On the third day of this castle itinerary head to the west of the Highlands, to explore the castles built near to, and on, the Isle of Skye. Begin with a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, an iconic Scottish monument and one of the most photographed places in the country. Strategically located on its own little island, overlooking the Isle of Skye, at the point where three great sea-lochs meet, and surrounded by the majestic splendour of the forested mountains of Kintail, Eilean Donan’s setting is truly breath-taking. Visitors have the opportunity to wander round most of the fabulous internal rooms of the castle viewing period furniture, Jacobean artefacts, displays of weapons and fine art. Historical interest and heritage are in abundance with informed guides happy to share a wealth of knowledge.
From there take the A87 across the bridge onto Skye to experience two of Skye’s most interesting and unusual castles. Begin with a visit to the Armadale Castle and Gardens, located near Ardvasar on the most southerly point of Skye. Built on the ancient lands of Clan Donald, the castle, museum and gardens offers a wide variety of activities for the whole family. The estate’s principal focal points are the restored historic gardens, and the beautiful walking trails threading through the 40 acres of woodland around Armadale Castle. Part of the castle has been restored and the striking ruined remains sensitively re-designed, to create an attractive landscape within the gardens.
Finally finish your trail with a visit to Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, built on a rock in an idyllic loch side setting, Dunvegan is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. On display are many fine oil paintings and clan treasures, the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that this sacred banner has miraculous powers and when unfurled in battle. Visitors can enjoy tours of an extraordinary castle and Highland estate, steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal garden and take a boat trip onto Loch Dunvegan to see the seal colony.