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Urquhart Castle

Visit one of the most scenic heritage attractions in Scotland, a set of majestic ruins on the banks of the glittering waters of Loch Ness.

Bring your camera for your trip to Urquhart Castle. Its crumbling brown walls and spectacular towers, which are set against the tree-covered hills and still waters of Loch Ness, are extremely photogenic. Learn about 1,000 years of history and trace centuries of conflict between the English and the Scots at these stirring medieval ruins.

St. Columba is said to have visited a Pictish fort at this site in the 6th century, although the current castle wasn’t built until the 13th century. The Scots and the English fought for control over the stronghold, before it was blown up in 1692 by an English army garrisoned here.

At the information points on the castle grounds learn about the different people who have claimed ownership of the castle. Watch an educational film about Urquhart's colorful history in the visitor center and examine a scale model of the castle building.

Enter the castle grounds across the drawbridge into the gatehouse now housing an exhibit of Historic Scotland. Stop to see the dungeon. As you explore, think about the poor prisoners who were once confined to these dank, gloomy quarters.

Wander the grounds and look for the remains of an old kiln used for drying grain and a replica trebuchet, a medieval siege weapon. Climb Grant Tower for views of the castle and Loch Ness. From the top of the tower, visitors can see an ancient chapel and a dovecote. Step into the Great Hall, where huge feasts were held to celebrate military victories. Walk down to the loch's shores to see the remnants of a blacksmith's workshop.

Enjoy a drink at the café with uninterrupted views of the loch. Watch for the Loch Ness Monster, one of the most famous mythical creatures in the world.

Find Urquhart Castle next to the quiet villages of Lewiston and Drumnadrochit, about a 30-minute drive south of Inverness. Use the on-site parking and gift shop. A bike rack is provided for those who wish to travel here on two wheels.

Popular Activities at Urquhart Castle

Not sure how to make the most of your visit here? Here are a list of popular activities that will help you:

If you're chasing even more activities, examine our Inverness things to do page.


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Lodging Near Urquhart Castle

See all 138 Properties near Urquhart Castle
The Loch Ness Inn $131
Reviewed on May 11, 2019
See details
 
The Loch Ness Inn

The Loch Ness Inn

Lewiston, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Scotland
     
    4.4 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Clean comfortable and fun. Dinner was the best meal I had all trip!!!!!

    Benleva Hotel $127
    Reviewed on May 10, 2019
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    Benleva Hotel

    Benleva Hotel

    Kilmore, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Scotland
       
      4.4 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Overall a good place for the night. Close to Inverness and historical places of interest.

      Luxury Croft Over Looking Loch Ness & Urquhart Bay. Loch Views
      Reviewed on Feb 13, 2019
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      Luxury Croft Over Looking Loch Ness & Urquhart Bay. Loch Views

      Luxury Croft Over Looking Loch Ness & Urquhart Bay. Loch Views

      Drumnadrochit, Scotland
         
        5.0 of 5
        0.0 out of 5.0

        Would recommend this place in a heartbeat. Simon and Annie were welcoming and very knowledgeable about the area - very helpful. The perfect place to get away from your busy day to day and just relax with amazing views.

        Aslaich Bed & Breakfast $79
        Reviewed on Sep 22, 2018
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        Aslaich Bed & Breakfast

        Aslaich Bed & Breakfast

        East Lewiston, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Scotland
           
          4.5 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0

          If you like charm and lovely accommodation in a beautiful area then choose this place

          Loch Ness B and B $96
          Loch Ness B and B

          Loch Ness B and B

          Dail Breagha, Kilmore Road, Inverness, Scotland
             
            0.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Inverness, this bed & breakfast is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Urquhart Castle. Corrimony Chambered Cairn is 5.4 mi (8.6 km) away.

            Stonywood Cottage $472
            Stonywood Cottage

            Stonywood Cottage

            East Lewiston Drumnadrochit Highland, Inverness, Scotland
               
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Situated in Inverness, this cottage is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Loch Ness 2000 Exhibition Centre and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Urquhart Castle. Corrimony Chambered Cairn is 5.5 mi (8.9 km) away.

              2 Bedroom Cottage Near Loch Ness
              Reviewed on Jun 3, 2018
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              2 Bedroom Cottage Near Loch Ness

              2 Bedroom Cottage Near Loch Ness

              Drumnadrochit, Scotland
                 
                4.8 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0

                The cottage is well located--close to the Loch Ness center, which is worth the orice of admission. While the cottage is small, it had everything that two couples needed for a quiet stay on Loch Ness. The picture doesn't do the cottage credit. It is one of several cottages around a pretty ...

                Drovers Lodge $142
                Reviewed on May 11, 2019
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                Drovers Lodge

                Drovers Lodge

                Upper Lennie, Inverness, Scotland
                   
                  5.0 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Drovers Lodge is situated at the top of a beautiful mountain overlooking Loch Ness and the gorgeous valley below. The view is breathtaking -- and the welcome from our hosts was exceptionally warm and gracious. For anyone looking for a place to stay in the area of Inverness and Loch Ness, this is ...