Urquhart Castle is perhaps one of the most iconic attractions in all of Inverness and Loch Ness. Once a mighty fortress protecting the north from raiders and invaders, the ancient ruins and forgotten battlefields tell the story of strife, struggle and war in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. For centuries the Castle has been a stronghold for Scottish independence. Today it is one of the best-known visitor attractions in the area and an absolute must for anyone visiting Loch Ness and Inverness. It’s why we thought we’d share 3 things we love about visiting Urquhart Castle with you.
1. Oh The Drama! 1,000 Years of Highland History
Strategically perched on the shores of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle has shared a starring role in some of the most dramatic chapters in Highland history. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, this old medieval fortress has seen its fair share of conflict, mystery and wonder over the years. It is where St Columba is said to have worked miracles. During the Wars of Independence, this beloved stronghold passed hands many times as the Scots and the English battled it out for control of the Highlands. Both the castle and the glen were raided regularly by the Lords of the Isles up until the 1500s. And during the famous Jacobite Risings, the last government troops garrisoned there blew the castle to bits before they left … leaving nothing but the ruins we see today.
2. There’s Something For Everyone
While the castle is indeed a beacon for history lovers, Historic Scotland has ensured there is plenty to see and do to keep everyone entertained for hours. A large part of the visitor centre is made up of a wonderful café and gift shop, where you can admire the strategic setting of Urquhart Castle and the wonderful views it commands over Loch Ness. There is also a fascinating display of a large-scale model depicting what Urquhart Castle would have looked like in all its former (pre-blown up) glory. You can admire Grant Tower and the amazing views from its battlements, peer into a gloomy prison cell, wonder at the medieval artefacts left behind by the castle’s former residents and take in the incredible full-sized, working trebuchet!
3. Getting There: Visiting Urquhart Castle Couldn’t Be Easier
One of our favourite things about visiting Urquhart Castle is how easy it is to get there. The castle is open all year round (except for Christmas and Boxing Day, or when the weather is really bad) and has ample parking for anyone driving to the attraction. There are also regular busses to the castle from Inverness Bus Station. But more importantly, the castle is a main feature on many Inverness or Loch Ness tours. Which means you can double up the fun and enjoy a boat cruise or circular tour of Loch Ness before exploring the ancient ruins of the Highland’s most beloved castle.
So there you have it. 3 things to love about visiting Urquhart Castle. For more wonderful things to do in and around Inverness, visit our Things To Do section. Or to book your next Inverness holiday, take a look at our wonderful Special Offers.