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Urquhart Castle Tours

Urquhart Castle
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.
Address: Drumnadrochit, Scotland
Admission: Varies
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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
  • Duration: 6 hours
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US$215.33
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Loch-Ness, Urquhart Castle & Culloden Battlefield

This tour provides you with unique experience in the Highlands. Travelling in a minivan allows you to see all the hidden gems and go to places where touring coaches can't go.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$672.90
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3-Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

Marvel at the majesty of rural Scotland on this 3-day Isle of Skye and Highlands tour from Edinburgh. Visit the Culloden Battlefield with a guide and learn of Scotland’s Jacobite Rising. Enjoy an optional Loch Ness cruise or Urquhart Castle visit, and gaze over Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh. Discover a relaxed pace of life in the harbor town of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Take an optional whisky distillery tour in Fort William, then take in the lochs of Tulla and Lomond on route to Edinburgh.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Duration: 3 days
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US$288.39
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Glencoe, Loch Ness, and The Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

See the best of Scotland in one action-packed day on this Glencoe, Loch Ness and the Highlands tour from Edinburgh. Pass Stirling Castle on route to Kilmahog with a guide, then continue through Rannoch Moor to the soaring Highland peaks of Glen Coe. Head along the banks of Loch Linnhe to Fort William and gaze over Ben Nevis — Scotland’s highest mountain. Enjoy free time to explore Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, and learn the famous legend of Nessie! Visit Inverness, then travel through the mighty Grampian Mountains to Edinburgh.
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Duration: 12 hours
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US$62.80
From  
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Isle of Skye Full Day 8-Seater Bus Tour from Inverness

Check out the Isle of Skye on a 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 Man of Storr. Numbers are limited to just eight people for a small-group experience.
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Duration: 11 hours
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US$102.54
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5-Day Best of Scotland Experience from Edinburgh

Get a comprehensive look at Scotland during this 5-day journey through its rugged and rural landscapes. Travel through the Lowlands, Northern Highlands, West Coast and the Isle of Skye, including a stop at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle plus a seasonal railway ride on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. Enjoy overnight stays in Oban and Fort Augustus , and a 2-night stay in Isle of Skye , with daily breakfasts included
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Duration: 5 days
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3-Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour from Glasgow

Explore the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye on this 3-day tour from Glasgow. Travel through the magnificent Highlands region to the Culloden Battlefield with a guide, and gain insight into the Jacobite Rising. Head along the banks of Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle, and take in top attractions such as Eilean Donan Island, Loch Long and the Isle of Skye. Admire fine views over the Cuillin Mountains and visit the harbor town of Portree. Perhaps enjoy a whiskey-tasting tour at a Fort William distillery, then explore Glen Coe.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Duration: 3 days
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2-Day Loch Ness and Inverness Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

Discover the Scottish Highlands on a leisurely 2-day trip from Edinburgh that includes overnight accommodation at a hotel or bed & breakfast. Visit two of Scotland’s most popular spots — Loch Ness and Inverness — during scenic drives among pine forests, dramatic castles and charming villages, with an optional boat ride on Loch Ness. Travel by minivan with a small group limited to 16 passengers for a personalized experience with your informative guide.
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Duration: 2 days
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US$190.98
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5-Day Best of Scotland Experience from Glasgow

Discover the best of rural Scotland on this adventurous 5-day tour from Glasgow. Travel into the Trossachs National Park with a guide to Kilmartin Glen, and enjoy uninterrupted views over the iconic Loch Lomond. Explore the pretty coastal town of Oban, admire the soaring peaks of Glen Coe and hop aboard the Jacobite Steam Train for a rail journey to remember! Take the ferry to the Isle of Skye to explore Sligachan and the Trotternish Peninsula. Visit the coastal town of Portree and Corrieshalloch Gorge on route back to Glasgow.
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Duration: 5 days
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Historic Scotland Explorer Pass

Build your own custom (and cost-efficient!) tour of Scotland’s best attractions with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass! With your 5-day or 14-day pass, visit castles, cathedrals, distilleries and more! Make the most of the advanced ticket entry at popular sites like Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, and discounted audio tours at select venues. With free entry to more 77 attractions around the country, the Explorer Pass offers something for the whole family.
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Duration: 5 days
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US$39.73
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Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield from Inverness

Immerse yourself in Scotland’s spectacular natural landscapes on a day 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
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$89.72
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3-Day Isle of Skye Inverness Highlands and Glenfinnan Viaduct Tour from Edinburgh

Explore the Scottish Highlands with this three-day tour from Edinburgh. Skip the hassle of a rental car and kick back in an air-conditioned coach with a local guide. Hear stories of Scotland’s history as you visit the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, and Inverness. This tour offers an immersive experience into one of the most scenic areas of the Scottish countryside.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Duration: 3 days
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US$203.79
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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
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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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
  • Duration: 4 hours
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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
  • Duration: 8 hours
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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: 10 hours
  • Duration: 10 hours
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Invergordon port Lochness tour

Enjoy the flexibility of a customizable tour to the Scottish Highlands: choose between standard and executive vehicles, skip stops that don’t interest you and add those that do. Benefit from the local knowledge of your driver as you visit attractions of your choosing, such as Beauly Priory, Urquhart Castle, or Inverness Castle and make the most of your time in one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions.
  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
From  
US$192.26
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Small Group 3-Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

Escape the city and explore the Scottish countryside with this three-day tour from Edinburgh. Leave the driving to your guide and admire the beauty of the Highlands during the ride. The itinerary includes a whisky tasting on the Isle of Skye, a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, and a cruise on Loch Ness. The small-group tour is limited to 16 passengers to ensure an intimate atmosphere.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Duration: 3 days
From  
US$346.06
From  
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2-Day Inverness and the Highlands Small Group Tour from Edinburgh

Experience the enchantment of the Scottish Highlands on a small-group, 2-day trip from Edinburgh. As you travel through spectacular scenery, visit historical highlights like Doune Castle and witness the natural splendor of Loch Ness and Glen Coe. Delve into the history of Culloden battlefield, take a riverside stroll at Dunkeld and recognize Glenfinnian Viaduct, famed for its role in the ‘Harry Potter’ films. B&B or hostel accommodation is reserved but not included in the price. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 16 people.
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Duration: 2 days
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US$103.82
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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
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$35.89
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Loch Ness, Whisky and Outlander Day Tour from Inverness

Get out of town and into the scenic countryside—without the hassle of driving—on this guided tour from Inverness. Head for the famed Loch Ness, where you will have the option to join a cruise to the ruins of Urquhart Castle or to explore the nearby village of Drumnadrochit. Enjoy some free time in Beauly, visit Culloden battlefield, and join an (optional) tour of a whisky distillery.
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Duration: 9 hours
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US$57.68
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5 Day Orkney, Ullapool & the Northern Highlands from Glasgow

This 5 day Orkney tour takes in the best Scotland has to offer. Experience the Orkney Islands, spend overnight in Ullapool, part of the North Coast 500, and see wildlife, lochs, castles and more.
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Duration: 5 days
From  
US$383.23
From  
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Loch Ness and the Highlands tour from Inverness

Loch Ness is Scotland’s most famous loch. Spend a day Nessie-hunting, take a cruise on the mysterious loch, explore the village of Fort Augustus, visit the ruined loch-side Urquhart Castle, admire the Falls of Foyers and wander along Dores Beach on this fantastic one day Loch Ness tour from Inverness!
  • Duration: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Duration: 8 hours 45 minutes
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US$49.99
From  
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Inverness Local Day Tour

All our guests are first class, we work hard to make this trip the highlight of your holiday. No group larger than 8 so everyone get attention, we don’t keep you locked in a van all day and offer many opportunities to get out and explore in your own. To take a tour with us is all about YOU!
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
US$87.16
From  
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