Look familiar? Supposedly Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands is the most recognizable castle in all of Scotland. To be honest, we did not recognize it, but the romantic 13th century castle is now forever imprinted in our minds.
“A land shrouded in mystery that has borne witness to a thousand tales of courage, bloodshed, adventure, tragedy and elation.”
The Eilean Donan Castle, pronounced Ail-en Don-an, is strategically perched on its own tidal island at the point where three lochs meet and is surrounded by the lush mountains of Kintail. It is located in the western Highlands of Scotland and is part of the Kintail National Scenic Area, one of forty in Scotland. The castle and its surroundings is a majestic and breathtaking sight.
So breathtaking in fact, that Eilean Donan Castle has been featured in many photographs, film and television. To name a few, it has appeared in the following movies:
- Highlander (1986)
- James Bond: The World is Not Enough (1999)
- Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
- Made of Honor (2008)
The castle was originally built by Alexander II in 1220 as a stronghold against the Vikings. Subsequently it became a fortress for the Clan of Mackenzie, once the most powerful clan in northern Scotland. The original castle is documented to have encompassed the entire island with multiple towers.
Upon his arrival in the 14th century, Thomas Randolph the Earl of Moray executed fifty scandalous men as a powerful display of his strict discipline. The decapitated heads of these men were showcased along the castle walls. The word that spread was that he was so greatly pleased that he said claimed the sight of justice was sweeter to him than any garland of roses. With its ominous past, the castle is said to be haunted.
Whether it’s haunted or not, the Eilean Donan Castle has a dominating presence that you will never forget!
Our Trip to Scotland
We flew into London, stayed there for a few days via public transportation then rented a car to explore the rest of the United Kingdom. We made our way through the south of England then around to Wales. We swung back into England to visit the Lakes District before heading to Scotland. It was a marvelous trip filled with castles, cliffs, moorlands, and cathedrals.
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