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Castle hunting in Argyll

When you think of Scotland, you probably think of castles. With over 50 castles and estates, including some of the oldest and most famous (or infamous!) in the world, Argyll and the Isles are bursting with romance, mystery and legend.

Dunstaffnage Castle on a day trip from Oban
Dunstaffnage Castle near Oban is one of Scotland’s oldest stone castles, built by the powerful Clan MacDougall lords of Lorn and held since the 15th century by Clan Campbell. There is an exhibition and gift shop on site, and wonderful views over the Firth of Lorn.

Each castle tells a tale woven of both myth and fact, from important clans such as the Campbells, to famous historical figures, such as Robert Bruce. Some are brooding ruins, others are remarkably restored, and some stand as museums celebrating Scotland’s long and storied past.

Dating from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, in various gorgeous settings, castles, gardens and estates are a highlight of a visit to Argyll and the Isles. On a day trip from Oban, you can visit several in one day, so let us design a self drive itinerary for your Argyll holiday.

Inveraray Castle on a day trip from Oban
Inveraray Castle

For those who have always dreamed of living like a real king or queen, several castles in Argyll offer lodging, including Barcaldine Castle, Castle Lachlan, and Stonefield Castle. They host weddings or other special events, providing the perfect backdrop to a fairy tale day.

Carnasserie Castle on a day trip from Oban
Carnasserie Castle

Castles such as Inveraray and Mount Stuart Castle and Gardens on Bute offer guided tours, and period furnishings and artefacts are on display. But, equally as compelling are ruins such as Carnasserie Castle and Castle Sween, where you will feel as if you have been transported back in time.

Best known as Castle Aarrgh in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the 15th century brooding ruin of Castle Stalker is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland. It can be viewed from the nearby café for a great photo op, and limited tours are run March to October.

Castle Stalker on a tour from Oban
Castle Stalker

15th century Kilchurn Castle commands a breathtaking spot on a peninsula in Loch Awe. There is a layby on the A819 that affords a great photo op, but visitors can also tour the ruins during the summer months. Kilchurn is featured on two of Imagine Alba's day trips from Oban- Inveraray & Loch Awe Day Tour or Glencoe Day Tour.

Kilchurn Castle on a day tour from Oban
Kilchurn Castle

Looking for things to do in Oban? Take a guided walking tour with our archaeologist and storyteller, Michelle, a Scottish Tourist Guides Association Yellow Badge guide. Get the inside scoop, from history to modernity, on our heritage walking tours of Oban!


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