Urquhart Castle was an unscheduled stop as we headed farther north into Scotland to Loch Ness. We saw the signs and thought, you know what is better than exploring a castle? Exploring TWO castles!
Urquhart Castle was founded in the 13th century but it was built on earlier medieval fortifications. It played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence, was the site of many sieges, and was occupied until the 17th century when it was partially destroyed to prevent Jacobite use.
During the Revolution of 1688 when King James the VII was deposed, Ludovic Grant of Freuchie (who had ownership of Urquhart Castle), sided with William of Orange and garrisoned the castle with 200 of his soldiers. They were besieged by 500 Jacobites but were able to hold them off until the defeat of the main Jacobite force. When the soldiers left, they blew up the gatehouse to prevent further occupation. The above photo is broken masonry from the destruction of the gatehouse.
View of the Grant Tower, built in the 16th century. This is where the lords and their families lived and entertained guests.
After exploring Urquhart, we proceeded to the Clansman Hotel –it is situated on Loch Ness and offers amazing panoramic views of the mysterious lake.
Loch Ness! Can you spot Nessie? No?
That’s because he was posing for pictures.
I took this picture around 11 PM from our room. Being so far north, it didn’t get dark until about midnight. The sun rose around 4 AM. We may or may not have kept our eyes open the whole time for another glimpse of Nessie.