On the banks of Loch Ness, 2km from the small village of Drumnadrochit, lies the remains of Urquhart Castle. A medieval landmark with dramatic scenes that photographers dream about (you might just need to wait a while for the visitors to clear out of the way!).
Once one of the country’s largest castles, this fortress saw great conflict and bloodshed lasting over 500 years. It was repeatedly attacked between the 13th and 17th Century until it was practically destroyed when it was blown up during the Jacobite rising.
Our visit to the castle on a cold November afternoon may have nearly frozen the hands off us but it did not disappoint. You begin in the visitors centre and can watch a short film lasting around 10 mins to understand the history behind the ruins. *Spoiler alert* the best part is at the end when the screen rolls back and the curtain unveils the real deal – a panoramic view of the remains of the castle and of course, Loch Ness.
You can then explore and take in the scenes trying to imagine what the place may have looked like before it was repeatedly attacked then blown to bits.
Even in mid-November, both the visitor centre and castle grounds were busy with both tourists and locals walking around and taking photos. I would recommend avoiding peak holiday season if possible.
This was a short visit due to the bitterly cold wind but it was an afternoon finding out even more about the Highlands and admiring the sun setting on the banks of the Loch. There are definitely worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than right here.
For more information, visit Historic Environment Scotland for opening times and entry prices. An extra top tip – between 30 Nov and 3 Dec – there are St Andrews Day celebrations taking place where you can learn more about Scotland and it’s culture.