October 18, 2013

Filming Location: MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1974) - Castle Argh!

This iconic castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail appears to be in the middle of a lake, but actually guards an inlet from the sea. Called "Castle Argh" in the film, it's real name is Castle Stalker. Now a private residence, as it was when the film was made, the building and island are only open to the public on selected dates every year, and need to be pre-booked (here at the Castle Stalker website). Our holiday in Scotland was arranged at the last minute, but we still went to see what we could see.

Castle Stalker can be clearly seen from the coast road, the A282, that runs between the towns of Oban and Fort William - it's closest to the village of Appin. There's a small lay-by where you can park and get this view (above and below) of the castle.

Note the lighthouse at top left. With constantly changing weather, low cloud or mist, the background can almost totally disappear.

Also look out for the Castle Stalker Cafe, easy to spot along the coast road, to view it from another angle. Also get souvenirs and shelter from the rain in the cafe which overlooks the castle. The path from the car park allows a closer look, though the trees are very nearly in the way.

The angle from the car park looks like it's 180 degrees from the one in the film, meaning that the scene below was shot on that beach in the distance.

I always thought it was a joke that King Arthur and Sir Bedevere take a boat out, then walk back from the castle. But at low tide, this is in fact possible, because the bay is so shallow. Still dangerous if you get your timing wrong...

(For more Filming Locations, check the list in the side bar at the right)

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