Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Picturesque Ruin - Urquhart Castle, Highland, Scotland

The castle's tower
After a brief stop in Glencoe we headed to Urquhart Castle, about 3 km from the village Drumnadrochit. The castle has a panoramic view overlooking Loch Ness. It is rumored that Loch Ness monster (nessie) was sighted in this area.

The castle is opened to public all year and the entrance fee is 7pound. The 8 minutes film show on the history of the castle must not be missed to understand the present state of the castle. Some may think the entrance fee is expensive for a tour to the crumbling walls but think of it as a donation to preserve this historical site and ruins. But if you are not interested in the history, I suppose viewing it from the car park would suffice.

It had gone through a turbulent history of wars and changed hands several times. The English army captured Urquhart in 1296 but was taken back by the Scottish legendary warrior, William Wallace two years after that. The MacDonald captured the castle in 1545. In 1691 the castle was blown up to prevent the stronghold of the Jacobites. Today, the remnant of the castle is owned by The National Trust for Scotland.

From a small jetty near the castle, we took a cruise on Loch Ness and as we moved far away from the ruin, the beauty of the castle is left to our imagination.

A view from the walking trail
The ruined castle with Loch Ness in the background
The little jetty where we took the cruise
The castle ruin
Spring around Urquhart castle
View of the castle as we cruised further
A view on the bank of Loch Ness

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