The Isle of Skye has some beautiful castles that are steeped in rich history. Why not stop by on your next road trip adventure to Skye?
1. Dunvegan Castle
Dunvegan was a stronghold of Clan Macleod for around eight centuries. The castle now houses a stunning collection of paintings and heirlooms including The Fairy Flag- one of the Macleod’s most treasured possessions that is rumoured to have miraculous powers.
The castle is also known for its beautiful gardens complete with ornate bridges, islands and a rich variety of colourful plants.
2. Duntulum Castle
Duntulum Castle is said to be the first fortified castle of the Iron Age. Unfortunately, only ruins of this fort remain after the Macdonalds abandoned the castle in 1730. Today, it is said that the castle is haunted by the ghost of a former Clan Macdonald nursemaid.
3. Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. The beautiful castle is not actually on the Isle of Skye but is en route if you are coming through Dornie so we thought that we would include it anyway!
Eilean Donan's (Donan's Island) name comes from St Donan, an Irish monk who established a monastery on the island around 500AD. The castle has an interesting history which can be learned about today in the castle's excellent visitors centre.
4. Caisteal Maol (Moil Castle)
Caisteal Maol, meaning bare castle relating to its ruined state, occupies a prominent position on a headland looking over the Kyle of Lochalsh. The castle, also known as Dunakin, once belonged to King Haakon, a Viking king who sailed through on his way to the Battle of Largs 1263.
The castle is easily reached and sits on a small hill east of Kyleakin. It's definitely worth a trip for the view!
5. Knock Castle
Knock Castle (also known as Caisteal Uaine or Caisteal Camus) was seized from the MacLeod Clan by the Macdonald Clan on their drive to control all the lands of Sleat. Like any self-respecting castle, it has ghosts. One ghost a Green Lady – a gruagach- is associated with the fortunes of the family who occupied the castle. She will appear happy if good news is to come and you hear the sound of weeping if the news is bad. The castle is also said to have another spirit - a glastaig – who looks after the livestock.
6. Armadale Castle
Armadale Castle, which in 1790 became the home for the head of MacDonald clan, has a fantastic gardens and also features the Museum of the Isles. A fire destroyed much of the original mansion house in 1855. In 1971 the castle and surrounding 20,000 acre estate were purchased by the Clan Donald Lands Trust. The trust aims to educate the public about the history of their Clan and its role in Highland life over the centuries. The gardens and grounds offer delightful walks.
7. Dunscaith Castle
Dunscaith, or Dun Sgathaich, Castle was built in 1300 and was passed from the Macaskills to the Macleods to the Macdonalds who abandoned it in 1618. It is said that the castle was built in a single night with the help of a witch. It is also said that Celtic warrior queen Scathach trained her heroes here and where Irish legend Cuchulainn learned how to go to battle.
Want to find out more about the history of the castles of Skye or other points of interests and top spots to visit? Our app, The Local Guide, will keep you informed and guide you around your tour of this fascinating island.
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