Monday, May 12, 2014

Scotland: Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Ness

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle is an iconic landmark of Scotland. The castle is one of the most visited attractions in the Scottish Highlands.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
It's actually an early 20th century reconstruction of an older castle, with fortifications that date back to the 13th century. The original castle was destroyed in 1719 during the Jacobite Uprising. A stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and Clan Macrae, it lay in ruins for 200 years and was rebuilt between 1919 to 1932 as a war memorial to members of the Macrae clan who died during the First World War.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
No doubt, it is one of the most photographed landmarks in Scotland. But much of our visit to Scotland was in cold gloomy weather. So we didn't get to see the picturesque castle as seen in postcards. The castle is open from February to December (£6.50 entrance free). And the best time to visit is during late spring or summer. Unless you have your own transport, it's best to join a tour from Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Inverness.

Fort Augustus, Scotland
On the way to Eilean Donan from Edinburgh, we stopped by Fort Augustus, at the southwestern end of Loch Ness. The town has a Loch Ness View Point and maybe you might just see the Loch Ness monster. Another attraction is the Caledonian Canal which joins various lochs from Fort William to Inverness. We literally had a few minutes to explore since we needed to be in the castle before 5 p.m. The distance from Edinburgh to Eilean Donan is a little over 300 kilometers which is a four-hour trip.

From Eilean Donan, we proceed to the Isle of Skye, about 15 kilometers away.

Part 1: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Harry Potter and more from the Scottish capital
Part 2: Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Ness
Part 3: Exploring the Isle of Skye
Part 4: Glencoe, Glenfinnan, spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands
Part 5: Glasgow's George Square at night

Also check out my photos of England, Scotland and Wales.
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