Dornoch Castle was built around 1500 as the home of the bishops of Caithness. Bishop Robert Stewart gifted the castle to John Gordon, 11th Earl of Sutherland in 1557. In 1570 the castle was set alight in a feud between the McKays and Murrays. The rebuilding which followed included the addition of the upper part of the tower. The castle decayed during the 18th century, but was restored in 1813–1814 to serve as a school and jail. In 1859-60 it became a court house, and was made the headquarters of the Sheriff of Sutherland.

Further alterations were made around 1880, including the heightening of the south-west block, and the addition of a three-storey east tower. Following the restoration the castle became a hunting lodge for visiting sportsmen. In 1947 it became a hotel. The Dornoch Castle Hotel has 24 rooms, including suites, and garden rooms, which were built in the 1970s. In addition, there are several personalized rooms and a restaurant.

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Founded: c. 1500
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

HaveFunInYourSpaceSuit (3 years ago)
The whisky bar is great, large selection and helpful staff. The food wasn't bad and the breakfast is nice bonus to wake up early. I would say the whisky bar is the best experience to visit.
Daniel Crandon (3 years ago)
Rooms were good, whiskey selection was great too. However, the food, which was priced as if it was fine dining, left me underwhelmed. Starter of crab was good and my dessert was first class. But my main of venison was poorly executed. The venison itself was over cooked, my carrots we're raw and broccoli was served with a small patch of mould on it. Other than that, the flavours were good. At those prices I would not expect those errors. Staff were nice and helpful and breakfast in the morning was tasty.
Zach Sonnenberg (3 years ago)
Great location if you're in town to play golf. Room was small and dated, but I slept great so I can't complain! Dinner was excellent in the restaurant as well.
Agnieszka Skibinska (3 years ago)
Fantastic service. A very good night sleep
jim webster (3 years ago)
Great whisky bar with very knowledgeable staff especially a young lady called Laura, the girl knows her whisky.
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The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

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The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

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