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Bringing History, and Nature, to Life


Argyll & Bute, Scotland, PA29 6UD


Map of Tarbert Castle Heritage Park (2021)

Tarbert Loch Fyne is a picturesque conservation village.  It lies at the north end of the Kintyre peninsula.

The village is built around a well-sheltered natural harbour.  The harbour is home to an inshore fishing fleet and has a popular marina for leisure craft.

On a hillside, overlooking the centre of the village, stand the ruins of the medieval Tarbert Castle.  The castle's royal connections date back to the 11th century AD.

In 1325, the castle was completely rebuilt and extended by King Robert I (Robert the Bruce), who is depicted in a distinctive and imposing equestrian statue which stands at Bannockburn today.

Equestrian statue of King Robert I at Bannockburn, Stirlingshire

When he improved the castle, King Robert was pursuing a campaign to subdue the island warlords and to unify Scotland.

Today, the castle is a National Scheduled Monument, and its ruins are owned and cared for by the community.  The castle's surviving structures have been consolidated to prevent deterioriation.

Access paths have been constructed, and the whole historic monument is open to visitors, 24/7, as part of Tarbert Castle Heritage Park.  The Heritage Park includes an historical interpretation area, a community woodland with a wildlife pond, a sculpture walk, and an orchard.

Whether for half-an-hour or half-a-day, Tarbert Castle Heritage Park is well worth a visit.  Explore the castle ruins, photograph the brilliant views, or just enjoy a family picnic.

You'll find the entrance to the main access route just across the road from the fish quay in Harbour Street. The postcode is PA29 6UD.

Look out for the distinctive dragonfly mosaic on the old stone wall where the path leads up to the castle.

Walk in the footsteps of countless villagers, and of seafaring, and perhaps warlike, visitors of old, as you climb the ancient shortcut.  This route doubles as the start of the Kintyre Way long distance footpath, which runs for approximately 100 miles as it crosses and re-crosses the peninsula on its way to Campbeltown and its final halt at Machrihanish.

Visit the newly-upgraded interpretation area and learn about not only the castle history, but also its royal connections, its community archaeology discoveries, and all the other interesting features of, or accessible from, the site.

Follow the sturdy timber steps up onto the grassy remains of the walls of the oldest part of the castle.  Here, the magnificent views begin to open out over the village, the harbour with its rocky islets, and  -  in the middle distance  -  the renowned and imposing waters of Loch Fyne.

Look out for the upstanding ruins of the 15th Century tower house built by King James IV, who summoned the Scottish Parliament to meet in Tarbert in 1502.  When you view the tower house, don't forget to track down the remains of two round towers beyond  -  the drum towers  -  which indicate the extent of the outer wall structures built by The Bruce.

Our flock of rare breed Hebridean Sheep provides conservation grazing throughout the site.

Behind the castle, i.e. towards the hillside, you'll find our community woodland and orchard.  These recent innovations are ideal for a quiet walk, a sheltered picnic, or just some respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life in these trying times.

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Tarbert Castle Trust

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