Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland's most photographed castles. It's been featured in James Bond: The World is not Enough, Highlander, Elizabeth: the Golden Age, and more.

It's located on the western side of the Scottish Highlands, near Kyle of Lochalsh. It's a must stop on the way to the Isle of Skye.

We stopped in August, coming from Glencoe, and were lucky to get a parking spot. It was extremely crowded. Almost every tour bus heading to the Isle of Skye or Inverness stops here.

Due to the crowds, and the no photography allowed inside policy, we decided not to pay to go inside. This may have been a mistake. I'll just have to go back. We did pay the fee to cross the cobbled bridge and take pictures of the outside. 

The castle sits on the tidal island of Eilean Donan where three sea lochs meet. The Loch Duich, Loch Long, and Loch Alsh.

The first structure here, was built in the 13th century. The English eventually destroyed it, and it laid in ruin for 200 years, before being bought and rebuilt in the 1920's. 

There is a path that does a short loop around the castle with some great views. 

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle 2
Eilean Donan Castle Door
Eilean Donan Castle Canons

The Clan Macrae war memorial, dedicated to those who died in WWI. 

Eilean Donan Castle Rowan Tree

I noticed the Rowan Tree on the side of the castle. Rowan Trees have all sorts of mythical associations. 

In Scotland, in the Highlands particularly, there was a strong taboo against cutting down a Rowan tree.

According to folklore, the Rowan tree protects you against enchantments and witchcraft. Back in the day, each May Day, the residents of Strathspey, in Scotland, would make a loop of Rowan and walk their flocks of sheep and lambs through it, in the morning and again in the evening, to protect them against witches.

Rowan's wood is said to repel faeries.

Rowan Trees are often found near stone circles or ancient burial sites.

The Druids believed they offered protection from the spirits of the dead. Sprigs of Rowan were worn or carried as protection against evil spirits.

The protective power comes from the berries, as red was thought to be the best color for fighting evil and witchcraft. It explains why I've always disliked the color red. ;-)

After the castle, our next destination was Manuela's Wee Bakery, a fairytale looking place, just a few minutes from the castle. They offer coffee, baked goods, and pizza in the evening. They even have a distillery.

Sadly, they were closed! They posted on Facebook, that it's been a busy season and they needed a break to recharge their batteries. Fair enough. But bummer!

I took a picture from outside the gate so you can get a glimpse of the Hansel & Gretel like buildings. So cute! The red building on the right is the bathroom - The Wee Room.

I'll just have to come back.

Manuela's Wee Bakery

We went on to Kyle of Lochalsh, we were lucky to get a parking spot in the town lot. It was full and cars were circling. We ordered pizza from a food truck near the pier. You can see the Skye Bridge in the distance from here.

Skye Bridge

After lunch, we went over the bridge!

On to the Isle of Skye>>

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