Inveraray Castle

A stunning castle on the banks of Loch Fyne

Inveraray Castle is perhaps one of Scotland’s lesser-known castles, certainly compared to Edinburgh Castle or Stirling Castle. However, what it lacks in fame, it more than makes up for in beauty and history. Whatsmore, it was the setting of many a scene in the famous series Downton Abbey. So, it’s well worth a visit when staying with us at Loch Lomond Waterfront. 

A castle of some form has been standing on the shores of Loch Fyne ever since the 1400s, with the current incarnation designed in the 1700s. And in its current form, from the moment the first building stone was laid, it took 43 more years until the castle reached completion! But this resulted in a building that was, architecturally, vastly before its time. Four stunning towers sit at each of the building’s corners, giving it an almost fairytale appearance. And today, it sits as one of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. 

Sadly, a devastating fire struck in 1975, and again the castle again saw many years of building work in order to restore it to its full glory. But now, this “Category A” listed building is open throughout the year to guests, as well as remaining the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll, the Chiefs of the Clan Campbell. And this is a very ancient family line, one that has resided in Inveraray since the early 15th century.

Explore inside the castle

Here guests are invited in to explore the building, brimming with Scottish grandeur. Discover the Armoury Hall on the ground floor with its Brown Bess muskets from 1740 and Scottish broadswords; which date from Queen Victoria’s first visit to Inveraray in 1847. And see the state dining room and the tapestry room, before heading up to the first floor. Here you can enjoy a range of historic paintings in the gallery, and visit the MacArthur Room which some say is haunted… And, if you still have an appetite for history, finish off by exploring the kitchens in their original glory down in the castle basements.

Inveraray Castle gardens

Covering over 16 acres, the grand gardens have something different for visitors at each time of year. And with 14 acres dedicated to forestry and parklands, you are sure to enjoy a good walk. The remaining land proudly boasts one of the most carefully designed gardens with tributes to Scotland throughout. Depending on when you visit, you can bask in the colours of Rhododendrons and Azaleas and trees that reach up into the sky like cedar and sequoia can be admired all year round. 

Downton Abbey at Inveraray Castle

Finally, fans of Downton Abbey may recognise the castle from the 2012 Christmas episode. Shots were filmed in and around the castle, which went by the fictional name Duneagle Castle. So, this is your chance to step where Lord Grantham himself once trod! And if you really want to feel like Mrs. Patmore, you can take a visit to the old kitchen in the castle’s basement. 

How to get there

No visit to Scotland, and the beautiful Loch Fyne, is complete without a visit to Inveraray Castle. So, get the most out of the area and take a day trip north. This fairytale Scottish Castle is around one hour and twenty minutes away from Loch Lomond Waterfront in the car. And enjoying a day trip there is a perfect way to spend time with friends and family. Plus, you can enjoy Inverary Jail and the famous Loch Fyne Oysters whilst exploring.

The route takes you around the western edge of Loch Lomond through Luss and up to Loch Fyne. It’s a beautiful drive and is part of the adventure! For those who use what three words, the castle’s location is

Visiting Inveraray Castle during your stay is highly recommended. If you would like to chat about this or any other places of interest near us, just get in touch!

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