Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Although the island of Eilean Donan has been a fortified site for at least 800
years, the present building largely dates from the early 20th century.
Today's castle, which rose from the ruins of its predecessor, was re-built
between 1912 and 1932 by Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap.
You can explore almost every part of the Castle from the Banqueting Hall to the
bedrooms. You'll be following in the footsteps of many a warrior - from the
Vikings to James Bond, from Jacobites to Hollywood's 'Highlander'. Our guides
will welcome you, show you around and answer your questions.
The introductory exhibition depicts the early history of Eilean Donan and the
days when the Castle sat at the heart of the sea kingdom of the Lord of the Isles
The single barrel vault which spans the Billeting Room is some 760 mm (2' 6")
deep and the walls are up to 4.26 m (14') thick. It is thought that in earlier
times this would have been the billet for off-duty soldiers. Today it contains a
fascinating collection of castle, MacRae family and local history artefacts.
Known as either the Great Hall or Banqueting Hall, this finely proportioned room
owes some of its characteristics to the Halls found in medieval castles and
others to the relative comfort demanded by a more modern age
The massive walls and vast fireplace are familiar features of
Scotland's fortified buildings. The gothic, leaded windows owe
more to Victorian romanticism. The substantial timber beams are
of Douglas Fir and were shipped from British Columbia during the
restoration of the Castle as a gift from the Macraes of Canada.
Today the Great Hall contains fine furniture, family portraits and
Jacobite memorabilia including a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie's
The third floor of the Castle was only opened to the public in 1995
after the bedrooms were renovated. The tartan fabric carpets are a
MacRae sett woven by the company of a great grandson of the
The recreated kitchen enables visitors to experience the sights, sounds and
smells as Mrs. MacRae-Gilstrap, the butler and the kitchen staff prepare for one
of the first banquets to be held in the newly rebuilt Castle in 1932.
If you want to rest your feet and gaze at the views from the comfort of the
visitor centre, then please enjoy our coffee shop or browse in the gift shop
At the meeting point of three sea lochs on the west coast of Scotland, Eilean
Donan is situated by the picturesque village of Dornie on the main tourist route
to the Isle of Skye.
From the Castle you can walk to Dornie at the mouth of Loch Long, see the
Cuillin of Skye in the distance across Loch Alsh or look to the head of Loch Duich
towards the dramatic Five Sisters of Kintail.
Travel a short distance to visit the outstanding brochs of Glenelg built over
1500 years ago, wander through the Lochalsh Woodland Garden at Balmacara,
or climb up to the Falls of Glomach.
The Isle of Skye is easy to visit either via the ferry at Glenelg or the bridge at
Kyle of Lochalsh (8 miles from the Castle).