9 Oct 2010

Imagination reigns at Inverlochy

The squat ruins of Inverlochy Castle lie about a mile away from the centre of Fort William.

Unlike many of the other castles around Scotland, Inverlochy does not sit on a rocky perch from where it can still cast a shroud of majesty. Instead it crumbles like an ancient frown against the banks of the River Lochy, its once grand moat grown in with grass and curled like a sleeping cat around the castle’s outer walls.

Dotted at the corners of the vast inner courtyard are the jagged remnants of the towers, which resemble hastily opened soup cans.

But its riverside location gives a sense of what an industrious place this would have been during the height of its use. An information board has been posted at the castle’s entrance to demonstrate the scale of trading operations that would have gone on here when rivers were Scotland’s highways.

 You also have to imagine your visit here as if you were a child let loose in the ultimate creative playground. Run up the path and through the courtyard, straight out towards the river.

Zoom around the moat yelling orders to your comrade, who peaks through the gap in the stones from his strategic position in one of the towers. The enemy has been spotted - prepare the defences!

When the battle is over, sit down next to the water or beneath the trees, gaze up at the stones and think back on your adventures.

Inverlochy may not be one of grandiose castles that is a destination in itself, but its unassuming charm and quiet location so close to the town make it a perfect spot for a picnic.

Does anyone else have a favourite historical spot in Scotland that they feel may be underrated?

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