Castle in Sutherland
Castle Varrich is in the far north of the Scottish Highlands, near the village of Tongue.
The castle is on a local high point of rock, overlooking both the Kyle of Tongue and the village of Tongue. The castle’s precise origins and age are unknown.
The ancient seat of the chief of the Clan Mackay was at Castle Varrich, thought to be over one thousand years old; there are believed to be caves under the castle which were once inhabited by the Mackays. It is believed that the Mackays may have built their castle on the site in the 14th century, on top of an existing old Norse fort.
The name ‘Tongue’ is said to come from the Norse ‘Tunga’ meaning land projecting into a loch. A lovely footpath from the village leads up to the castle ruin and is well worth the effort for the spectacular views alone. Some recent work has been undertaken on the castle – which is a scheduled monument – to make it safe and more accessible. Park in the village, where there are a range of services for visitors, and follow the sign for Castle Varrich.