Balmoral Castle that has been a favorite of the British Royal Family since the time of Queen Victoria.
Originally built as an 'Estate House' in 1390, Queen Victoria fell in love with the building and it's stunning location during a visit to the Scottish Highlands in the mid 1800's. In her journals she described it as "my dear paradise in the Highlands".
At first Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, leased the original estate house, they loved it so much that in 1852 they bought it - and promptly began work on their new 'Estate'.
Prince Albert had a new, 'baronial-style' castle built about 100 yards from the original building (as it wasn't big enough!)and once the new castle was completed, the older estate house was demolished.
They then placed a stone in the spot where the entry to this original home had been.
Today this Royal Estate (which now has over 50,000 acres of land) passes down by inheritance and is currently the private property of the Queen (Queen Elizabeth II), who visits every during the summer every year.
I guess that makes it the ultimate 'summer home'!
Here are some interesting facts about this Scottish Castle.....
Certain areas of the castle are open to the public between early April and the end of July. These include the grounds and gardens and the Ballroom. The private areas are not accessible.