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


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gordon Thomson (6 months ago)
Walked into the lovely big beer garden and sat for an hour with a beer really nice place to pass away the hours
Scotlandsroute66 (6 months ago)
After spending a Weekend with family and friends for a long over due cancelled Pandemic it was great to be back in Dornoch. The Hotel was just the perfect setting and with staff, friendly and warm they went along with the Hotel its self, warm and Friendly. Food, it was to die for, and the service was attentive and just right. The bedrooms were much like everything else, Perfect. The weekend allowed us to explore the area for the first time in years, and I did wonder if the area had lost its family charm, but not at all. Recommend this Hotel, of course, it is still one of the Best North of Inverness.......................
Igor Smyriov (7 months ago)
Looks intersting. Need to stay overnight to feel all pleasure.
Margaret Bain (7 months ago)
Had lunch with the family today in the beer garden and it was excellent. The gardens are beautiful, the food was lovely and the staff were really pleasant and helpful. Will definitely be back!
Nicole Somerville (7 months ago)
Fabulous history... beautiful clean rooms. Still a few teething issues with staff but that is to be expected being closed for a year....
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