Castle Stalker, also known as Caisteal an Stalcaire in Scottish Gaelic, is a four-story medieval castle located on a small tidal island in Port Appin, Argyll on the west coast of Scotland.
The castle’s name translates to “Castle Hunter” and its picturesque location has made it a famous landmark in Scotland (Monty Python also had a hand in this too! read on….).
Located in the mouth of Loch Laich, the island Castle Stalker stands on is referred to as an “islet” and known as Rock of the Cormorants. Like almost all the castles in Scotland, you can let you imagination run wild as this castle has a history of clan wars, royal connections, illegitimacy and murder.
History of Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker has a rich history, dating back to the Gaelic era. It’s a medieval castle that’s survived the test of time, standing as a lone sentinel on its own tiny tidal islet on the west coast of Scotland, just south of Glencoe. Over the years, the castle has undergone several changes and renovations, but it still retains its original medieval charm.
Castle Stalker, the landmark after which the nearby café is named, is a fortified building dating back to 1320 that was originally owned by the MacDougalls and later by the Stewarts of Appin . The name Stalker is derived from the Gaelic word “Stalcaire,” meaning hunter or falconer.
Did you know? Monty Python!
Castle Stalker in Argyll, Scotland was used as the location for “The Castle Aargh!” in the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975). Although the scenes of King Arthur’s army appearing to be opposite the castle were filmed on the other side of Scotland near Bridge of Allan close to Stirling, Castle Stalker still remains a recognizable landmark for fans of the movie.
Also Castle Stalker is briefly featured in Highlander: Endgame (2000) and in Susan Cook’s children’s book, The Boggart, it was the inspiration for ‘Castle Keep’.
Current Condition of Castle Stalker
The castle is in excellent condition, considering its age. It’s a well-preserved historic site that’s open for visitors to explore. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The castle was restored during a 10 year program by the late Lt. Col. D. R. Stewart Allward. Ownership was transferred to his family on his passing away in 1991 who keep the castle as a private residence and are responsible for its upkeep.
Visiting Castle Stalker
Visiting Castle Stalker is a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:
Take a guided tour: A guided tour of Castle Stalker is a great way to learn about its history and appreciate its beauty.
Wear comfortable shoes:
The castle is located on a small tidal island, so visitors must cross a causeway to get there. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
Castle Stalker is a popular tourist destination in the summer, so it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds.
Take in the scenery:
The castle is surrounded by beautiful scenery, so be sure to pause and just take in the views.
Castle Stalker Address:
Castle Stalker, Appin, PA38 4BL
It costs around £25 for an adult and £16 for children in 2023 and must be booked ahead of time. This can be done via email, phone (their number is 01631 730354) and opening times can be checked on their website here.
Castle Stalker View Cafe & Giftshop
On the coast line there overlooking the castle is the cafe & giftshop. It is a renowned spot located in Appin Portnacroish, Appin, Scotland .
The cafe boasts of panoramic views of Castle Stalker, Loch Linnhe and the Isle of Mull . The cafe is known for its focus on home-made dishes and the best of Scottish fare, and is also licensed to serve Scottish Ale with lunch . The giftshop, on the other hand, stocks a range of books, cards, jewellery, and other unusual gifts.
Castle Stalker is a must-visit for anyone who loves history and architecture (and maybe cake, lots of cake). Its location on a small tidal island adds to its charm and makes it a unique and unforgettable experience.
While not technically on the “official” NC500 route, if you’re looking for more things to see & experience while in Scotland, taking the scenic route down the West side of Scotland, look out Castle Stalker
Whether you’re a local resident or a tourist visiting Scotland or a die-hard a Monty Python fan this picturesque castle is definitely worth a visit (for cake!).
Frequently Asked Questions About Castle Stalker
These are a couple of commonly asked questions about Castle Stalker in Appin, Argyll, Scotland.
Was Castle Stalker in Monty Python?
Yes, Castle Stalker was in the 1975 Monty Python film and was featured as “The Castle Aargh!”
Does anyone live in Castle Stalker?
Yes. On Stewart Allward’s death, it was passed to his family who are responsible for the castles upkeep and use it as a family residence.
Who owns Castle Stalker now?
The castle is now owned by the Allward family. It was restored by the late Stewart Allward who spent 10 years restoring the castle. The family have now opened the castle to the public during the summer season.
Why was Castle Stalker built?
The castle was build around 1540 to be used as a hunting lodge by James IV. It was built by Duncan Stewart of Appin and the name “Castle Stalker” literally translates to “Castle of the Hunter” by its Gaelic name Caisteal Stalcair.
Is Castle Stalker Café for Sale?
Yes. At the time of writing the café & gift shop at castle stalker is on sale for offers around £180,000. The property is held on the Scottish equivalent of a Leasehold. More details can be found here.
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