Located on one of the most famous lochs, Urquhart Castle Scotland also known as the Loch Ness Castle has played a major role in Scottish History.
Nowadays the ruins of the Stronghold are open to the public or can simply be admired from the road.
Before my tips + photos, here are my favorites for Scotland:
My favorite platform to rent a car in Scotland: DiscoverCars
The unmissable boat tour: Seal spotting on Loch Linnhe from Fort William
My favorite excursion from Edinburgh: Glenfinnan and Glencoe
The Loch Ness Castle – Video
Located on the most famous loch in Scotland, Urquhart castle is sometimes called the Loch Ness Castle as it might be easier to remember…
The ruins date from the 13th century to the 16th century, but there were earlier medieval fortifications on the site. Through the centuries the stronghold of Urquhart has played a significant part in the Scottish history and inspired poets and artists.
It is located at 2/3 of the Loch Ness towards the North on a headland. The Loch Ness is of course famous for its monster Nessie. It is the second largest loch by surface area and the most famous loch in Scotland.
Let’s start with a short video of the drive to and the views of Urquhart Castle Scotland, alias the Loch Ness Castle:
PLANNING TIPS – Urquhart Castle Scotland
Getting to Urquhart Castle Scotland
- Along Loch Ness, Near Drumnadrochit on A82
- Postcode: IV63 5XJ
- 30min from Inverness, 2h15 from Portree, 3h30 from Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Loch Ness Tours from Edinburgh can be done in 1 Day
The GPS coordinates and location on a practical map are available on my travel guide (it facilitates the planning of your itinerary)
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- 15 maps to easily plan your itinerary
- 170+ pre-selected locations
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- Tips to make the most of your time
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Visiting the Loch Ness Castle
- All facilities on site
- Price: £12
- Opening hours: 9:30am to 6pm or 8pm in Summer, 9:30 to 4:30pm in Winter (last entry 45 min before closing)
- Plan 1 hour to explore the ground and admire the artefact, 15 minutes if only watching from the outside (from the carpark and the road, see below in the post)
- The visitor center presents the history of the castle, with examples of weapons and everyday objects. A short film is also projected
- Visitors can climb the remains of the castle’s tower for views of Loch Ness
- Drumnadrochit is the main town nearby. See my Scotland Accommodations page for information about where I stayed
Driving along Loch Ness, Scotland
The drive on A82 takes you on the Western shore of Loch Ness. The second largest in Scotland by surface and the first one by volume, the loch is surrounded by low hills.
I must admit that this was not my favorite loch. It gets very touristy, but it is a lot less scenic because of the lower mountains, especially if you compare it to Loch Leven for example.
The ruins of the Loch Ness Castle are on a headland where the loch gets wider:
Need to rent a car in Scotland?
- Compare prices on my favorite platform: Discovercars.com – one of the best rated comparison sites!
- Prefer a compact car for the single-lane roads
- Consider their full coverage option – it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Access to Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle Scotland is well indicated
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Views from the carpark
I arrived too late the visit Urquhart Castle. So, I looked for places to see it from the outside. Along the carpark there are many trees, but a few openings allow you to see the ruins with the loch Ness behind them. You will just have to wait for your turn as there are not many openings (as least when I visited).
Here are a few shots:
Views from the road
But if you walk up the carpark and along the road, where the loch is the widest, you get unobstructed views of the Loch Ness Castle as well as nice views of Loch Ness.
I was lucky that at the end of May the flowers were blooming, giving me a little bit of sunshine as the clouds were covering the sky.
As you can see not much remains of the ruins, so I was not disappointed to not being able to visit.
If you want to have a look at pictures of the Loch Ness Castle from the inside, check out Sara’s post about Urquhart Castle Scotland. That way you can decide if you think it is worth it.
Where to stay in Scotland?
- Edinburgh to explore the fascinating city – see best-rated accommodations
- Portree to explore the isle of Skye – see best rated accommodations
- Glencoe to take time in the magnificent valley – see best rated accommodations
- Ullapool for the West coast on the North 500 – see best rated accommodations
- Thurso for the North coast + ferry – see best rated accommodations
- Kirkwall to explore the Orkneys – see best rated accommodations
- Inverness for the Speyside whiskies – see best rated accommodations
And keep track of your own trip!
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