Urquhart CastleLoch Ness Category Historic Sites
The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state.
Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen.
Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 13th to 17th centuries was particularly bloody. Following Edward I’s invasion, it fell into English hands and was then reclaimed and lost again. In the 14th century, it figured prominently in the Scots’ struggle for independence and came under the control of Robert the Bruce after he became King of Scots.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle and glen were frequently raided from the west by the ambitious MacDonald Lords of the Isles.
The castle’s history and that of the noble families – Durward, MacDonald and Grant – who held it, is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The Centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle.
Visitors can relax in the café and visit the shop with its local crafts. The visitor centre contains retail, interpretation area, audio-visual presentation and tearoom and toilets on one level. Stunning views of the loch can be obtained from visitor centre veranda.
1 April - 30 September, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30 am to
1 October - 31 October, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30 am to 5.00 pm
1 November - 31 March , Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
(information via Historic Scotland)