One of the most famous castles in Britain, Eilean Donan Castle Scotland is located on an islet at the meet of 3 lochs not far from the isle of Skye. Its strategic and scenic locations is combined with great historical displays. A place not to be missed...
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Eilean Donan Castle History
Eilean Donan Castle Scotland, or island of Donan, was not originally built on the islet. It was set up that way early 13th century as a defensive measure against the Vikings.
Overtime the castle has changed a lot, expanding and contracting. During medieval times it was probably at its largest.
The Castle of Eilean Donan played a role in the Jacobite risings in the 17th and 18th centuries. And it was destroyed as a result... in 1719.
After being left in ruins for 200 years, it was bought by Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911 who spent 20 years restoring it
PLANNING TIPS - Eilean Donan Castle Scotland
How to get to Eilean Donan Castle Scotland
- The Castle of Eilean Donan is very easy to find. From Road A87 to the Isle of Skye, it is clearly indicated as you can see in the photo below
- 15 min before the Skye Bridge
- Glasgow to Eilean Donan Castle = 4h15 drive
- Edinburgh to Eilean Donan Castle = 4h15 drive
- Inverness to Eilean Donan Castle = 2h drive
The GPS coordinates and location on a practical map are available on my Travel Guides that simplify the planning of your itinerary:
Visiting Eilean Donan Castle
- It is a very touristic spot and the parking fills up very quickly
- Open everyday - 10am to 6pm 25th March to 25th Oct, 10am to 4pm or 5pm the other months
- More information on the Castle's website
- Toilets and café at the visitor center
- Eilean Donan is also a stop on most small group Isle of Skye Tours - check out my article to help you choose
Photographing Eilean Donan Castle Scotland
- The Eilean Donan Castle Scotland is a great spot for photography both at sunrise and sunset as there are views from each side
- Also consider the tide that can help you get great reflections
Views of Eilean Donan Castle Scotland from the Visitor Center
As you approach the castle you discover its great location. It just stands out in the environment. I would have loved to see it with a little bit more water though...
Views from the other side of the Bridge
You can also walk towards the right of the bridge and ifs over the other side. Here they are fun seats made of wood.
Inside Eilean Donan Castle Scotland
As I wanted to spend more time outside in the beautiful nature of the Isle of Skye, I decided not to visit the inside of the castle. Plus there were a lot of tourists for such a small castle and I don't like crowds.
The inside has been well furnished, especially the kitchen. Mannequins and replica are set up to show how life was int he castle.
To give you an idea and help you decide if you wan to visit are a couple of shots on Flickr:
Best view of Eilean Donan Castle - with Loch Duich
Most people continue directly to the Isle of Skye anxious to discover the Old Man of Storr or Kilt Rock. However take at least 5 minutes to stop a little bit further on A87. The Jetty has a bakery and a wonderful view of the Eilean Donan Castle Scotland with the magnificent mountains of Loch Duich in the background:
Castle of Eilean Donan Scotland in Video
And here is a short video to summarize the views of Eilean Donan Castle Scotland.
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