The fog we spotted just before leaving our caravan has disappeared by the time we arrived at Loch Ness. The mystery of the monster was lurking around but the only thing I wanted to admire today was the loch and the ruins of the Urquhart Castle. Just a few white clouds wandered above our heads, before the sun pushed them aside. Ruins of Urquhart Castle, spellbound by time, were sitting in exactly the same spot I saw them for the first time five years ago. The thought struck me as silly. Why would anything change within five years if the castle been here, more or less, since XIII century?
Every time I visit Urquhart Castle I am always bewitched by the ruins. In my mind I am rebuilding what was destroyed by 500 years of medieval conflict, when the castle was changing its owners almost daily. Reclaimed and lost over and over again during uncertain times of building Scottish independence, the castle bores the scars of its disturbing history. Almost completely destroyed in XVII century to prevent Jacobite forces to settle in, the ruins became an essential part of scenic bank of Loch Ness.
Yesterday I was admiring incredible rainbow over Island of Stroma, today I was looking at the Urquhart Castle from the top of north-western shore of Loch Ness. I spotted a small boat cutting through the calm waters of Loch Ness. People were admiring the ruins from a different angle, looking at the sun playing between the empty walls. Did they know the history behind the ruins or was it just another nice view they spotted, cutting the calm waters of Loch Ness?
I climbed the tower – the “newest” addition to the largest castle in Scotland. The view across was amazing! The sun played on the water and the boat left a trace, moving further, leaving the ruins untouched and undisturbed. Unlike the ground visitors, noisy with their cameras, taking pictures with the ruins as a background, drinking tea and coffee at the terrace of a café. Urquhart Castle is one of the “musts” if you visiting Scotaland, but unlike many tourist attractions you can read about in the travel guides, this castle is worth visiting. The view cannot disappoint!
Climb the Grant Tower to see incredible view over Loch Ness, wander around the remains of the walls of gatehouse and learn the history of the castle and its inhabitants through incredibly detailed descriptions you can spot on your journey. Visit the remains of a chapel and discover sad history of the prisoner, left in a small cell with no windows in the wall. Find out what medieval women and men life was like, they believes and every day chores. Learn about last heroic and desperate decision made to save the castle…
We were like everybody else. After exploring almost every stone and letting our eyes rest over lavishly green grass, we have enjoyed a cup of coffee on the terrace of a café, trying to imprint in our minds marvellous view over the home of mysterious Nessie.
Information on how to get to the Urquhart Castle , the tickets cost and opening hours are available here.