Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

A visit to Scotland would be incomplete without visiting the picturesque castle of Eilean Donan. The castle is one of the most visited and the most recognised castles in Scotland. And when you visit it, you will realise why tourists flock to this Scottish icon every year. Strategically located, overlooking the Isle of Skye, the castle and the bridge leading to it are just stunning.

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History of Eilean Donan Castle

The original castle (the first fortification) was built sometime in the early 13th century and because of its strategic location, the castle was always considered an important part of defences. Over the years, the castle saw expansions and contractions in its size. In the 1700s, the castle was involved in one of the Jacobite uprisings and three Royal Navy frigates (HMS Worcester, HMS Flamborough, and HMS Enterprise) were sent to deal with the uprising. The castle faced a lot of bombardment. When the naval force entered the castle, they are said to have found around 343 barrels of gunpowder which were then used to blow up what had remained of the castle.

Eilean Donan Castle then lay in ruins for many many years before being purchased in 1911 by Lt Col John MacRae-Gilstrap. He undertook the restoration of the castle and after twenty years of meticulous work, the castle was opened to the public in the year 1932.

Related - Fun things to do in Edinburgh

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

Visiting the Eilean Donan Castle

Today, all parts of the castle are open to the public and it can even be hired as a venue for weddings and for film & photoshoots. Quite a few popular movies have been shot on this location. Some notable ones are The World is not Enough, Elizabeth: The golden age, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kandukondain Kandukondain, Loch Ness and Highlander.

The castle has a visitor centre with a ticket office, a small coffee shop and a gift shop for souvenirs. The castle itself is not very huge, so you can easily explore it in a couple of hours. You might find costumed guides in some of the castle rooms, talking about the history of the place and the artefacts found in the castle. The ones we encountered were all very friendly and happily regaled us and the others with stories from the castles past.

As with many other castles, photography is not allowed inside the castle.

How to get there?

Eilean Donan Castle is located near the village of Dornie on the west coast of Scotland, at the meeting point of three sea-lochs. It is an impressive setting.

You can drive down to the castle. There is ample parking near the visitor centre. Or if you are planning to travel from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Inverness you can choose one of the bus tour companies that offer guided day trips to the castle.

Eilean Donan Castle | Dornie, by Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland, IV40 8DX

Tickets to the castle are priced as follows: Adults £7.50, Seniors £6.50, Children over 5 £4.00. For current opening times and other information, visit www.eileandonancastle.com

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland


  1. I have been to this castle with my family while visiting the UK. We all loved it especially my son who is studying history.

    1. Glad you enjoyed your visit. And yes there is a lot of history attached to the castle, so history lovers would enjoy it even more.


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