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Access

Special arrangements are currently in place at Urquhart Castle, to comply with Scottish Government guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic. These arrangements are detailed below, and will be regularly updated. Last updated: 17 July 2020.

Although things may be a little different, we hope that you will have an enjoyable visit and will be greeted with a warm and friendly smile by staff.

While some areas may be closed, we will have additional interpretation available on-site so you don't miss out. This may include QR codes so make sure your mobile can read these when visiting.

Safety measures

  • Our staff have been trained in hygiene and physical distancing and have been provided with the necessary PPE
  • Signage is on site to guide visitors, including one way systems and marked areas that are currently closed to visitors
  • We have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, including our toilet facilities, to make visitors feel comfortable while visiting
  • In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are now mandatory if you are visiting any indoor/enclosed spaces at our sites including retail and catering areas (subject to some exceptions)

Watch our video on what to expect when you visit our sites

Carers tickets

In line with best practice in the visitor attractions industry and as advised by Capability Scotland, visitors with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with all other visitors and entry is charged at the appropriate admission category rate - Adult/Concession/Child. Proof of disability is not required.

We offer free entry for carers accompanying visitors with disabilities. To book a free carer ticket, please email ticketing@hes.scot and quote your order number.

Parking

Parking must be booked online in advance when booking entry tickets.

There is a level, tarmac surfaced car park with accessible bays.

Approach to site

Visitors approach the visitor centre across the car park

Security and bag restrictions

For reasons of ease of movement, visitor safety and general security, suitcases and large rucksacks are not permitted in the castle.

We are unable to store luggage, prams, pushchairs or other personal items for visitors.

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs.

Visitors' dogs are not permitted at Urquhart Castle.

What will be open during your visit

  • Car Park – booking required
  • Most external spaces with visitor access
  • Partial access to Grant Tower
  • Temporary ticket kiosk and scanning station in place adjacent (with socially distanced queuing and flow)
  • Protected access to castle site by-passing visitor centre
  • Visitor Centre main level (accessed only from the terrace) including shop and existing toilets (both with staff-controlled access)
  • Lochview Café (view the menu)
  • Picnic tables and benches are located in the castle grounds

What will remain closed/unavailable during your visit

  • Visitor Centre
  • Café interior
  • Exhibition
  • Film show
  • Gatehouse
  • External seating outside café
  • Mobility scooters

Visiting the site

Download the map [PDF, 748KB]

Image of one-way numbered route map for Urquhart Castle

  1. Staff here will control the flow of visitors, and can provide any additional assistance.

    Access to the shop, café and castle is down a steep tarmac ramp.

    The Lochview café will be open for takeaway only with a reduced menu. There are picnic tables and benches available within the castle grounds.

    There is an adapted toilet in this area.

    The film and exhibition will not be opening to visitors at this time.

  2. From the visitor centre, there is a steep tarmac path down to the castle and a bridge into the keep. There are paths throughout the castle, all in tarmac or bound gravel. Benches are located around the site.

  3. Visitors enter the castle through the gatehouse.

  4. Only the ground and first floors of the Grant Tower will be open to visitors at this time. These spaces are accessed up sets of wooden stairs.

  5. The Watergate is at the bottom of a sloped tarmac path and down a steep set of steps.

  6. The ruins of the early castle and dovecot are up a steep and stepped tarmac path.
Historic Scotland

Opening times

1-31 Oct:
Daily, 9.30am to 5pm

1 Nov to 31 Mar:
Daily, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Advance booking required.

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