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Hermit Castle


The Hermits Castle



The Route is blessed with many Castles, and we recommend doing your best to visit a few.

The Castles all have a story to tell, and all are different, but none more so than The Hermits Castle at Achmelvich Beach, and if it’s not the Smallest in the World, then we would love to know different.


Hermits Castle: A Mysterious Folly on the Scottish Coast

If you are looking for a unique and intriguing attraction on your road trip, you might want to check out Hermits Castle. This tiny concrete structure, perched on a rocky shore near Achmelvich Beach, is said to be Europe’s smallest castle, if not the World.

But who built it, why, and when? And what is it like to visit today?

Let’s explore the history and mystery of Hermits Castle and give you some tips on how to find it and what to expect.


Achmelvich Beach


The History of Hermits Castle

The story behind Hermits Castle is shrouded in mystery and speculation. According to some sources, the castle was built in 1950 by David Scott, an architect from Norwich. He allegedly brought materials by boat and spent six months constructing the castle. The castle had glazed windows and a door and was intended as a small bothy or retreat for Scott.

However, after spending only one weekend in his creation, Scott left and never returned. No one knows why he abandoned his project so abruptly or what he hoped to achieve by building it. Some say he was disappointed by the harsh weather conditions or the lack of comfort inside the castle. Others suggest he had personal or legal troubles that forced him to flee. The truth remains unknown.


The Mystery of Hermits Castle

Since Scott’s departure, Hermits Castle has been left to decay and vandalism. The windows have been smashed, graffiti has been sprayed on the walls, and rubbish has been dumped inside. The castle has also attracted curious visitors and adventurers who have tried to stay overnight or explore its surroundings.

The castle has also inspired various legends and rumours over the years. Some locals believe that Scott was not the original builder of the castle but rather a squatter who took over an older structure that dates back to medieval times. Others claim that Scott was a spy or a fugitive who used the castle as a hideout. Some even say the castle is haunted by Scott’s ghost or other sinister spirits.

The Visit to Hermits Castle

Despite its dilapidated state and eerie reputation, Hermits Castle is still worth visiting for those interested in its history or architecture.

The castle is on a scenic headland overlooking Achmelvich Bay, which offers stunning views of the white sand beach and turquoise sea below. The contrast between the landscape’s natural beauty and the concrete structure’s starkness is striking.

To find Hermits Castle, follow a short trail from Achmelvich Beach car park through Shore Caravan Site. Alternatively, you can walk along the coast from Clachtoll Beach Campsite. The walk takes about 20 minutes each way and is fairly easy but can be muddy or slippery in wet weather.

Once you reach Hermit’s Castle, you can admire it from outside or enter through its narrow opening if you dare.

Inside, you will find a single room with a fireplace, a window, and a ledge that serves as a bed. The space is dark, damp, and cramped, and there is not much to see except for some graffiti and rubbish.
However, you might feel a sense of wonder or curiosity about what motivated Scott
to build such an unusual place and what his experience was like staying here.

If you decide to visit Hermit’s Castle, please be respectful of its history and environment.

Like everywhere on the Route do not leave litter, or damage, or disturb anything inside or outside.

Also, be careful of your safety as no facilities or services are nearby.
And remember: You are not alone.

You might encounter other visitors, wildlife, or even ghosts…


Hermit’s Castle is one of Scotland’s most fascinating castles, not because of its size, grandeur, or age, but because of its mystery.
No one knows who built it, why they built it, or why they left it so soon.

All we have are stories, speculations, and imaginations.
But perhaps that makes it so appealing:  it invites us to wonder about its secrets and create our own interpretations.

Like many Places on the Route, it is well worth a visit.





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