Thursday's child: Urquhart Castle, Scotland

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One of the greatest castles to visit in Scotland is Urquhart Castle.  Although the castle itself was blown up over 300 years ago, the location is so evocative and the view so famous that a visit to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without it.

Unlike the other castles I’ve written about this month, there isn’t much to see at Urquhart.  Over its 500-year history, ownership passed from one side to the other countless times.  Early on, the Scottish and English fought for control.  Later, interclan wars resulted in the MacDonalds repeatedly invading from the western isles.  Finally in the late seventeenth century, as the government pulled their soldiers out, they blew up the building to prevent the Jacobites from using it as a fortress.

All that remains now is crumbling stone remains. The location is so peaceful, it’s difficult to conjure up the castle’s violent history.  We had to use our imaginations to picture what it must have been like for the local villagers, living through century after century of siege and tumult.

And using our imaginations also came in handy when we took in the view of lovely Loch Ness which Urquhart overlooks, and which is probably much more well-known than the castle.  No sightings of the Loch Ness monster were made by the Pollock family that day, although one of us wistfully claimed to have seen a fin.

28 comments:

Mary Anne MacCrone said...

Oh I loved Scotland when I was there. The scenery is amazing. I regret to admit this was not a castle that I visited - maybe another trip is required!!!

Claire Davis said...

Scotland is on my list of places I really want to visit. I love the foggy, misty look of these pictures, makes the castle look magical!

Cindy said...

My brother spent 2 years in Scotland and Ireland serving a mission for our church. It's been over 30 years but I'm sure the castles haven't changed much!
So beautiful.

Bonnie said...

Beth, It seems like the place where a vivid imagination could run wild. I would be the one standing on the shore hoping for a glance of ole' Nessy. Bonnie

Belinda said...

Awesome - such beautiful country, and amazing how so much of this is still around!

Natalie Aguirre said...

It looks like beautiful country. I've always wanted to visit castles. Thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

Looks like a beautiful countryside. Gorgeous views.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL And I thought MY porch was in bad shape. :D

Beth said...

So true, Stina. In this context, your porch looks great!

Claudia said...

I visited there years ago. The setting is peaceful but still evocative of its wild and woolly past. We didn't spot Nessie either.

julie said...

Oohh... a fin! That castle looks so full of history and tales. I can only imagine all the stories it holds. Wonderful pictures Beth and a wonderful recap.

momto8 said...

wow...how cool!! I would love to visit there!! beautiful!

Rita said...

That is so beautiful! love going back in history; we learn so much.
Rita

Valerie said...

It must feel amazing to walk among such historic ruins...to wonder who stood in that very spot hundreds of years ago!?

Beautiful, lush, photos. I'm sorry you weren't able to see Nessy. :D

comfortablydomestic.com said...

A UK tour is definitely at the top of our travel list. I love visiting ruins because they are almost more engaging in their "what might have been" imaginings than a preserve structure.

Barbara said...

We loved our visit to Scotland, even though it rained the entire time...and was chilly. I regret we missed this castle. Was fun to see it and read about it though, Beth.

tueremorton said...

These pics are beautiful!! Definitely one of my dream places to visit. LOVE historical romances that take place here. :)

bakewithjill.com said...

I was there and have fond memories! I hope to get back to Scotland someday soon.

Kathy said...

Beth, Such a beautiful place, I imagine filled with stories just begging to be told! I have never been to Scotland…although I’ve been to Ireland three times…very beautiful similar landscapes! Have a wonderful weekend!

Elaine said...

Oh, how I have always wanted to visit Loch Ness and have imagined seeing the monster. There may not be much of the castle remaining, but it must have been so much fun climbing amongst the ruins. Beautiful photos, Beth.

yummychunklet said...

Ooh, how interesting and picturesque!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'd love to go have a peek for Nessie one day! And the castle would be a definite bonus - gorgeous photos!

Angie's Recipes said...

An amazing place! I would love to visit Loch Ness one day too.

Mary said...

I would love love love to spend a day there as well. I would have been the one wistfully mentioning a fin in the water. Thanks for sharing yet another fantastic travel photo!

Medeia Sharif said...

A castle overlooking water? It looks amazing and magical.

gobakeyourself said...

This castle seems to call out, full of mystery and beauty - one day I will visit :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

sally said...

We are going to the UK next week, and are planning a trip up to Scotland while we are there. We are still trying to decide if Loch Ness is worth going to. What do you think?

Beth said...

Lucky you, Sally! You'll love Scotland. Loch Ness is beautiful, and Urquhart Castle is definitely worth seeing. Of course, it depends on what part of Scotland you're visiting. I'll be in touch via email.

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