The stunningly situated Urquhart Castle, perched on a promontory on the shoreline of Loch Ness, is one of Scotland’s most famous buildings. Once one of the country’s largest castles, it’s fair to say time has reduced the dwelling in stature, but despite its ruinous state, there’s more than enough here to draw in the crowds. While its tower house offers magnificent views over the iconic Loch Ness and Great Glen, there’s plenty to see elsewhere including a full-sized working trebuchet siege engine and a memorable collection of medieval artefacts. The squalid prison cell is even alleged to have held the famous Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn. Famously, Urquhart Castle is where St Columba is alleged to have performed miracles in the 6th century. It’s also changed hands countless times in the past, belonging at one time to noble families like the Durwards and Grants, and once having been under the control of Robert the Bruce. Visitors can learn more about the castle’s history from an exhibition in the new visitors’ centre, which also contains a great little gift shop and a cafe that looks out onto the loch. Idyllic.
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