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In search of Nessie

Loch Dochfour

semi-overcast 58 °F

We set off after breakfast entering a small Lake, Lock Dockfour. We transited into Loch Ness where five of us were zodiaced into shore for a 3.5 mile walk back to the ship. While we were walking, the barge sailed back to Loch Dockfour where others made use of the on board canoes. After lunch of soup, bread and a veggie haggis pastry, we formally entered into Loch Ness for our transit to Foyer where we are docked for the night. The highlight of the afternoon cruise was a sail-by of Urquhart Castle on Strone Point, one of the most visited ruins in Scotland.

The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. It was subsequently held as a royal castle and was raided on several occasions by the MacDonald Earls of Ross. The castle was granted to the Clan Grant in 1509, though conflict with the MacDonalds continued. Despite a series of further raids the castle was strengthened, only to be largely abandoned by the middle of the 17th century. Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 to prevent its use by Jacobite forces, and subsequently decayed. In the 20th century, it was placed in state care as a scheduled monument and opened to the public: it is now one of the most-visited castles in Scotland and received 547,518 visitors in 2019.[1][2]

The castle, situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness, is one of the largest in Scotland in area.[3] It was approached from the west and defended by a ditch and drawbridge. The buildings of the castle were laid out around two main enclosures on the shore. The northern enclosure or Nether Bailey includes most of the more intact structures, including the gatehouse, and the five-story Grant Tower at the north end of the castle. The southern enclosure or Upper Bailey, sited on higher ground, comprises the scant remains of earlier buildings.

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Posted by rpickett 16:10 Archived in Scotland Tagged loch dockfour

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