It is profoundly comforting to visit a site which has withstood siege and famine, plague and war, which continues to exist and, because of the work of trustees, will continue to exist after we have gone. That sense of continuity is comforting. It is also a very safe visit here at Castle Cluggy; we have a lot of outdoor space and people can step out of their everyday lives in a way that is really safe and Covid-secure. In the past, lesser-known, more intimate local sites have often been overlooked in favour of more iconic ones, despite having just as rich and important a history. This has been a long and hard pandemic but one silver lining appears to be that with people staying closer to home, they have discovered historic places nearby.
You can see high resolution aerial 360° panorama views of Loch Monzievaird by clicking on the following link with your mouse. Use the controls to zoom in and out. On the north side of the loch on a little peninsula below the big house are the remains of Castle Cluggy:
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Castle Cluggy is found on the northern shore of Loch Monzievaird which is 1.5 miles west of Crieff directly adjacent to the A85. There are two laybys on the A85 just a few hundred metres from the estate entrance (postcode: PH7 4JP). Castle Cluggy Charitable Trust looks after the physical remains of the castle together with the adjoining land known as the Dry Isle. The loch and surrounding grounds are part of a privately owned estate.
The Trust enjoys friendly communications with Loch Monzievaird Holiday Lodges. To visit the castle, simply use the visitor's car park on the left-hand side of the drive at the reception area - ideally letting the manager know you are on site - then follow the loch side footpath keeping the loch on your right-hand side. Visitors might need to fight their way through all the undergrowth and there are some steep steps [sensible footwear is strongly recommended] but it should be worth all the effort.
What is there to see?
The ruins of a rectangular tower built as a hall house and subsequently heavily modified. The Category B-listed building is situated on a little peninsula called the 'Dry Isle' approached in former times only by a drawbridge for the purposes of strength and security. The nearby crannog (artificial island) is said to have been used in days gone by as a place of containment for any prisoners held by the castle. Much of the original castle has been destroyed revealing an impressive square tower with thick walls and arrow slots at various levels. The structure is unstable and therefore there is no internal access. WARNING: This is a dangerous building due to the risk of falling masonry. DO NOT ENTER.
Locked gates and ‘private’ signs do not make the countryside feel like a welcoming place but it is important that everyone enjoying outdoor recreation in Scotland is aware of their rights and responsibilities. Scotland has statutory rights of public access to most land and inland water, through the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, based on the principle that you can be on or cross most land provided that you are doing so in a responsible way. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code has three main principles: 1. Respect the interests of other people 2. Care for the environment 3. Take responsibility for your own actions.