Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle
4.5
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
About
Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands. Climb the Grant Tower that watches over the iconic loch, peer into a miserable prison cell, said to have held the legendary Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn, and imagine the splendid banquets staged in the great hall. A more comfortable view of the iconic ruins, against a backdrop of Loch Ness and the hills of the Great Glen, can be enjoyed from the café. Urquhart’s stories are also told through a remarkable collection of artefacts left by its residents, historic replicas, including a full-sized, working trebuchet siege engine, and a short film. The castle has a distinctly Highland heritage and the site has witnessed some of the most dramatic chapters in our nation’s history. This is where St Columba is said to have worked miracles in the 6th century, where acts of chivalry and defiance provided inspiration during the Wars of Independence and where the MacDonald Lords of the Isles struggled with the Crown for power.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Connor R
    Plymouth, United Kingdom456 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good visit
    Visited the castle as part of a larger Jacobite tour. The castle is located at the bottom of the hill, so a steep slopes back up to the visitor centre. Plenty of signs telling you what was at the castle and great sights of the Loch
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 18 May 2023
  • Frances S
    34 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous old castle ruin!
    Off the charts wonderful castle worth all the attention it gets. Tons of tourists didn't ruin the experience as it is so lovely and magical. What a location right on the loch with tons of history! (great gift shop too with a cafe). Loved it all! Could have spent the day there and taken a picnic to eat outside the castle.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 May 2023
  • pfefmeister
    San Francisco, California4,089 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Love This Castle
    Perfect location on the lake affords great vistas both up and down. I prefer a castle in ruins to one that has been ‘prettied’ up. It’s fun to walk about on a sunny day and explore the wonderful rooms while occasionally sneaking a glance at the lake to catch a glimpse of Nessie. Extra star for the catapult.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 May 2023
  • galofmanycities
    Dallas, Texas234 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pretty area
    Beautiful castle. The grounds are well-maintained and the gift shop area is clean and very handy. Parking is ridiculous! They turn you away if the lot claims to be "full". My husband had to drop the kids and I off and go do "nothing" at an area down the street. They had a sign up that they were full, but when we walked into the castle area there were about 11 available spots.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 6 June 2023
  • nwaynesworld
    2,288 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Urquhart castle
    Very historic castle. I suggest you watch the short movie in the visitor centre before you walk down to the site. The site is quite beautiful, located along the shores of Loch Ness. Watch your step as you walk through the remains of the castle.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 10 June 2023
  • Leigh H
    Petersburg, Illinois29 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You MUST book parking in advance!
    Beautiful views. Well maintained. One thing to note- if you are driving a car you MUST book parking in advance! We came to the castle parking lot very early and were turned away. We had to drive back from Inverness the following day. Maybe we could have parked in the neighboring town and walked to the castle but there were so many cars and a bit chaotic so we never were told of those options. It all worked out fine for us just a wasted drive however.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Linda H
    Birmingham, United Kingdom46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous
    What a fabulous view when you walk out of the door. Seeing the castle and its history is well worth a visit, staff were very friendly and helpful, and the short film was interesting. Had a great time and the soup of the day was delicious.it’s such a beautiful site.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 5 July 2023
  • dooleymommy
    139 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely castle overlooking Ness
    Paddled into the castle, greeted by Thomas who kindly offered us to use the landing or buy tickets to see the whole castle. Worth seeing the castle, great views and £29 for two of us. Staff great, gave advice on where to eat and drink locally during a downpour! Coffee shop on site good, limited GF options .
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 July 2023
  • Ian L
    Perth, Australia749 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Loch Ness monsters’ favourite castle
    Really interesting castle to see and its history is an amazing story to read about while on the grounds. We didn’t buy a brochure; the information stands around the site were just fine to provide interesting background. They also provided an audio in English via their website that can be heard through your own phone and headphones. Don’t forget to take them! Wear comfortable shoes, there’s a lot of up and down walking required. Also recommend pre-purchasing your tickets and get allocated a most convenient PARKING BAY for FREE! We got let in to the very conveniently located car park, unlike the cars before and after us with people who hadn’t booked! This castle’s history is really colourful; great to visit. And it’s also the place Loch Ness monster goes to for fast food...
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 July 2023
  • castlesara2010
    Albany, New York131 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful view of Loch Ness
    Book your tickets ahead of time, cannot emphasize this enough. We didn't and had to go down the road and use wifi to book for after lunch. The parking lot staff will not let you park unless you have a reservation. That being said, it was definitely worth it. The reservation system ensures that this place is not overcrowded. Afternoons tend to be less busy. Staff are friendly and ready to answer any question. It was a beautiful sunny day when we visited. Be sure to go up in the tower to get views up and down Loch Ness. After your tour, be sure to drive along the A82 for other views of the loch. There are not many places to eat close by, so either pack a lunch or there is a cafe on site. If this is the first time you visited, you will want to spend the extra to get the headphones and audioguide.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 July 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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Subteach10
Asheville, NC391 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The video of the history of the castle was interesting but that is probably where the fun ended. The castle was less preserved than expected and very crowded with visitors. The shop was nice with a selection of gifts and a restaurant.
Written 14 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to review your recent visit to the castle. We are disappointed to hear that your visit did not live up to expectations. We take value for money very seriously. Whilst we unfortunately cannot take responsibility for the travel costs to get to the castle, the admission costs for the Castle are regularly reviewed to ensure value for money - our admission cost not only contributes to maintaining this beautifully historic location but also contributes to preserving our 340+ sites across Scotland. We do offer excellent value membership or explorer passes for those wanting to explore a variety of locations. We have introduced timed ticketing arrangements as part of our advance on-line ticket sales. We can assure you we continue to monitor and assess this situation, and recommend booking in advance for best value and to guarantee entry at your preferred timeslot. Thanks again for your feedback.
Written 15 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chaz King
Knoxville, TN286 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The most iconic ruin in Scotland simply must be visited. But…..you need to book online first. There’s no getting into the car park without it. Once you’re in, I’d go see the 10 min. film. It’s very well done and gives a glimpse into the history of Urquhart. There’s plenty to explore and a great coffee shop after!
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lara85
Horley, UK39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Absolutely picturesque views of Loch Ness! The location is just stunning, breathtaking actually. We had a wonderful couple of hours exploring the castle. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather.
Written 2 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Smalls1983
Horley, UK132 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We visited this beautiful castle on a rainy day, but it didn't disappoint with lots of opportunities for atmospheric looking photos! Lots of ruins to explore and lots to learn about the possible history of the castle.

If you are an English Heritage member, you can get discounted entry.

Would highly recommend!
Written 9 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PreetiKailash
London, UK77 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
It’s a beautiful castle and the story is worth knowing. We unfortunately were caught in the British weather. Strong winds and rain. Must be a sight when the weather is good. Got to look at the artefacts up close in the cinema room. Even touch and try them. Aidan was talking us through the knight’s armour and was very informative.

Watch the video of the trebuchet in the display next to the shop and cafe.

The castle itself has got a great view of the lake. Even downcast the beauty was not lost. Well maintained and very clean. If you are around would recommend a must visit.
Written 5 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew Jones
London, UK644 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
After having taken the bus from Inverness to Drumnadrochit, we walked to the castle, which was a pleasant and scenic walk taking just over half an hour. Although you get a decent view of the castle from the road and entry to the castle is a bit on the pricey side (£14.50 each when we visited), I do think it’s worth paying to see the castle up close, learn more about its history, and take in the amazing views.
Written 2 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Isabelle C
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Absolute must visit. Donate to help them preserve this unbelievable place! It takes a lot for me to be speechless but this completely took my breath away. Photos cannot do it justice. The man who did the history talk (sorry can’t remember your name) was fantastic! So knowledgeable, funny and warm.
Written 21 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

emwhitnall
Sydney, Australia544 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
A great spot if you're looking for a medieval castle and a great view over Loch Ness. There's plenty of sites to see in the castle grounds and some helpful signage so you can tell exactly what you are looking at.
Written 21 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bigpoppapump82
Leighton Buzzard, UK242 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I had been looking forward to this place so much.

But as there is so little known about the place it is just ruins.

An example of the frustration is about the chapel

“Here we think was the chapel. It might not have been. But it could have been. Or maybe another building”. Hardly informative.

Also the building work noise just ruins it.
Written 15 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to review your recent visit to the castle. We are disappointed to hear that your visit did not live up to expectations. We take value for money very seriously. Whilst we unfortunately cannot take responsibility for the travel costs to get to the castle, the admission costs for the Castle are regularly reviewed to ensure value for money - our admission cost not only contributes to maintaining this beautifully historic location but also contributes to preserving our 340+ sites across Scotland. We do offer excellent value membership or explorer passes for those wanting to explore a variety of locations. In addition, we believe there is a wealth to see and do at the Castle, including soaking up the atmosphere of one of Scotland's most famous lochs, The Grant Tower, unmissable views from its battlements, The Great Hall, the gloomy prison cell and the full-sized trebuchet. Unfortunately at the time of your visit, the cafe was being refurbished so we can continue to provide great service to our visitors. We are sorry for the impact this had on your visit. Thanks again for your feedback.
Written 26 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

amanda5805
Duncan, Canada6,873 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Urquhart Castle's origins can be traced back to the 13th century, with its strategic location making it a key stronghold during Scotland's turbulent history. Over the centuries, the castle witnessed numerous battles and sieges, playing a crucial role in shaping the nation's destiny.

Exploring the ruins of Urquhart Castle is a truly captivating experience. From the imposing gatehouse to the crumbling towers, each section of the castle tells a story of bygone days. The views from the castle grounds, overlooking the tranquil waters of Loch Ness, are simply breathtaking, providing a glimpse into the majestic beauty of Highlands.

The visitor centre features informative exhibits detailing the history of Urquhart Castle and its significance in Scottish history.

While wandering through the ruins, be sure to take in the stunning vistas of Loch Ness and the surrounding countryside.
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Urquhart Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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