For 700 years, Duart Castle has dominated the Sound of Mull on the Isle of Mull, where its mighty curtain walls have defended the seat of Clan Maclean since the early days of Scotland’s feudal clans. The castle is located on a peninsula on the southeast side of the island, and its visitor facilities include guided tours, nature walks, a café, and a gift shop.

Duart Castle
Address:Isle of Mull,
PA64 6AP
Opening Hours:Monday - Sunday 10.30 am to 5 pm
Admission Price:Adult £8.50
Child (4-15yrs) £4.00
Family (2 adults + 2 children (4-15yrs)) £21.00
Concession (Senior/Student) £7.50
Parking:Free car park on-site
Contact:+44(0)1680 812309
Facilities:Tearoom, gift shop, toilets, partial disabled access
Photos:YouTube Video


Duart Castle is a remarkable historical landmark that offers visitors a captivating journey through time. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking setting, Duart Castle is a must-visit destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the charm and heritage of the Inner Hebrides.

The castle’s origins can be traced back to the 13th century, when it was constructed as a strategic fortress by the Clan MacDougall, the Lords of Lorn. Over the centuries, Duart Castle witnessed numerous changes of ownership and underwent several renovations and expansions, each leaving its mark on the castle’s architecture.

Today, visitors can marvel at the castle’s imposing stone walls, battlements, and towers, which reflect the castle’s evolution and the changing architectural styles that influenced its construction.

Inside the castle, visitors have the opportunity to explore its various rooms and chambers, each beautifully preserved and offering a glimpse into the castle’s storied past. The Great Hall, with its grand fireplace and intricate woodwork, showcases the castle’s mediaeval grandeur, while the Laird’s Bedroom, adorned with period furnishings, offers a peek at the lives of the castle’s former inhabitants.

One of the most enchanting aspects of Duart Castle is its setting. Perched on an outcrop overlooking the Sound of Mull, the castle offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Visitors can take leisurely strolls along the castle grounds, enjoy a picnic while taking in the stunning vistas, or simply savour the tranquilly of this stunning part of Mull.

Duart Castle

The Highlights

1: Duart Castle served as a stronghold for the Clan MacDougall and later became the ancestral seat of the Clan Maclean. Exploring the castle allows you to immerse yourself in centuries of Scottish history and learn about the clans, their rivalries, and the events that shaped the region.

2: The castle’s architecture is a marvel to behold. Its fortified walls, towers, and battlements showcase a blend of architectural styles from different eras. Inside, you can admire the grandeur of the Great Hall with its intricate woodwork and appreciate the elegance of the dining room.

3: The rugged coastline and sparkling waters of the Sound of Mull are, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the island. Exploring the castle grounds and soaking up the tranquil beauty of the surroundings is an experience not to be missed.

Visiting Tips

1: Duart Castle is a very popular tourist attraction, especially during peak seasons. To make the most of your visit, it’s advisable to plan ahead and check the castle’s opening hours before leaving home. Consider booking your tickets in advance to avoid long lines and ensure entry to the castle.

2: Be aware that the castle isn’t open in autumn or winter, but there are lots of other places to visit on Mull, like Ben More and Iona Abbey.

3: Duart Castle has a rich history, and there’s plenty to see and discover during your visit. Allocate enough time (I suggest at least 2 hours) to explore the castle’s various rooms, chambers, and exhibits.

Duart Castle

Tourist Information

A walk around the castle is a great starting point for your visit as it has lots of coves and shingle beaches for children to explore, so if they’ve been cooped up in a car, you might like to take a walk around the promontory to let them burn off some energy before heading inside.

The castle itself is privately owned by Clan MacLean so it offers a slightly different experience from most other Historic Environment Scotland-managed castles. There’s definitely more of a family feel to this historic site, and some areas almost feel as if you’re walking through someone’s family home, especially the main bedroom and the dining room which are quite modest by most castle standards.

Arguably the highlight of a visit to Duart Castle is the Great Hall which boasts an impressive collection of family portraits and coats of arms. Keep a lookout for the enormous case of family silverware, which must be worth a small fortune, as well as the detailed model of the castle

There’s an interesting collection of weaponry on display in this room to remind visitors of the castle’s importance as a defensive position, but before you leave, check out the thickness of the walls, as they’re up to 20 feet thick in places. No cannonball was going to bring this place down back in the day!

Following the Great Hall, you’ll find the MacLeans’ state bedrooms and dressing rooms, while a winding stone staircase will lead you to an exhibition of the clan’s history. There’s also an exhibition of Scouting Association memorabilia due to the fact that Charles MacLean served as the UK’s Chief Scout from 1959 to 1971 before later becoming the Commonwealth’s Chief Scout.

The final level of the castle leads to an outside balcony that runs around the rooftop where you’ll find stunning views, especially as you look north towards Tobermory, so make sure you have your camera at the ready.

Finally, after you’ve explored both the inside of the castle and the castle grounds, you can head to the on-site café which has excellent homemade food at reasonable prices. There’s also a gift shop which has a good selection of souvenirs that all relate to Clan MacLean and Duart Castle.

Duart Castle


Although Duart Castle is known as the family stronghold of Clan MacLean, it’s actually believed to have been built by Clan MacDougall in the 13th century. In fact, it wasn’t until 1350 that the fortification passed into the ownership of the MacLeans, when it was gifted to them as part of the dowry from the marriage of the daughter of the Lord of the Isles to the 5th MacLean chief.

The castle saw several conflicts over the course of its history, but perhaps none was more important than the siege of 1647 when Argyll government troops attacked the MacLeans. Although the government forces were forced to retreat, they returned in 1653 with a task force of six warships under the orders of the English leader Oliver Cromwell.

Luckily for the MacLeans, a powerful storm swept in and destroyed three of the ships, with HMS Swan being sunk against the castle’s rocky outcrop. The remains of the warship are still remarkably intact, and divers have been able to recover several artefacts from the broken hull.

Duart Castle was eventually surrendered to the Duke of Argyll in 1691, who promptly demolished it and scattered the stones of its walls across the local area. The remains of the castle lay abandoned for over 200 years until it was purchased by Clan MacLean in 1911, which began a programme of restoration that led to its transformation into the tourist attraction that we see today.

Duart Castle

Things to Do

Explore the Historic Duart Castle: Step back in time as you wander through the rooms of this 13th-century fortress. Each room bursts with history, showcasing artefacts and exhibits that tell the story of Clan Maclean. The collection of historical furniture, fascinating family memorabilia, and clan relics is sure to captivate you.

Walk through the Castle Grounds: There are lush gardens and woodland all around the castle, making for leisurely strolls. The views from the grounds are stunning, with panoramic vistas of the Sound of Mull and the mainland beyond. Take a moment to appreciate the peace and tranquilly that the Scottish Islands are famous for.

Visit the Tearoom: After exploring the castle, unwind at The Tearoom. Savour a selection of locally sourced foods, home-baked cakes (some still made according to Lady Maclean’s own recipes), and a variety of teas and coffees. The tearoom offers a cosy atmosphere, perfect for reflecting on your visit while enjoying the views of the sea.

Participate in a Guided Tour: Duart Castle offers summertime tours that take visitors around the fortress’ many rooms as well as the beautiful land that surrounds it. Hear about the castle’s former occupants, its strategic military position, and the Cromwellian wrecks that lie just off the shore.

Attend a Clan Gathering: If your visit coincides with one of the castle’s clan gatherings, it’s an experience not to be missed. Meet members of Clan Maclean from around the world, enjoy traditional Scottish music and dancing, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

Sound of Mull

Things to Do Nearby

Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa. Craignure, Isle of Mull, PA65 6BB. 10-minute drive.
This is one of Mull’s most luxurious destinations. The hotel features a superb restaurant that serves local produce, sumptuous rooms ranging from classic doubles to indulgent suites complete with hot tubs, and a spa with a swimming pool and massage treatment rooms.

Sir William Black Lighthouse. PA64 6AP, Mull. 9-minute walk.
A lighthouse built into a Gothic tower is located on the easternmost point of Mull. The lighthouse was built in the 1900s as a memorial to the Scottish novelist William Black. Walks are possible along the low clifftops in both directions.

Dun da Ghaoithe. Isle of Mull PA65 6BB. 19-minute drive plus a 2-hour walk.
A 766-metre-high curving ridge that looks over the ferry terminal at Craignure. Relatively easy-going, although the rough path is unmarked.

Loch Spelve. Inverlussa, Isle of Mull, PA65 6BD. 11-minute drive.
A sea loch that is almost landlocked apart from a narrow opening to the Firth of Lorn. Easily accessed via the A849. Loch Spelve is a popular destination for kayakers and a good place to use paddleboards to explore Mull’s Southeast coast due to its protection from the sea.

Aros Castle. Isle of Mull, PA72 6JP. 29-minute drive.
A ruined 13th-century castle that mostly comprises a few walled sections. Good views across the firth to the mainland. There are lots of paths that follow the coastline to the north and south.

Loch Don. Lochdon, Isle of Mull, PA64 6AP. 8-minute drive.
A shallow sea loch that becomes mudflats when the tide retreats. Loch Don is a popular bird-watching site that also offers very nice walks around it on single-track roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who built Duart Castle?

It is believed that Clan MacDougall constructed Duart Castle in the 13th century, and Clan MacLean acquired ownership of it in the following century.

Can you stay at Duart Castle?

It is not possible to stay overnight at Duart Castle. Accommodations for wedding guests can be found elsewhere on the island.

What can you see inside Duart Castle?

Duart Castle has been home to Clan MacLean for over 700 years, and many historic artefacts are displayed inside.
The castle features a great hall with a collection of armoury and family portraits, a state bedroom and dressing room, and an exhibition of clan memorabilia.

Who lives in Duart Castle now?

Duart Castle is the ancestral home of Clan Maclean. The 28th Chief of the Clan Maclean is Sir Lachlan Maclean, who owns and resides in the castle. Sir Lachlan has been a passionate advocate for the castle’s preservation and has overseen extensive restoration work.

Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.