A castle, which I had tried to visit many times in the past years, but in 2013 we were driving pass the entrance and lo and behold, a sign saying castle open. Dunollie Castle stands in Oban Bay, Scotland, and I think it must be one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. I can say this, because I think I have taken most of them, but I know others have taken a great many as well. The best way to take a photo or in my case photos, is on a ferry leaving Oban for one of the many beautiful islands you can visit. Anyway back to the visit, we drove into the car park and wandered past a gentleman building a ticket kiosk, but we didn’t have to pay, as they were not ready to take money yet! So it was a nice freebie. You walk past the museum, behind a private house and then you start to climb.
We were visiting in May and the bluebells that year were amazing, we caught glimpses of the castle and I was starting to wonder what we would find, It has always seemed mysterious to me, just seeing it from afar, I was really looking forward to actually standing in front of it.
We at last reached the summit and entered through a wooden door, in a wall and into the once courtyard. What over powers you. are the views, poor old castle didn’t get a look in for a few minutes. There were no railings at the time of our visit, not sure if there are any now, as they have been restoring the castle since our visit. So we had to be a little careful when taking photos, and not get to close to the edge, in my case that was easy, I didn’t go anywhere near the edge. Husband found it very difficult to come away from the edge, but he did climb the stone steps inside the Keep and looked out of a window for me. It was all a little overgrown, but that added to mystery and I just hope they do not tame it too much.
A little history for you…Dunollie Castle is situated on the northern outskirts of Oban. A small ruin surrounded on three sides by the sea. It is in one of these locations that probably always housed a strong point or lookout tower since man started fearing his fellow man. There is evidence of a fortification here in the sixth century. Parts of the north curtain wall dating from 1150 and the Keep, built in the 13th century, are mainly all that remain today, apart from the odd outlines in the undergrowth.
The castle overlooks the small island of Kerrera, which is on my list to visit, as it also has a castle.
The castle was the seat of the clan MacDougall, Lords of Lorn, who were a significant force in Scottish history, at one point they owned a third of Scotland. In 1746 the castle was abandoned and the family moved to newly built Dunollie House, behind the castle. The castle is still owned by the MacDougalls and the house has been converted into flats.
The museum on site is really interesting and hopefully I will post about that next. But if you are ever in Oban, visit the castle, even if castles are not really your thing, the views are worth it, they are amazing.