Clan Donald itinerary

Clan Donald is a large clan with a proud history, stretching across Scotland. This itinerary focuses on the Donald connections in the west of Scotland, visiting Inverness, Skye, Glencoe and the isles of Isla, Jura and Eigg. Clan Donald were once rulers of the 'sea kingdom' on Scotland's west coast and found particular success in Skye where they became the self-styled ‘Lords of the Isles’.

  • Armadale Castle, Skye
    Armadale Castle, Skye
  • Culloden Battlefield at dusk, near Inverness
    Culloden Battlefield, near Inverness
  • Looking up the main driveway of Dunvegan Castle and Gardens
    Dunvegan Castle and Gardens
  • Glencoe Memorial
    Glencoe Memorial

Begin the Clan Donald itinerary in Inverness, the beautiful capital of the Highlands, in the north of Scotland. If you need more information before setting out on your journey, drop by the Inverness VisitScotland Information Centre to pick up leaflets and speak to the helpful staff.

Discover more about the city’s history at the Inverness Museum or head straight out to the battleground of Culloden where, in April 1746, Bonnie' Prince Charlie's Jacobite rebellion, supported by Clan Donald, was crushed by government forces. Explore the visitor centre to find out about the battle, which only lasted an hour but saw 1,200 people lose their lives. You can also take a battlefield tour and watch the daily Living History presentation which brings this historic moment to life.

To find out more about what life was like in the area for Clan Donald and other Highlanders, visit the village of Newtonmore, south of Inverness. The Highland Folk Museum is a living history museum covering 300 years and spread out over an 80 acre site. Enjoy hands-on activities and displays and take a walk through the site to look for wildlife.

Head south from Newtonmore and past the town of Fort William to Glencoe, one of the most breathtaking places in the country. Explore the visitor centre to learn more about the infamous massacre which took place in Glen Coe in 1692, a tragic event in Scotland’s clan history which left more than 30 members of the Macdonald clan dead.

Leave the small Highland village and head west on a stunning drive to the Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge over to the Isle of Skye. Your first stop should be Clan Donald Skye, a 20,000 acre highland estate in south Skye. Once part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald, the estate was purchased by the Clan Donald Lands Trust in 1971, established to promote and develop an understanding of the clan. The estate is home to the Museum of the Isles based in Armadale Castle, where you can learn more about the history of the clan, and 40 acres of gardens and woodland areas, with magnificent trees, flowers and plants.

Follow in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie who escaped to Skye by boat after his army’s defeat at the Battle of Culloden. He was rowed across the Minch by Flora MacDonald and his journey took him throughout the island. Drive north to Skye's largest settlement, the picturesque harbour village of Portree, where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie bade his final farewell to Flora MacDonald. You can see a memorial to the Jacobite heroine at Kilmuir Graveyard.

You can find out even more about Flora at Dunvegan Castle, a mighty stronghold built on a rock. The massive exterior is made up of six separate buildings surrounded with defensive battlements running the whole length of the roof line. Enter the castle to see the grand rooms, which are full of priceless heirlooms and items thought to have belonged to her.