After leaving Fort Augustus and the lovely Lovat Hotel behind us we turned our attention on Urquhart Castle. Directly on the shores of Loch Ness stands Urquhart Castle (or whatever is left of it) and this was where we were headed. Driving along Loch Ness the weather got better by the minute and once we arrived we had clear blue sky with just a hint of white clouds. We stopped once for a picture on a bridge and here we had the only problem with the locals. So far they mostly said “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it” but upon stopping on this bridge an oncoming driver yelled out of his car “It’s a f’*cking road”! Just loved it, so ‘charming’ and authentic and at home I would have done exactly the same.
The entrance is rather higher than the castle itself which gives one unhindered view onto it. Even better the visitor Centre is set up in such a way that it’s best to start the tour with a short movie about the castle and its former inhabitants. Upon its conclusion a curtain opens and you see the remains of castle. That neat little trick worked really well.
After the couple of minutes in the cinema we started our tour outside and explored the castle. There is not much left of it since Clan Grant sided with William of Orange after the revolution of 1688 and they blew it up less it fell in Jacobite hands. Nonetheless it was beautiful to walk around, climb up on the Grant tower and get a good view on the area and Loch Ness below.
We never made it to the guided tour (that had become our standard on this trip) but also on our own there was enough to discover.
Once we left the Castle (after a short stop in the shop where I bought again some books) we drove up to Inverness the capital of the Highlands. Parking the car below the Castle provided the chance to take a picture without actually walking to it. It was built in 1835 and houses nowadays the Sheriff court.
For the duration of our visit to Inverness we split up because everyone wanted to do something different. I for example was looking for the shop Wood Winter which sold the Blackwoods gin (the one that I tried and loved the evening before). Because I spent the better part of an hour at a local bookstore I wasn’t really successful in locating the store. Only with help of a whisky store owner was I able to find Wood Winter and successfully acquired a bottle for back home. Looking for the store gave me time to walk around Inverness and take a couple of pictures. Yours, Pollybert