Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, Skye

Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, Skye

A living history showcasing different building periods ranging from the 1200’s up to the 1850’s, Dunvegan Castle is an exquisite representation of the Highland’s (and Island’s) heritage and is a must-visit on your holiday to Skye, whilst the formal gardens are just stunning.

Originally built as a fortress to keep people away, today the castle is a romantic sight, with its Victorian dummy pepper-pots and defensive battlements outlined against the sky. This addition may have taken place between 1840 and 1850, but behind this outer shell there remains a series of five different buildings from all different ages.

The castle’s massive battlements jut majestically over the water, rising from the rock, living up to its ‘Hold Fast’ motto whilst inside you’ll find gorgeous rooms housing beautiful paintings and important heirlooms of the clan MacLeod such as the Fairy Flag (said to ward off evil and ensure victory in battle) and Sir Rory Mor’s drinking horn.

Inland and protected from the winds by the castle are extensive formal gardens and woodlands to explore. The formal gardens were created in the 18th century and form a stark contrast to the wild moorland and mountains beyond. With a Walled Garden, Rose Garden, Water Garden and woodland walks, there’s plenty to inspire nature lovers and gardeners alike. The Walled Garden in particular is a must as it has been recreated to illustrate the original purpose of providing food for the Chief and his clansfolk.

Not usually found at castles, you can also enjoy a 25-minute boat trip to see the Loch Dunvegan seal colony and you’ll probably spot lots of birdlife too, including the Arctic Tern and the Sea Eagle. Trips depart between April and September from the jetty below the castle.

If you fancy a spot to eat, the MacLeod Tables Café offers freshly prepared food and drink. It’s open between April and October.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Skye here.

Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, Dunvegan, Skye IV55 8WF | 01470 521 206


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