So just before you get to the Isle of Skye, on the mainland, is this castle. You’ve probably seen it before.
I think this is the most famous castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan. Eilean is the Gaelic word for Island, and the castle is situated on the very tip of a peninsula at the intersection of three lochs. In fact, all that green and brown you see in the above picture is usually covered in water, we just happened to be there on a low day. So most of the time, it’s like an island. 🙂
The castle was used mainly for military strategy – there are some bedrooms, but no one ever really lived here. It was passed through several hands: different clans, different royals, but remained Scottish. It was destroyed a rebuilt a few times, too; the castle now standing was rebuilt only in the 1920s.
They have the rooms inside the castle set up just like it would’ve been in the old days, an artillery room, a banquet hall, the kitchens, and bedrooms. It was really beautifully decorated, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures. Which honestly didn’t stop me on a few occasions…
If I take a picture out the window, it’s outside the castle, right?
The castle’s history goes all the way back to 800 AD, possibly farther. Pretty impressive. It was at a really vital point for trade and defense, obviously as it was outfitted for war. Coming from landlocked America, I haven’t grown up thinking about water as a transportation system, but living in the UK is a constant reminder of that! This castle saw Vikings, Romans, and hundreds of other peoples trying to make their way in Scotland.
It’s currently possessed (more or less) by the MacCrae clan. It seems to me the higher I go in the Highlands, the more relevant clans become. MacCraes are all over the place in this area.
It was an amazing castle. If you are going to see just one castle in your lifetime, this would be a good one to pick.