Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness

2024, International, Scotland

After we signed up to go to Iceland and Ireland we were surprised to learn that the trip included a stop at Invergordon, Scotland near Inverness and an opportunity to visit Loch Ness. We signed up for the excursion to the ruins of Urquhart Castle with no idea of its place in history.  During the bus ride to the visitors center our guide Roy regaled us with all manner of information about the Scottish Highlands history, especially about the Jacobite Risings culminating in the Battle of Culloden and the subsequent agricultural reform leading to forced migration of the highlanders out of Scotland to Ireland, Australia, and North America.  Urquhart Castle, a Historic Environment Scotland property, had a long history as a medieval fortress and was used the British government during the Jacobite Rising of 1745 then destroyed by the British forces after their victory at Culloden. The orientation movie at the visitors center gave us a good feel for the historical context and prepared us for the opportunity to walk through the ruins perched above Loch Ness. Unfortunately we had little time to pause and ponder the history or to drink in the beauty of the setting for all too soon it was time to proceed to queue up for a boat ride from the castle southwest to Clansman Harbour to see a portion of this beautiful long and narrow lake and then board the bus for the ride back to the ship. We did some quick calculations and if we decide to return to explore the castle at greater leisure, it’s entirely possible to get here from London using public transportation. 

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