Castle Stalker is a four-storey tower house or keep set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich. The island castle's picturesque appearance, with its bewitching island setting against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, has made it a favourite subject for postcards and calendars, and something of a cliché image of Scottish Highland scenery. Castle Stalker is entirely authentic; it is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland.

The original castle was a small fort, built around 1320 by Clan MacDougall who were then Lords of Lorn. Around 1388 the Stewarts took over the Lordship of Lorn, and it is believed that they built the castle in its present form around the 1440s. The Stewart's relative King James IV of Scotland visited the castle, and a drunken bet around 1620 resulted in the castle passing to Clan Campbell. After changing hands between these clans a couple of times the Campbells finally abandoned the castle in about 1840, when it lost its roof. In 1908 the castle was bought by Charles Stewart of Achara, who carried out basic conservation work. In 1965 Lt. Col. D. R. Stewart Allward acquired the castle and over about ten years fully restored it. Castle Stalker remains in private ownership and is open to the public at selected times during the summer.

While most castle scenes in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) were filmed in and around Doune Castle, Castle Stalker appears in the final scene as 'The Castle of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh'.

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Founded: 1440s
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Shannon Houston (4 months ago)
I would recommend putting The Old Inn - into google maps rather than Castle Stalker, as google maps lead us down a side road you couldn’t park down but you can park in the cafe car park. We came around sunset and would recommend stopping if you love a good view! Really pretty
Andrea Urbán (5 months ago)
A lovely little place, worth a visit. Park at the cafe and walk down to the lock by the road as you cannot park anywhere down there. Looks best at high tide but even in rain and low tide we were amazed by it. Unfortunately it was not open because of the virus so we need to go back to have a peak inside another time.
Tim Bull (6 months ago)
Iconic place (Monty python!!) Great to see. just a shame you can't get get to the island and see round the place. Ps. Nice cafe that love looks it.
Tomasz Derlacki (6 months ago)
I have not had a chance to visit this magnificent iconic place but only see it from the shore. Even so my life is now more complete :)
Simon Kingsnorth (6 months ago)
Who wouldn’t want to visit Castle Aaargh from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Beautiful area and looks exactly as in the movie minus the French people. Peaceful and easy to get to.
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

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.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

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.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.