Urquhart Castle Tours

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Set on the shore of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle attracts many visitors that come here in hopes of glimpsing Nessie, the loch’s fabled aquatic monster. The ruined medieval fortress, which was destroyed in 1762 to prevent it from becoming a Jacobite stronghold, now houses a visitor center that exhibits objects found amid the ruins.
 
The Basics
Almost all organized tours that come to Loch Ness, whether from Inverness, Invergordon, Glasgow, or even Edinburgh, include at least a glimpse of Urquhart Castle. Many tours combine a visit to the crumbling gray-stone castle with a sightseeing cruise on Loch Ness or the Caledonian Canal, while other tours make stops at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and the Bronze Age Clava Cairns.
 
Explore the castle ruins independently, wander around the battlements, admire the splendor of the Great Hall, scan the lake’s surface for the Loch Ness monster, and examine medieval artifacts on show at the castle’s visitor center. Historic Scotland Explorer Pass holders visit for free.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • With its rich history of battles, Urquhart Castle is an absolute must for history enthusiasts.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and bring rain gear, as much of the ruins are exposed to the elements.
  • Most of the castle is accessible via paved paths, with the exception of the guardhouse, the battlements, and the first floor and basement of Grant Tower.
 
How to Get There
Urquhart Castle is situated on the west bank of Loch Ness near Drumnadrochit. From Inverness, drive south along the A82 for around 30 minutes. Buses (including the 19, 917, and 919) connect Inverness bus station to Urquhart Castle.
 
When to Get There
The castle is busiest in summer, when lines often form at the staircase at Grant Tower and the parking lot occasionally fills. Arrive just after opening, or an hour or two before closing, to experience the ruins at their quietest. During the winter months, the castle ruins are peaceful, and moody weather adds to the atmosphere.
 
The History of Urquhart Castle
Urquhart has a long and tumultuous history, with a castle having stood here since at least the 13th century. The fortress was seized, reclaimed, damaged, and restored many times between then and the 17th century. In 1762, the gatehouse was blown up to prevent Jacobites from moving in and establishing a base here. Nowadays, the Historic Environment Scotland manages the evocative ruins.
Location
Address: Drumnadrochit, Scotland
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Admission: Varies
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13 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise Including Urquhart Castle

Witness the mythical splendor of Loch Ness and the ruins of Urquhart Castle on this 2.5-hour coach and boat trip from Inverness. Leave behind the bustle of the city for a scenic drive to Clansman Harbour (until April) or Dochgarroch (April - Sep), your cruise launch point. Take a leisurely boat ride to Urquhart Castle – keeping your eyes peeled for the famed Loch Ness monster! – where you’ll learn about the site’s bloody history and enjoy scenic views of the Scottish countryside.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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USD36.29
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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USD36.29

Loch Ness Cruise Including Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

Soak up the myth and mystery of Loch Ness on a 3.5-hour tour from Inverness. Take a scenic drive to Clansman Harbour with a knowledgeable guide. From there, cruise the still waters of Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. Explore the ruins and learn about the site’s grisly history, then continue to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to hear about the legendary water monster, Nessie.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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USD45.36
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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USD45.36

Full-Day Outlander Experience in the Scottish Highlands from Inverness

Discover filming locations from the hit TV show Outlander on this private full-day tour from Inverness and benefit from the inside knowledge of a local guide. Marvel at historic sites such as the Clava Cairns and Culloden Battlefield; admire natural scenery including the Monadhliath Mountains, Loch Ness, and Fraser Cave; and visit Urquhart Castle, Beauly, and Castle Leoch.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD518.40
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD518.40

Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise

Set sail across the misty waters of Loch Ness and discover the eerie legend of the Loch Ness Monster on this 1-hour sightseeing cruise from Inverness.  Cruise past the majestic ruins of Urquhart Castle as you explore one of Britain’s largest freshwater lakes and use the ship’s sonar system to seek out the loch’s notorious resident.
  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD18.14
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  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD18.14

Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle Visit from Inverness

Explore Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle on a 4-hour cruise tour from Inverness. Board the 'Jacobite Rebel' cruise boat at Dochgarroch Lock, and sail down the Caledonian Canal and Loch Dochfour to Loch Ness, Britain’s largest body of water by volume and famous for its mythical monster. Admire the scenery, hear stories about Loch Ness’ history, and enjoy two hours to explore 13th-century Urquhart Castle on the lochside before another hour of cruising.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD45.36
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD45.36

Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Sail Loch Ness and View Urquhart Castle

Explore the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness by boat, and enjoy sweeping views over Urquhart Castle on this 3.5-hour sightseeing cruise from Inverness. Choose the tour time to suit your schedule, then cruise out along the Caledonian Canal to Loch Ness with a guide. Admire the 13th- to 16th-century ruins of Urquhart Castle from the waves, and gain insight into Loch Ness’ rich history and mythology. This sightseeing cruise includes round-trip travel from Tomnahurich Bridge in Inverness.
  • Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes
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USD31.10
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  • Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes
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USD31.10

Invergordon Shore Excursion: Loch Ness, Inverness and Urquhart Castle

Make the most of your time on land with this shore excursion. Explore the medieval city of Inverness, with its cathedral and castle; embark upon a cruise on Loch Ness (famed home of the monster), and visit the ruins of the shoreside Urquhart Castle, which played a major role in the Wars of Scottish Independence. Port pickup and drop-off is included.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD217.73
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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USD217.73

Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield from Inverness

Immerse yourself in Scotland’s spectacular natural landscapes on an 8-hour tour of the Scottish Highlands from Inverness. In a small group limited to eight, you’ll visit Loch Ness, home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster, and observe bottlenose dolphins at Chanonry Point. Plus, you’ll stop at the Clava Cairns (Stones of Clava), Culloden Battlefield, and Glen Ord Whiskey Distillery.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD90.72
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD90.72

Isle of Skye Full Day 8-Seater Bus Tour from Inverness

Check out the Isle of Skye on a 10-hour day trip from Inverness. With a Scottish local in a kilt as your driver-guide, you’ll discover the history behind the island plus some famous landmarks along the way. Pass Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, then cross Skye Bridge to spend time on the island itself. Visit the town of Portree, travel through the Cuillin mountains, and discover beguiling natural sights such as the Old Mann of Storr. Numbers are limited to just eight people for a small-group experience.
  • Duration: 8 to 11 hours
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USD103.68
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  • Duration: 8 to 11 hours
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USD103.68

The Complete Loch Ness Experience Day Tour from Inverness

Explore the landscape and legends of Loch Ness and the Highlands on a sightseeing tour from Inverness by luxury mini coach. Take an optional cruise across the loch to see Urquhart Castle, enjoy an easy-going walk from Invermoriston, then see the picturesque villages of Foyers and Dores. This 7-hour Highlands tour includes pickup and drop-off at a central location in Inverness, and it’s limited to six people for personal service.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
USD31.10
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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USD31.10

Kilt Rock and Fairy Pools Isle of Skye

Explore Scotland’s most stunning natural and cultural sights on this guided Isle of Skye outdoors tour from Inverness. Highlights include hikes through the Fairy Glen and Fairy Pools plus a visit to 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, a Highlands icon. Cover more attractions in less time by comfortable minivan, stopping for a first-hand peek at Loch Ness, Kilt Rock, and Urquhart Castle.
  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD103.68
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  • Duration: 12 hours
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USD103.68

Full-Day Glenfinnan and Glencoe 8 Seater Tour from Inverness

From ancient ruins to cinematic landscapes, Loch Ness to Ben Nevis, see the Scottish Highlands’ key sights in the space of a single day. With just a small group for company, you’ll travel by climate-controlled bus, and will trade the bustle of Inverness for the beauty of the countryside. Visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle, see the Glenfinnan Viaduct (made famous in the Harry Potter films), and more.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD103.68
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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USD103.68

Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Sail on Loch Ness and View Urquhart Castle

Seek out Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, on a 2-hour cruise from Dochgarroch Lock. The boat is fitted with a special Nessie sonar, but if the elusive monster doesn’t show up, the area's other sights will charm you instead. Pass along the Caledonian Canal into Loch Ness to see Urquhart Castle, Bona Lighthouse, and the crash site of a World War II bomber. You'll learn about the loch’s history and legends as you cruise.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
USD25.92
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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USD25.92


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