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Tips for your visit
Being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area, Urquhart Castle gets very crowded in summer and often receives over 2000 visitors a day!
The majority of visitors arrive with tourist buses or cruises, so there are often real “waves” of visitors, that make the castle uncomfortably crowded. The main site where the crowds may become really bothersome, is the Grant Tower: the staircase is very narrow, and you have to wait for a group to go down before you can go up. With the big flow of visitors you may stuck for long waiting for a gap to get up or down, and the top platform can become overcrowded as well.
That’s why we advise whenever possible to arrive early at the Castle: the best would be to come at the opening. During the busy summer months there can already be a small line at the door, but you’ll be able to visit the place before the main crowds arrive, and avoid the staircase problem at the Tower.
Another option is to arrive at the end of the day - an hour or two before the closing time, when the crowds will have already left the place.
We recommend to watch a small film (less than 10 min) in the visitor centre before heading to the ruins - that will give you a better idea and understanding of the place.
Bring an umbrella! The weather in Scotland may be quite unpredictable.
July and August are the busiest months. May, June and September see less crowds, while January is the calmest month of the year. The weather may not be ideal, but that’s the price to pay to avoid crowds!
- From April to September: daily, 9:30 am to 6 pm.
- October: daily, from 9:30 am to 5 pm.
- From November to March: daily, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Last entry 45 minutes before the closing.
The Castle is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Later opening on January 1st: from 11am to 4:30 pm.
- Adult: £8.50,
- Child: £5.10,
- Concession: £6.80
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Photo credits to amateur photography by michel via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
By car: Urquhart Castle is located close to the village of Drumnadrochit, around 156 miles from Glasgow, 174 miles from Edinburgh, 17 miles from Inverness, 48 miles from Fort William. Parking is free of charge and is available on a first come first serve basis. During peak season parking may be limited.
By train: the closest train station to Urquhart Castle is Inverness. The station is connected to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, London. The Castle is located around 17 miles from Inverness, so you’ll have to take a local coach on place.
By bus: scottish Citylink operates coach services between Fort William and Inverness. These coaches are scheduled to stop at the village of Drumnadrochit, a couple of miles from Urquhart Castle, but do not always stop at Urquhart Castle itself – you should check locally before travelling.
By air: Inverness airport is the closest one, located 27 miles from the Urquhart Castle.