The Complete Guide to Visiting Inveraray Castle in West Central Scotland

Share it or save it:

Last updated on March 15th, 2020

The Out About Scotland complete guide to Inveraray Castle in Argyll

Category: Castle, Forest or woodland, Gardens

Suitable for ages: 5 to 10 years, 11 to 18 years, 18+ years, 65+ years

Ideal for: Couples, Families, Groups, Solo travellers

I rate it: 9 out of 10

Craig Smith

About Inveraray Castle

The shores of the longest sea loch in Scotland, Loch Fyne, have served as the ancestral home to the Duke of Argyll, chiefs of Clan Campbell, since the 18th-century. It’s here that Inveraray Castle, possibly the prettiest castle in Scotland, has been a focal point of the area since the very first foundation stone was laid in 1746.

This castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Argyll with visitors flocking to see its famous conical roofs, impressive weapons collection and beautifully manicured 16-acre gardens.

This is one of the better privately-owned tourist attractions in this part of Scotland and I have to say I’ve had a really enjoyable visit each time I’ve been, and I highly recommend it whether you’re visiting as a couple, a family, or you’re a solo traveller.

The castle is impressive but I think the grounds are even better as they’re absolutely enormous. Plus you can climb a nearby hill that offers stunning views across Loch Fyne – as long as the weather holds out of course.

You may also like...  The Complete Guide to Visiting Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow

Go for a hike when Scotland’s often-miserable weather has closed in (as I did on a recent visit) and you’ll find it a much less enjoyable experience.

Even so, a visit to Inveraray Castle really is a great day out and it offers something for all ages, and I think kids will have loads of fun exploring the gardens just as much as mums and dad will enjoy wandering through the rooms. It’s definitely an attraction to add to your itinerary if you’re in the area.

Inveraray Castle

Things to do at Inveraray Castle

As you walk around the historic attraction you’ll get a real sense of the history that surrounds Inveraray Castle, and some of the rooms have to be seen to be believed.

Highlights include the Armoury Hall which has the highest ceiling of any building in Scotland at an incredible 21m and the State Dining Room with its collection of elaborate paintings and enormous dining table with its outstanding collection of tableware.

But even though the castle is filled with extravagances from a bygone age it’s interesting to note that the Duke of Argyll and his family still live in their own private quarters, and they can often be seen by tourists as they make their way around the estate.

Easily rivalling the impressive rooms are the immaculately manicured grounds, and you’re unlikely to see such stunning landscaped gardens anywhere else in Scotland.

Inveraray Castle

Only slightly further away are the conifer woodlands which offer some very peaceful walks, and nearby you’ll find the remains of kilns where limestone was processed over a hundred years ago.

You may also like...  The Complete Guide to Visiting Dalkeith Country Park in Midlothian

The tracks leading out from here go all the way up to the 248-metre high summit of Dun na Cuaiche, the hill which can be seen for miles around.

The views from up there are stunning, and with the castle clearly visible below and the town of Inveraray and Loch Fyne just behind it you have a photo opportunity you won’t soon forget.

The castle is an easy drive/walk to the centre of Inveraray village so after a visit you can always stop off and explore the wee harbour and walk along the side of Loch Fyne.

But here’s a top tip – before you go for a walk grab a bag of chips from the chip shop near the harbour but watch out for the flocks of sneaky seagulls or they’ll nab them before your first bite. I’m telling you that from painful experience.

Inveraray Castle

The history of Inveraray Castle

There’s been a castle standing on the shores of Loch Fyne since the 1400s, although the building that we can see today started life as an idea that was brought to life by the 3rd Duke of Argyle in the 1700s.

In 1877 a devastating fire blazed through Inveraray Castle which led to the third floor and the conical roofs being added during repairs, with another catastrophic fire in 1975 leading to further renovations.

The final gothic-style building that we see today has become world-famous for its architecture, and you’ll likely recognise it from its appearance in the popular TV series Downton Abbey where it portrayed Duneagle Castle.

Inveraray Castle

What I liked about this attraction

  • The castle is beautiful on the outside as well as inside
  • The castle grounds are fantastic and there are good walks to be found there
  • Inveraray village is close to enough to walk to
You may also like...  The Complete Guide to Visiting Gretna Green Blacksmiths Shop in South West Scotland

My top tips

  • I recommend you head to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar just up the road and grab a plate of their oysters – they’re delicious
  • Take a walk up Dun na Cuaiche. I enjoyed the walk there just as much as exploring the castle

Photos and video

Photo Gallery
Click image to view photo gallery


Scotland 360 Photo Tour
Click image to view 360 photos

Address and map

From the village of Inveraray on Loch Fyne follow the tourist signs to the castle.

Inveraray Castle,
PA32 8XE

Click map for directionsGoogle Map of inveraray castle

Tickets and opening times

Pre-book your Inveraray Castle tour tickets here.

30th March – 31st October: Open Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 17:45 (Last admission 17:00).

Contact details


Getting there: Car park on-site

Getting around: Disabled access, Easy-access paths, Pushchair access, Stairs

On-site conveniences: Gift shop, Hot drinks, Picnic area, Restaurant or cafe, Snacks, Toilets

Share it or save it:

Craig Smith

A proud native of Scotland, Craig Smith loves writing about the country almost as much as he loves exploring it. His aim is to visit every Scottish attraction and share his experiences with the world. Follow Craig's adventures on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.