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Urquhart Castle

Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid views.

Urquhart Castle

The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state.

Urquhart was once one of Scotland’s largest castles. Its remains include a tower house – the most recent building on the site – that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen.

Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 1200s to the 1600s was particularly bloody. Following the invasion of King Edward I of England in 1296, it fell into English hands and was then reclaimed and lost again. In the 1300s it figured prominently in the Scots’ struggle for independence and came under the control of Robert the Bruce after he became King of Scots in 1306.

In the 1400s and 1500s, the castle and glen were frequently raided from the west by the ambitious MacDonald Lords of the Isles.

The castle’s history is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle. It also tells the stories of the noble families who held the castle at different times: the Durwards, MacDonalds and Grants.

The visitor centre contains a café, a shop, an exhibition and interpretation area, an audio-visual presentation and toilets, all on one level. Its veranda offers stunning views of the loch.

Take your young explorers on four exciting Discover Explore missions at Urquhart Castle!


  • The location – strategically sited on a rocky promontory, with stunning views up and down Loch Ness.
  • The Grant Tower – the views from the battlements should not be missed.
  • The Urquhart Ewer and other artefacts – recovered during excavations, are displayed in the visitor centre.
Green Tourism Award - Gold


Region – North and Grampian
Postcode: IV63 6XJ

Opening arrangements

25 Mar - 30 Sept, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30am to 6.00pm (last entry 5.15pm)

1 - 31 Oct, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30am to 5.00pm (last entry 4.15pm)

1 Nov - 24 Mar, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30am to 4.30pm (last entry 3.45pm)

Admission prices

All year
Adult £8.50, Child £5.10, Concession £6.80

Events at Urquhart Castle

<< May 2016 >>
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5 May 2016

Weaving the Unicorn exhibition

Stirling Castle

Event information

David Roberts Exhibition

Duff House

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Kaleidoscope II

Duff House

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Ring of Brodgar Walk

Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge

Event information

Bolts and Bodkins

Edinburgh Castle

Event information