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Overview

Discover more than 1,000 years of stirring history centred on the Great Glen. The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the shore of Loch Ness, has seen some of the most dramatic chapters in our nation’s story.

Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Control of the castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence. The power struggles continued, as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s.

The last of the government troops garrisoned here during the Jacobite Risings blew up the castle when they left. Urquhart’s iconic ruins remain, offering glimpses into medieval times and the lives of its noble residents.

What to see and do

  • Admire the strategic setting of the castle, on a rocky promontory with an open outlook up and down Loch Ness
  • Soak up the atmosphere of one of Scotland’s most famous lochs
  • Take in the Grant Tower (partial access)
  • Imagine splendid banquets staged in the Great Hall
  • Peer into the gloomy prison cell, said to have held legendary Gaelic bard Dòmhnall Donn
  • See the Urquhart Ewer and other medieval artefacts left by castle residents
  • View the full-sized trebuchet
  • Take our fun fact-finding quiz while exploring the castle (also in French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Scots and Spanish). Available on site
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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