Castle Stalker

Tour this 14th-century fortification, which is set majestically on a picturesque offshore island.

Castle Stalker is a beautiful four-story tower house located on a tidal islet on Loch Laich. A popular image for postcards, calendars and other Scottish souvenirs, this medieval castle is also recognized for its appearance in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Register for a tour of this privately owned castle or simply admire it from afar during a scenic walk.

The castle site was originally home to a fortified building, which belonged to the MacDougall family. It takes its name from the Gaelic word “stalcaire,” which means “hunter” or “falconer.” The castle has existed in its current form since around 1446 and served as a long-time stronghold of the Stewarts of Appin. King James IV, a cousin of the Stewarts, is believed to have made frequent hunting trips to the castle. Look for a faded coat of arms over the castle door, thought to be the royal arms.

Although the castle is generally closed to visitors, it’s possible to sign up for a private tour of the building. Tours are led by a member of the Steward Allward family, the current owners of the castle and the family responsible for its restoration in the 1960s. Ride a boat across the loch to the castle islet and get some rare insight into its history during the guided visit.

Take a break at the Castle Stalker View Café and Gift Shop to enjoy lovely vistas of the castle, as well as the Islands of Mull and Lismore. The café is open daily from mid-February to October and Thursday to Sunday from November through December and offers a particularly pleasant outdoor seating area.

See the castle from another perspective by walking along the Jubilee Bridge and Stalker Castle trail. This 2.25-mile (3.5-kilometer) trail takes over an hour to complete and features a number of gorgeous views of the castle backed by the Morvern Mountains.

Castle Stalker is located on the west coast of Scotland, 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Oban. Tour spaces are limited and must be arranged in advance. There is a fee for the tour. Take plenty of photos of this postcard-worthy landmark.

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