor soul who is doomed to play cards with the devil himself.


Fyvie Castle


If the first stop was not enough to feed your appetite for the paranormal, head for this picturesque home in Aberdeenshire and book a public tour around Fyvie Castle. Once you get here, you will definitely be amazed by the lovely grounds and the majestic rooms here.

Nevertheless, while you are taking a leisurely stroll here, keep yourself from looking into any of the mansion’s many mirrors – you will never know when the vengeful apparition of Dame Lillias Drummond, the “Green Lady”, will reflect on any of them.


Carbisdale Castle


For backpackers who love a bit of a fright, booking a room in this impressive former Scottish home should be part of their travel itinerary. While it has been turned into a hostel today, this does not erase the fact that its rooms and grounds are still considered as one of the country’s most haunted locations.


If you got nerves of steel, enter the castle nursery and watch out for fixtures that move on their own or roam the grounds at dawn to encounter a hooded ghost who is said to be the castle gardener looking for his lost daughter.


Once the day breaks and you have finally concluded your ghost-hunting adventure in the last aforementioned venue, bring out any of your favorite ski jackets in your bag, head for a trusty Highland ski resort, and enjoy a different kind of chill.

Famous Castles in the United Kingdom

If you want to explore numerous magnificent fortresses and stately edifices, then the UK should be one of your chosen holiday destinations. That is because this area is home to many wonderful castles, and, thus, it can provide you with a lot of options to choose from. Here are some of the magnificent places that you may want to visit:



This structure is one of the homes of Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family, and, not surprisingly, it has become well-known throughout the world. Because of its status, many tourists flock to it every year. When you tour around it, you can get a glimpse of its numerous luxurious rooms, elegant chapel, and stately guards.



This is relatively small compared to other castles, but despite this, you can still have an enjoyable time visiting it. During your stay, you can explore its beautiful towers and say hello to the black swans that roam the lush gardens.



Built on top of a majestic mountain (which is actually an extinct volcano), this edifice dominates the skyline of the Scottish capital city. When you go to it, you can enjoy the stunning views of the urban centre and the surrounding landscapes.



This structure is considered to have a bloody past because of the events that happened in here many decades ago. Nowadays, however, it is one of the best places to tour because of its elegant design and interesting attractions.


These are only some of the castles that you can visit in the UK. There are many more fortresses that you can go to, each with their own beauty and historical significance that you can discover.


Scottish Castles in the UK Antiquity at Its Finest


Brave men in shining armour dare their way towards slaying the fierce dragon just to save the beautiful princess trapped inside the peak of the tall castle tower. Words similar to these are often repeated in almost every children’s stories, vividly describing how a prince would dart himself towards the large wooden gates of medieval castles and eventually save his princess. With the introduction of these structures, every growing generation would find itself attracted to beautifully made castles, imagining themselves as valiant princes or beautiful princesses.


In fact, castles are one of the most iconic and grand manifestation of power and feudal influence over the course of human history. The Scottish Castles in the UK are one of the fine examples of stone-built castles that every child and young at heart would choose to travel to and opt for as an accommodation. Most of these structures are either easy to find due to their immense size and popularity whilst others are almost forgotten ruins deep in secluded rural areas.


The Scottish palaces in the UK come in various modular sizes, architectural designs, and functionality. The first castles were built under the influence of the Norman era, greatly emphasizing the defensive and closed motte-and-bailey design. They are great for historical and architectural appreciation tours. Then there were the classic large stone-built, curtain-walled castles, which are ideal as elegant travel accommodations. Most of these were used by landowning classes during the 17th century, thus tower-architecture and decorative details were emphasized. For those who love to spend the weekend on countryside holidays, miniature castles or modest tower houses are for you.


These accommodation choices are found in almost all parts of the United Kingdom. The best examples of larger Renaissance-era tower houses are more concentrated in the north-east region. On the other hand, downscaled castles are generally found along the border of England, where the serene countryside can be enjoyed. With these castles, various activities can be brought about such as dream weddings, off-city tours, important company retreats or office events, and informal family breaks. To quickly find the strongholds that you want to visit, take advantage of online castle finders.


All in all, Scottish castles in the UK will definitely give you satisfaction!