The picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle are situated 2 miles from Drumnadrochit on a rocky peninsula on the banks of
After a chequered history, the building was blown up in 1692 to prevent it becoming a Jacobite stronghold.
The castle was purchased by a Mr Chewett in the 1930s and in 2003 was gifted by his widow to The National Trust for Scotland.
Although the castle is owned by The National Trust for Scotland, visitor access is via
the excellent visitor centre run by Historic Scotland which includes an exhibition, film show, shop and restaurant.
The castle is open daily 1 April to 30 September 9.30 am to 6pm; and also daily 1 October to 31 October 9.30 am to 5pm,
and 1 November - 31 March 9.30 am to 4.30pm.
Tel: 01456 450551. Admission charge. For disabled access, check with Historic Scotland.
It is amazing how uneven the ground of this site is. Despite the difficulties of building, it was a prime strategic location sitting as it does surrounded virtually on three sides by the cold waters of Loch Ness which would have been a main route through the Great Glen of the Highlands.
It's great for kids who will enjoy clambering everywhere and it's not expensive for them to get in. A piper is often on hand to lend even more atmosphere to the place and there are sometimes re-enactment events. The ruins are floodlit at night.
It is easy to reach on your way to or from
Inverness - many buses pass by each day.
If you are on foot and want to combine this with a visit to the Loch Ness exhibitions at Drumnadrochit, then take the bus to Urquhart Castle first (from whatever direction you are approaching - Inverness or Fort William/Fort Augustus) and then walk the 2 miles north to Drumnadrochit (it's downhill that way!). Most of this stretch of the road is now paved since so many people walk along it.
A visit to Urquhart can be incorporated on your customised itinerary with
ClansandCastles.com who offer personal guided trips from Inverness. You can also visit Eilean Donan in the same day or head east and go to
Cawdor for example.
Just contact ClansandCastles.com with your requirements.
Learn about the Urquhart clan.
Photo copyright Joanne Mackenzie-Winters 2008