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Inveraray Castle

Overview

2021 Update - Inveraray castle is open from 27 May to 27 September 2021.

Tickets should be pre-booked via the castle website.

Inveraray Castle is one of the most elegant castles in Scotland and is one of the major tourist attractions of Argyll.

Residence of the Dukes of Argyll since 1789, and still a family residence for the 13th Duke.  For this reason, some areas of the castle are not accessible as they are retained as private property for the family.

The self-guided tour takes you through 13 rooms on 3 different levels so you get to see the luxurious rooms that would have been visited by guests of the Duke as well as the Kitchen and basement area where servants would have worked. Each room has an information board (in English only) that explains some of the history and features of interest.

The rooms that stand out the most are:

  • the Armoury Hall with its bewildering array of weapons. Many of which were used by the Duke's regiment, the "Argyll Militia" when they fought against the Jacobites at Culloden
  • the grand State Dining Room, where the table is laid out with exotic silverware and ornaments as if in readiness for the Duke's guests to arrive, 
  • the haunted MacArthur Room, said to be the room where spooky experiences are most encountererd,
  • and the Old kitchen which is presented as it would have been in the Victorian period complete with an impressive piece of wooden furniture with large drawers for storing an eclectic range of ingredients.  

The Armoury Hall is arguably the most memorable feature of the castle and whilst in this room, you should look for the sword of Rob Roy. The ruined remains of Rob Roy's house are about 5 miles away in Glen Shira.

Inveraray Castle is said to be haunted by six ghosts in total. The most famous one is the ghost of a young musician and his haunting harp music is heard more often than he is seen. When the ghost is seen he is said to be wearing the tartan of Clan Campbell and his appearances are never frightening experiences. Legend has it that a young musician was murdered by the soldiers of the Marquess of Montrose when they attacked the old Inverary castle in 1644. The ghost moved to haunt the new castle because he was murdered on the four-poster bed that now stands in the MacArthur Room. There seems to be a correlation between the visitations of this ghost and the deaths of the Dukes of Argyll.

A more recent claim to fame for Inverary Castle is its appearance as a filming location for the TV series "Downton Abbey". We have to admit that we've never watched this TV show so can't tell you where it appears in the filming, but there are some pictures around the castle that show scenes from the film.

Inveraray Castle is more of a stately home than a castle but is interesting as it gives you a tangible sense of the vast difference between the living conditions of the aristocracy and the ordinary people that lived in places like Auchindrain township, which is an open-air museum just a few miles south of the Castle. 

Allow at least 45 minutes for a tour of the castle. Members of Clan Campbell will want to allow more time as there is a small room in the castle with an exhibit of particular interest to anyone with a connection to this clan.

Address:

Argyll Estates, Inveraray PA32 8XE

Operated by:

Argyll Estates

Opening Hours:

April to October: Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:45 Last admission 17:00

Admission:

Adult £ 13.50, Senior £ 12, Child £ 8.50, Family £ 38, Under 5's Free

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

Information sheets in English, Italian, French and German

Accessibility:

Yes to ground floor and lift to upper floor

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

Yes

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