Eilean Donan Castle is a fortress located on a small promontory, which becomes a tiny tidal island at high tide. It can only be reached by a stone pedestrian bridge. The castle is the ancestral home of the Scottish clan of Macrae, near Dornie ( Dornie is a village in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands. ) that rises on the side of Lake Duich, northwest of Scotland – United Kingdom , which is in turn connected to the nearby Atlantic Ocean by Lake Alsh.
It is only accessible by boat or through a narrow stone bridge that connects the island with the shore of the lake, so that in its day it turned out to be a powerful fortress very difficult to take. The nearest town is Kyle of Lochalsh, less than 8 miles away and about 60 miles west of Inverness.
Not more precisely datable archaeological finds of slag occupy a settlement of the island in late Iron Age or early medieval times. A built on the island, the St. Donnán of Eigg († 617) awarded little monastery could not be detected by finds so far. The castle began to be constructed in 1220 by order of Alexander II of Scotland on the ruins of an old strong hold , like defense in front of the Viking incursions.
The Castle was one of the shelters used by Robert the Bruce when he was fleeing the English invasions of Edward I. Later the castle became the residence of the MacRae clan before being abandoned shortly after the union between Scotland and England.
In 1719 it was occupied by a Spanish expedition that aimed to militarily raise the Scots against the English crown.
The castle of Eilean Donan was then left in a state of ruin until John MacRae-Gilstrap restored it between 1912 and 1932. Today it is one of the most visited places by tourists who come every summer to Scotland and it is still the official residence of the Clan McRae.
The surroundings of the castle have been chosen for filming movies and TV series in recent past . among others , an episode of Rainer Erler’s Blue Palace TV series and in movies like Highlander – there can be only one, Elizabeth – The Golden Age, Braveheart, Prince Valiant, Capture, Made of Honor and Rob Roy. Also for James Bond The world is not enough, some scenes were shot at the site.
Eilean Donan Castle today is considered one of the most photographed motifs in Scotland. In 2009, far more than 310,000 visitors were counted, making Eilean Donan Castle the third most visited castle in Scotland.
Eilean Donan is the ideal location for many special occasions , business events , social events , Weddings, private celebrations , Photo shoots , Filming.
Access : Coordinates:57.274028°, -5.516111° / By coaches:Citylink run coaches from Skye to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, which stop at Dornie, close to Eilean Donan / Rapsons ( local bus service) also operate a daily service (no. 51 operating from Kyle), Kyle is connected easily to Skye, by the Rapsons & Citylink bus services, which travel across the Skye Bridge 7 days a week!/ By train : train to Inverness and then another train to Kyle of Lochalsh and then a taxi or bus to Eilean Donan. Or train to Mallaig, ferry to Skye /
/ The Isle of Skye is easy to visit either by ferry at Glenelg or by bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh (8 miles from the Castle).
Facilities : Visitor Centre , Includes the Ticket Office, Gift Shop and Coffee Shop.
Opening Hours : 1st Feb – 23rd March,10.00am – 4.00pm/24th March – 26th Oct,10.00am – 6.00pm/9.00am during July & August, and 9.30am in June & September./27th Oct – 30th Dec (Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day)10.00am – 4.00pm.
Admission fees : Adults £10.00 (inclusive of Audio Guide), Concessions (Seniors Aged 60+)£9.00 (inclusive of Audio Guide),Family (2 Adults + 3 Children Age 5-15)
£29.00 (inclusive of Audio Guide),Children over 5 £6.00 (inclusive of Audio guide),Under 5s FREE.
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Scenic Driving- Auto Touring, Glenfinnan and the Loch Shiel are an ideal stopover on this 10-day route through Scotland or on this 3-day route through the Highlands. / Nature Viewing / hiking and hill-walking, five minutes walk between the Castle and the village of Dornie. / Bus Tours to Eilean Donan / Highland Tours.
Go next : Dornie , a small village in the north-west Highlands / Plockton , a village on the coast of Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands / Kyle of Lochalsh.