Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Steeped in more than 1,000 years of history, Urquhart Castle sits on the banks of Loch Ness. It is one of Scotland’s largest castles, which has played host to some of the most climactic episodes in Scottish history.


A medieval fortress

Witnessed many a battle during the Wars of Independence

History of Urquhart Castle

Having been passed between Scot and English control for over 500 hundred years this medieval fortress has witnessed many a battle during the Wars of Independence. Taken control of by Edward the I in 1296, the Scots reclaimed it back in 1298. They lost control again until Robert the Bruce’s victory in 1308. At this time it became a royal castle. For over 200 years there were many English and Scottish battles seeing ownership changing many times.

Host to many clan wars

By 1508, this castle was under the royal ownership of the Grant clan. Here, it played host to the many clan wars. And, in 1545 Clan Macdonald stripped the castle of all its valuables. Despite the castle having been heavily fortified it was abandoned in the 17th century. As a consequence, Urquhart Castle saw its demise. It was at this point, to prevent the Jacobites rising, it was deliberately blown up. Thus leaving the ruins that are visible today.


Dramatic ruins

Panoramic views of Loch Ness and the surrounding countryside

Visiting Urquhart Castle

Situated on a rocky peninsula, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Loch Ness and the surrounding countryside. It is from here you can explore the dramatic ruins, including the Grant Tower. You can even peer into the prison cell, said to of imprisoned legendry Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn: a handsome man, a brave warrior, and a good poet. Did he really steal cattle or was his crime to fall in love with the Laird of Grant’s daughter? See the ruins of the Great Hall and envisage the many great banquets held there. Explore medieval artefacts including the Urquhart Ewer. And possibly most excitingly, you can see a full-sized trebuchet (a stone-throwing machine in laymans terms). View ticket prices and opening times here.


Drumnadrochit, Inverness IV63 6XJ


01456 450551

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more