Scottish castle in Inverness city centre

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle is a grand red sandstone building, overlooking the River Ness. The first castle on this site was constructed in 1057, but it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since then. Today’s structure dates from 1836, and it currently houses Inverness Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court. Although most of the castle is closed to the public, the north tower is accessible as a viewpoint. There are plans to open up more of the building in future, as the court is soon due to move to another location.

Inverness Castle Viewpoint

The Inverness Castle Viewpoint offers amazing 360° views of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.

On entering the attraction, you’ll be presented with a film, which shows drone footage of the view that awaits you, and points out several visible landmarks. You can then climb to the top of the north tower for spectacular vistas from the viewing platform. See how many famous landmarks you can spot. Plus, learn more about some of the most famous myths associated with the surrounding area. Such as The Brahan Seer, a Highland mystic who made many a true prediction. And of course, our legendary Nessie, a serpentine monster said to lurk in the depths of Loch Ness.

History of Inverness Castle

The story goes that King Malcolm III of Scotland built the first Inverness Castle in 1057 to replace an earlier castle around a kilometre away, which he destroyed, and in which Macbeth is said to have murdered Duncan I. However, Robert The Bruce burnt this structure to the ground in 1308, during the Wars of Scottish Independence, to prevent the English from occupying it.

Over its history, the castle has been sieged, raided, destroyed and rebuilt many times over. For example, the Macdonald clan attacked the castle on many occasions during the Lord of the Isles era. The clans Fraser and Munro stormed the castle for Mary Queen of Scots in 1562, when the Earl of Huntly denied her entry. And during the Jacobite rebellions, it was used as an early version of Fort George, a military stronghold for the British army, and was again destroyed in 1746.

Architect William Burn designed the current castle in 1836 as a court building, and this is still its use today. However, there is now a public viewpoint and plans to convert the castle into a historic tourist attraction in the near future.


View of Inverness Castle across the River Ness Red sandstone tower of Inverness Castle Two children looking out at the view from Inverness Castle


Children welcome
Local History


Inverness Castle

Telephone Number

01349 781700