Hermit's Castle – Achmelvich, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Hermit's Castle

Achmelvich, Scotland

Believed to be the smallest castle in Europe.  


Scotland is renowned the world over as a land of dramatic scenery steeped in history, with many ancient castles to explore. However, on a windswept headland in the middle of nowhere is perhaps one of the most interesting and unusual castles of them all.

Despite its rather garish, Brutalist style of angular geometric shapes, the “castle” fits well into its surroundings with a tapestry of pebbles and shells etched into the concrete. The interior is equally bizarre. As visitors squeeze through the narrow opening, they will find a small room containing a concrete inset deep enough for a mattress.

According to legend, the castle was constructed in the 1950s by David Scott, a renowned architect from Norwich, England who was drawn to the rural nature of the Highlands. The castle stands around seven to eight feet tall. 

It’s believed Scott spent six months in secrecy on the project, buying materials from local fisherman and bringing it to the lonely outcrop in his open-top boat. After this herculean effort, it is said that the architect only spent a single night in the building, before vanishing back to Norwich never to return.

Know Before You Go

The castle is most easily accessed via the Shore Caravan Site. Although non-residents would be able to access the site, it would be courteous to call in and buy something from the on-site shop or even try some of the local fish and chips available on weekends. 

You will find the castle at the end of the peninsula. 

Please park responsibly. Parking for those not staying at the site is available at the equally wonderful Achmelvich Beach. A twice-daily, 809 bus service to Achmelvich is also available from Ullapool.

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