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I know, what could be more stereotypical “American in Scotland” than wanting to see Loch Ness and maybe, just maybe, getting a glimpse of the famous Nessie? But I was desperate for highlands, glens and lochs.
The drive down from Inverness to Urquhart Castle isn’t long (maybe 20 miles?), but it’s fantastically windy and narrow! Seeing the breathtaking landscape alone was worth any amount of driving. It started getting rainy on our way there, but thankfully it never got worse than a drizzle.
Upon arrival you walk into a visitor’s center, purchase tickets (or flash your Historic Scotland passes! Save that £8.50 adult admission), and then walk down a large spiraling staircase into a den of Scotland tourist trinkets, coffee and snacks.
Much to Casey’s dismay, we skipped out on the introductory video so we’d have more time to tour the actual castle. He made up for it by reading EVERY placard 😉
Here’s a brief snippet from the Historic Environment Scotland:
Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress. Control of the castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence. The power struggles continued, as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s.
The last of the government troops garrisoned here during the Jacobite Risings blew up the castle when they left. Urquhart’s iconic ruins remain, offering glimpses into medieval times and the lives of its noble residents.
Since Casey is here studying medieval history, you can image he was loving this spot! He was totally drooling over the trebuchet and giant ammunition stones. Personally, I just couldn’t get over the views!
The coolest thing? We stood right in front of the deepest part of Loch Ness (pictures below!) that’s a whopping 744 ft. deep! (That’s skyscraper-tall!) Casey and I swore we saw Nessie’s shadow 😉
So should you go? Of course! Ruins are awesome, the views are incredible and seriously, are you going to come to Scotland and miss Loch Ness? I think not 😉
So what do you think? Will you go?
Interested in the rest of our trip?
- Part One: The Itinerary
- Part Two: Renting an Electric Car
- Part Three: Killiecrankie and Blair Castle
- Part Four: Inverness
- Part Five: Clava Cairns and Culloden Battlefield
- Part Six: Fort George Military Fortress