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The Scottish Highlands has many beautiful things to see and do.  Mountains to climb, Lochs to sail, and castles to venture.  There are quite a few local castles close to the Lovat, most are ruins where you can stroll the grounds.

If you’re interested in architecture and Scottish history, here are 7 castles you must visit while staying with us.

Invergarry Castle

Only 8 miles away from The Lovat, Invergarry Castle is now a ruin but is stacked with history.  The castle was held by the Jacobites during the 1715 uprising, but taken for the government in 1716.  During the 1745 uprising it was again held by Jacobites and visited twice by Bonnie Prince Charlie.  He is said to have rested there after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Urquhart Castle

Only 17 miles away from the Lovat, Urquhart castle is a ruin, but you can walk the grounds and learn about the castle’s history in the visitor centre.  The castle grounds and towers offer some of the best views of Loch Ness. Many have said that the most frequent monster sightings have been made there – sightings of Nessie date all the way back to the 7th century.  Read our blog post about Urquhart castle here.


Old Inverlochy Castle

30 miles from the Lovat, Old Inverlochy castle is on the outskirts of Fort William, next to Ben Nevis.  Old Inverlochy castle is also a ruin which you can walk the grounds.  The castle is sited on the south bank of the River Lochy, at the strategically important entrance to the Great Glen. A key passage through the Scottish Highlands.

Beaufort Castle

31 miles from the Lovat, Beaufort castle is situated on the right bank of the River Beauly near the town of Beauly in Inverness-shire.  The castle came into the hands of the Frasers in the late 13th century.  Beaufort is the traditional seat of the Lord Lovat.  The castle is privately owned as a residence, sold in 1994 to Stagecoach director Ann Gloag by the 15th Lord Lovat.


Kilcoy Castle

35 miles from the Lovat, Kilcoy castle was built as early as 1580 by the Stewart family.  But it was completed by Alexander Mackenzie, third son of Colin Cam Mackenzie of Kintailaround 1618.  It fell into a ruinous state during the late 18th and 19th Centuries and was restored in 1891 by the Inverness Architects Ross and MacBeth.  Its gardens are periodically open to the public under Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.  The Menkings of Kilcoy maintain the Castle as their official residence but are rarely in residence.

Eilean Donan Castle

49 miles from the Lovat, Eilean Donan castle is a small tidal island where three sea lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland.  You can tour the castle and grounds and learn of the history in the visitor centre.  It is best to check opening dates and times before arriving as the castle as it is also hired out for weddings and exhibitions throughout the year.  Eilean Donan castle is a picturesque castle that frequently appears in photographs, television, and films such as James Bond or Highlander.


Rait Castle

50 miles from the Lovat, Rait Castle is a ruined hall-house castle dating from the thirteenth century, situated just south of Nairn near Inverness.  The building is clearly visible to travellers on the A939. The remains of the courtyard walls are nine feet high and contain the remains of the Chapel of St Mary of Rait.

While you’re staying with us, there are many castles to visit.  Ask a member of staff for more details and locations.  Maybe pick up a packed lunch from our Brasserie for when you get peckish on your adventure.

The Lovat Loch Ness, the perfect place to…. Plan an adventure.

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Post by Dan Mitchell

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