Eilan Donan Castle

Amazing Highland Castle Experiences from Inverness Loch Ness

You can’t think of the Highlands without thinking Castles – and Inverness Loch Ness is a great base from which to explore and experience some of the most stunning Scottish Castles on offer. Here we take a look at castles accessible from our area – from the well known landmarks to the hidden gems!

Achnagairn Castle

The site of Achnagairn Castle has been occupied for at least 400 years, with the current castle dating from 1812 - now in use as a Scottish Castle Hotel.
This castle is steeped in history – just look at the stone in the library fireplace which reads 1663 or the crest on the exterior wall with the Latin inscription that reads “Peaceful but Prepared for Battle” as a reminder of the area’s turbulent past in the days of Highland clan wars.
If you want to visit Achnagairn you can choose to book a stay, or alternatively treat yourself to an amazing dining experience in the newly opened and acclaimed Table Manors Restaurant (http://www.perfect-manors.com/achnagairn-estate/food-drink/table-manors-restaurant-bar/) which serves delicious Scottish food cooked with flair using amazing fresh locally sourced ingredients.

Aldourie Castle

Sitting on the southern shore of Loch Ness, Aldourie Castle is the only habitable castle on the water’s edge, and is now used as a 5* exclusive hire property. The dwelling site is first recorded as a Lairds house in 1626 and Aldourie achieved castle status in the 19th Century with the current structure being the result of 220 years of evolution and updates – resulting in an amazing traditional castle offering stunning 21st Century accommodation.
Want to visit Aldourie? It’s a great place for a wedding or family house party – with it’s opulent interiors and 500 acre estate to explore. Aldourie Caslte on the shore of Loch NessImage: Dave Conner used under licence

Dunrobin Castle

The most northerly of Scotland’s great houses, Dunrobin Castle dates back to the 1300s and is built in the style of a French Chateau with its fairy tale spires that tower above the Sutherland coastline.
Still a private residence, Dunrobin Castle is open to the public from April to mid-October, allowing visitors an opportunity to explore the historic building and beautiful seaside gardens. There are daily falconry shows which are popular with all the family as well as an interesting museum to natural history located within the grounds. Dunrobin Castle SutherlandImage: Paul Wordingham under license

Eilean Donan Castle

An easy day-trip from the Loch Ness area, Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic images. The Castle itself sits on an island in the Kyle of Lochalsh, at the meeting point of three sea lochs. The site has been inhabited since the sixth century and there has been a fortified castle at the location for more than 600 years, although the current castle is at least the fourth incarnation of Eilean Donan.
The Castle is open to visitors from February to December and there is a visitors’ centre on site.

 

Eilean Donan CastleImage: Diliff under license

Kincraig Castle

Sitting above the Cromarty Firth, to the North of Inverness, Kincraig Castle is a little known Highland Castle, that now operates as a hotel as well as offering fine dining in a cosy castle setting.
Try afternoon tea by the log fire in the Kincraig Lounge (booking is advisable) or treat yourself to an a la carte evening experience from award winning chefs in the Alexander Restaurant. Alternatively, book a room and sit back to enjoy the fine selections of whiskies on offer in the Turret Bar! Kincraig Castle HotelImage: Geoff Gill under license

Urquhart Castle

Our area’s own most well known edifice is, of course, Urquhart Castle, whose ruins stand above the waters of the legendary Loch Ness.
This medieval fortress site has seen 1,000 years of Highland history and is now managed by historic Scotland with a visitor centre on site offering a find day out for all the family. Keep an eye open for special events throughout the summer season and don’t forget to stop in the tea room for coffee and cake!