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Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

Trace the rich and colorful history of this ruined 13th-century fortress, the site of heroic battles, royal residences and political imprisonments.

Picture yourself defending Scotland from invaders arriving from the sea or as a government soldier quashing rebellions in the impressive remains of Dunstaffnage Castle. This medieval fortification still has many intact walls and towers and provides an insightful window into Scotland's military past. Its tactical location also provides spectacular views out to sea and the Western Isles.

The oldest parts of the castle, including the curtain wall, were built about 1220 as a fortification to protect the western coast of Scotland. Because of its tactical location, the government garrisoned it during the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century and used the newer buildings as a prison for the rebels. Walk along the top of the curtain wall, one of the oldest standing castle remains in Scotland. Once a strategic defensive construction, it now serves as the perfect viewpoint for panoramas of the Firth of Lorn.

Behind the walls are the remains of the “new house,” a residential building that doubled as a prison. The much-loved Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald was captured and held here after aiding Bonnie Prince Charlie's successful escape following his defeat in a Jacobite rebellion.

Step into the gatehouse, a three-story building from the early 16th century. The honorary Captain of Dunstaffnage still uses the building as headquarters today, although it is open to the public.

In the visitor center, examine a scale model depicting how the castle would have looked originally. Information boards tell the story of the castle and the factions who competed to control it, including famous Scottish King Robert the Bruce.

Wander through the wooded grounds to find Dunstaffnage Chapel, the ruins of a 13th-century church that fell into disuse after the Protestant Reformation. An adjacent burial aisle houses monuments to the noble families of Dunstaffnage.

Dunstaffnage Castle is open year-round, with closures on Thursdays and Fridays during winter. Ride a bus from Oban to Dunstaffnage College, which is just a 6-minute walk from the castle. The attraction has on-site parking, a café and shop.


Map

Lodging Near Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

See all 104 Hotels near Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel
$54
The Regent Hotel

The Regent Hotel

Esplanade Oban, Oban
3.1
of 5, from 128 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Oban, this hotel is steps from St. John's Cathedral and Oban Distillery. McCaig's Tower and Oban War and Peace Museum are also within 10 minutes.

$154
Perle Oban Hotel

Perle Oban Hotel

Station Square, Oban
4.5
of 5, from 28 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Oban, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of McCaig's Tower, Oban Distillery, and St. John's Cathedral. Oban Ferry Terminal and Oban War and Peace Museum are also within 15 minutes.

$123
Best Western The Queens Hotel

Best Western The Queens Hotel

Corran Esplanade, Oban
3.9
of 5, from 106 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Oban War and Peace Museum and St. John's Cathedral. Oban Distillery and McCaig's Tower are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$62
Columba Hotel

Columba Hotel

The Esplanade, Oban
3.4
of 5, from 65 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Oban, this hotel is steps from St. John's Cathedral and Oban Distillery. McCaig's Tower and Oban War and Peace Museum are also within 10 minutes.

Roseneath Guest House

Roseneath Guest House

Dalriach Road, Oban
4.3
of 5, from 108 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Oban, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Oban Distillery, St. John's Cathedral, and McCaig's Tower. Oban War and Peace Museum and Oban Ferry Terminal are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$77
Oban Bay Hotel

Oban Bay Hotel

Corran Esplanade, Oban
3.2
of 5, from 92 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated on the waterfront, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Oban War and Peace Museum and St. John's Cathedral. Oban Distillery and McCaig's Tower are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$64
Lochnell Arms Hotel

Lochnell Arms Hotel

North Conel, Oban
4.0
of 5, from 90 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated on a lake, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Connel Bridge and within 6 mi (10 km) of Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel and Glencruitten Golf Club. Oban War and Peace Museum and Oban Distillery are also within 6 mi (10 km).