Castle Varrich and Clan Mackay, Northern Highlands of Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Castle Varrich which is situated on a prominent hill close to the village of Tongue on the north coast of Scotland, about 85 miles directly north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. From a military perspective, the castle dominates the Kyle of Tongue, a narrow waterway connected to the sea.

Date of the castle’s construction is not documented but could be 14th century.
Historically, the castle is associated with Clan Mackay and is believed to have been the home of the Clan chiefs until they relocated to Tongue House.

Landscape view of Castle Varrich

The Castle is now a romantic ruin with access restricted for safety reasons.However, there is a path up to the Castle exterior from Tongue which offers good views of the surrounding landscape, including Ben Loyal (a mountain) which reaches 2507 feet. Allow about 60-90 minutes for a round trip hike from Tongue.

View of Tongue from Castle Varrich.

Key facts concerning Castle Varrich:
  • Walls at least 1.4m thick.
  • Two floors plus an attic with ground floor possibly used for stabling and /or cattle.
  • Upper floor may have been accessed by a ladder or similar structure.
Here is a video clip of the local landscape including the castle.


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