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    Tour Urquhart Castle

    Welcome to Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. 

    Tell me a little about a Tour of Urquhart Castle.

    Urquhart Castle is an attractive ruin sitting on a promontory jutting into Loch Ness and as such offers a superb vantage point for viewing the famous loch. The site was fortified for a period of about 1100 years, stretching from the Pictish era to the 17th century. Over the centuries the castle underwent many changes of control and experienced considerable re-building in medieval times. In 1692 the castle was slighted by Government forces to prevent the rebellious Jacobites gaining control and has been unoccupied ever since. The name Urquhart is pronounced  ‘Er-kut’ and  translates from the Gaelic language as ‘at the woods’.

    Tell me more about a Tour of Urquhart Castle

    Catswhiskerstours works with guests to arrange and deliver customised tours. The information below is provided to assist guests in planning a tour.

    Urquhart Castle commands a strategic position at Strone Point about 13m/44 ft above Loch Ness near Drumnadrochit in turn about half way along the length of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. There is evidence to indicate that the site was fortified by the Picts by the 6th century AD and the early Christian missionary St Columba is reported to have visited the community there around AD 580.

    The ruins evident today have their genesis in a series of stone fortifications built during the medieval period. Here is a summary chronology:

    • Original castle was built by the Durwards in the 13th century and subsequently extended by the then powerful Comyn family post AD 1275.
    • The castle was at the forefront of the Wars of Independence between England and Scotland.Frequent changes of control occurred between 1296 and 1333 entailing heavy casualties for the defeated occupiers
    • Post 1390 the castle was an important Government held buttress against the aggressive Macdonald, Lords of the Isles raiding activities from the west.
    • By 1400 the castle had evolved into a complex and extensive fortification with a double towered gatehouse, high keep and a separate citadel.
    • The Macdonalds took the castle in 1452 but were ejected by forces of the Scottish Crown in 1456.
    • The castle was subject of extensive rebuilding in the 16th and 17th centuries by the controlling Grant family.
    • Final denouement occurred in 1692 when the occupying Government forces deliberately slighted the defences to prevent the castle falling into the hands of the Jacobite rebels.
    • The castle has not been occupied since the 17th century but has gained prominence as a major centre for the many thousands of visitors each year which visit Loch Ness and the Highlands.

    Like all medieval castles, Urquhart was a self-contained and self-reliant community. In this case the adjacent loch would have comprised the principal communication lines and means of moving supplies. The castle remains disclose many features consistent with the medieval period including gatehouse, prison, dovecot, stables, chapel, cellars, kitchens and moat. In this case the most impressive survivor is the four storey Grant Tower, a high status residence which dates from 1509. This tower remains substantially intact and visitors are free to climb the narrow stairs to the top and benefit from the stunning views of Loch Ness and surrounding area.

    At the castle are suitable facilities for visitors including refreshments, shop, wash rooms and an excellent short film.

    The castle is near the village of Drumnadrochit, about 15 miles/25 km south of the Highlands capital of  Inverness.

    Here is a video clip of the castle and surrounding scenery.


    How can Catswhiskerstours help with a Tour of Urquhart Castle?

    We can help as follows:

    • A customised tour for groups together with accommodation, if required.
    • self-drive (driving) tour of Scotland by way of package comprising rental car, lodgings and itinerary. 

    For more information and help contact Nigel:



    T: 44 (0) 141 638 5500

    We look forward to hearing from you!






    View from Grant Tower, Castle Urquhart, Loch Ness, ScotlandPiper at Castle Urquhart, ScotlandUrquhart Castle, Loch Ness, ScotlandRainbow over Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, ScotlandUrquhart Castle from Loch Ness, ScotlandPiper at Castle Urquhart, Loch NessCastle Urquhart, Loch Ness, Scotland