The Featured Image of Eilean Donan Castle

Visit Eilean Donan Castle – Kyle of Lochalsh

Every traveller dreams of a picture with one of the most photographed fortresses – the Eilean Donan Castle. This selfie-perfect island castle has been serenely standing as a royal testimony of beauty and boldness since the 6th century. It is situated at the intersection of three tidal lochs deep inside the Scottish Highlands and guards a small island. Read this article to know more about the castle’s history, interesting facts, and what makes the castle an unmissable splendour.

LocationDornie, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland (Google Map Location)
Open for visitorsYes
Owned byThe Conchra Charitable Trust
Official WebsiteEilean Donan Castle
Room’s availableYes (Events, Filming, Weddings)

Eilean Donan Castle History

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle, by Irena Jackson, is licensed under CC0 1.0

Eilean Donan, meaning the Isle of Donnan, is believed to be a Celtic Saint who was martyred in 617. His followers built a church in his respect. A Scottish legend says that the castle was later built by a mysterious warrior who could talk to birds. However, there is no evidence to back such claims. Historically, the castle was built as a fortification to defend the lands of Kintail from Viking invaders. It was majorly destroyed during the Jacobite uprising in 1719, after which it remained ruined for 200 years. In 1911, Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the castle, restored it for 20 years and opened it to the public in 1932.

Eilean Donan Castle Inside

Eilean Donan Castle Inside
Eilean Donan Castle Inside, by Shadowgate, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It is believed that the original castle was much bigger than its current size, with towers and curtain walls covering the entire island. Through the centuries, the size of the castle kept changing, depending on the residents and foreign attacks. It was restored in 1911. Today it has modern amenities for the guests. Electric lights and central heating systems are a few things that make staying here comfortable. The rooms adorn mock-Medieval grandeur, with the Billeting Room having a barrel-vaulted ceiling that has been made of stones. There are banquet halls, while the history shines through the coat of arms of Major MacRae-Gilstrap at the entrance.

Eilean Donan Castle Interesting Facts

  • Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most featured Scottish castles in films, and other entertaining series like The World Is Not Enough, Highlander, The New Avengers, and BBC One Television Idents.
  • It is one of the most visited tourist destinations & most recognizable castle in the Scottish Highlands.
  • This castle remained in ruins for over 200 years.
  • The castle is named after Saint Donan, an Irish bishop who lived on the island at the beginning of the seventh century.

Eilean Donan Castle Nearby Places to Stay

There are plenty of options to stay near and around the Castle. You can choose from cottages, homestays, grand hotels, and heritage homes turned into homestays. Some popular hotels include The Dornie Hotel, Kintail Lodge Hotel, Balmacara Hotel, Salty Towers Bed and Breakfast, etc. You can also rent an apartment or a Cottage at the Castle itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Eilean Donan Castle?

The Conchra Charitable Trust owns Eilean Donan Castle. It takes care of the restoration and preservation of the castle while managing public access to this historic gem.

Where is Eilean Donan Castle located?

The castle is located on a small tidal island situated at a point where three sea lochs meet deep into the Scottish Highlands. It is around 1 km away from the village of Dornie.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
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