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Clan Seats of Scotland – Clan MacKay – Castle Varrich – Scotcrest Blog

Castle Varrich, Tongue – Clan MacKay

Castle Varrich - Clan Mackay

Located at the top of a prominent hill overlooking the beautiful Kyle of Tongue, Castle Varrich is the traditional seat of the historic Clan MacKay.

Now a crumbling old tower house, the castle is located in the far north of the Scottish Highlands and is said to have been constructed 1000 years ago by the Bishops of Caithness.

It would be the MacKays, however, who would become the castle’s most famous residents and they are believed to have constructed a stronghold on the site around the time of the 14th century, replacing the old Norse fort which had previously stood there.

In its heyday, the castle had two floors plus an attic and it is believed that there are caves located under the structure which were also inhabited by the MacKays in times of danger.

Today, all that is left of the once important castle is it’s ruined tower and the MacKay family have long since moved on to other properties.

Despite this, Varrich is still a fantastic destination to visit for anyone with an interest in Scottish history and is easily accessible by a specially built path which leads to the castle from the village of Tongue. In recent years, a mental staircase has even been added to the inside of the castle to allow visitors access the fantastic views across the Kyle of Tongue and back towards the mountains Ben Loyal and Ben Hope.