Join us as we embark on a journey through time and explore the spellbinding allure of the remarkable castles near Inverness.
Amidst the rugged landscapes and misty lochs of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness stands as a gateway to a bygone era filled with tales of clans, battles, and ancient fortresses. But what truly captures the imagination are the enigmatic castles that dot the landscape, each with its own story to tell. These magnificent symbols of power and prestige have witnessed centuries of history unfold within their walls, and exploring them is like stepping into a living time capsule.
As you venture into the vicinity of Inverness, you’ll be drawn into a world where legends come alive and where every stone has a whispered secret to share. From imposing strongholds perched on craggy cliffs to picturesque ruins steeped in mystery, these castles offer a captivating glimpse into Scotland’s rich heritage.
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Inverness Castle has two castellated buildings. The first dates from the 1830s and was built for the purpose of a courthouse. The second, completed in the 1840s, served as the prison. Sitting on the banks of the River Ness at the heart of Inverness, the castle is easily the most prominent structure, towering above the city and allowing for beautiful views beyond.
Loch an Eilein Castle
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Loch an Eilein Castle is hidden in the forest of Rothiemurchus is Loch an Eilein. The beautiful water, ancient pine trees and mountain views are all part of the charm, but the 13th-century island castle in the middle of the loch is the real jewel in the crown. Loch an Eilein translates from Gaelic as “Loch of the Island.”
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Stand in awe of Fort George, one of the most wonderful fortifications in Europe. It was built in the wake of the Battle of Culloden (1746) as a secure base for King George II’s army. Fort George took 22 years to complete, by which time the Jacobite threat had subsided. But it has served the British Army for almost 250 years since.
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Castle Leod is one of the most unspoilt castles in the Highlands. The castle has been lived in by the same family for well over 500 years and is the Seat of Clan Mackenzie. The castle and family have been at the epicentre of Highland and Scottish politics, heavily involved in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 as well as other adventures.
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Discover more than 1,000 years of history centred on the Great Glen. Urquhart Castle is on the shore of Loch Ness. 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.
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Beaufort Castle or Castle Dounie is a Baronial-style mansion built in 1880 that incorporates older building work. It is situated on the right bank of the River Beauly near the town of Beauly in Inverness. The Castle stands on a slightly elevated rise on the south side of the River Beauly, with parkland extending to its southwest and east.
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Acres of gentle Moray countryside surround Brodie Castle, the ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years. Take a guided tour to see how changing times have altered the castle’s shape and purpose. The 16th-century guard chamber is flanked on one side by a cosy 17th-century wing and on the other by a sprawling Victorian extension.
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Cawdor is a traditional Scottish Castle built and inhabited by the Cawdor family for over 600 years. There is an ancient medieval tower constructed around the legendary holly tree. Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century, built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor.
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Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens has been a family home since the Sixteenth Century. Ballindalloch Castle is one of the finest surviving examples of a Scottish Baronial Castle; tourists flock from around the globe to visit this ‘Pearl of the North.’
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Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands. Dunrobin Castle is also one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses, dating back to the early 1300s, home to the Earls and, later, the Dukes of Sutherland. The Castle, which resembles a French château with its towering conical spires, has seen the architectural influences of Sir Charles Barry, who designed London’s Houses of Parliament.
In conclusion, the castles near Inverness offer a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s rich history and heritage. From the imposing stronghold of Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness to the fairy-tale-like Cawdor Castle with its stunning gardens, visitors are treated to a diverse range of architectural styles and historical narratives. Exploring these ancient fortresses provides an opportunity to step back in time and imagine the lives of those who once resided within their walls. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking picturesque landscapes, the castles near Inverness are sure to captivate and inspire. Don’t miss the chance to delve into this world of medieval grandeur and beauty during your visit to Scotland’s enchanting Highlands.