The most beautiful castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle

One of the images that quickly comes to mindScotland It is that of a castle on the shores of a heavenly lake. That vision is usually the Eilean Donan Castle and for many it is the most beautiful castle in Scotland. The funny thing is that it is not in a lake, but in the sea and for many it is not the prettiest. In any case, its beauty is not debatable and therefore it has been immortalized as an emblem of a well-known brand of whiskey and even appears in hundreds of films, many of them as well known as the Immortals.

The most beautiful castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle. The most beautiful castle in Scotland

Every trip to Scotland worth its salt, theEilean Donan Castle It will be part of your itinerary. It is a mandatory stop for thousands of tourists every day who gather at their entrance to take a postcard photo. We can say that it is almost an obligation to see it, everyone will ask us about it, although once you know it, some disappointment can be transmitted if we have been traveling through Scotland for a while.

Eilean Donan Castle story

The castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century by the clan of Mackenzie. Later were the MacRae who stayed with him and then later abandon him. Years later, in full political conflict between Spain and England, a Spanish ship with 300 soldiers on board arrived at the castle and made it their headquarters. The English not happy with this, sent three ships with the aim of negotiating their surrender. The Spaniards, far from wanting to surrender, burned a ship propitiating the bombing of the castle by the English.

The most beautiful castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle was completely destroyed and it was not until 200 years later (1919), when its former owners, the MacRae, began their reconstruction to give it the appearance it has to this day. Today it is a museum.

Movies at the Eilean Donan Castle

This castle has been set of many movies. Its location is unbeatable, located on a small island surrounded by green mountains. Perhaps the most famous film ever shot at Eilean Donan Castle is that of The immortals. The first of a saga where Sean Connery played Spanish and Christopher Lambert as a Scottish peasant.

The most beautiful castle in Scotland - The Immortals

It also appears in Star Wars, specifically in the Coontrataca Empire. Being in Britain, I could not miss any movie of James bond as in the world is never enough. The list is very large, such as The Trap, Rob Roy, ..., etc.

Visit to the most beautiful castle in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle is located on the banks of thelake alsh (loch Alsh). Loch is a Gaelic word that translates as a lake, although it is also used for the arms of the sea, more or less as the estuaries or fjords. Even being very different things, in Scotland both things are called loch, which can confuse us. Eilean Donan is located on an arm of the sea, with its tides and salt water included. What happens that the sea is not seen, looks like a lake in Scotland and we do not realize until we leave the castle and kilometers later we cross the bridge to theIsle of Skye.

To get there it is usually done by a rental car or organized tour. Hundreds of buses collapse their entrance every day, to barely stop for 15 minutes. However, it can be reached by public transport.

We have arrived by car on the 3 occasions we have been. Because of its location, it is best to arrive in the morning, not too early or later at sunset, where you can see a beautiful sunset. For example, if we go very early, we will still find the tide a little low and it is common to find numerous algae around the castle.

The most beautiful castle in Scotland

Leaving the car is sometimes an odyssey, it depends on the time. Keep in mind that it is one of the most visited sites in Scotland and it is only 15/20 minutes to take a few photographs.

The main parking is not the only place to have good views of the castle. Instead of taking the A-87, you can take a parallel road to this one that goes above the mountain, and just at the height of the castle there is a viewpoint. This is usually empty and has good views.

The most beautiful castle in Scotland

Buses do not take this road because it is very narrow and single lane. In fact, the traffic through it is slow and it is not surprising that we spend a lot of time driving behind an agricultural vehicle.

From the inside we can tell little. We only entered our first visit, more than 10 years ago and I just remember that it wasn't worth it. Its beauty is in its exteriors.

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Practical data

When to visit Eilean Donan (the most beautiful castle in Scotland)?

Except January, the rest of the year remains open. Easter is usually a good time and it rains less than you think. In summer it is usually crowded with visits.

Before leaving for Scotland

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How to get?

It is usually reached by private car or by a tour. To arrive by public transport you have to take several buses.

What to wear

In summer the temperatures are mild. With a sweatshirt we would go relatively comfortable, but an umbrella and a raincoat can never be missing, as well as a mosquito repellent.

What schedule do you have?

In winter from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and between the end of March and October, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This is only for the visit to the castle. Exterior photos can be taken at any time and time of the year. The interior is usually seen in an hour and its exterior in just 15 minutes.

How much?

The entrance to the castle costs 7.5 pounds. The exterior, from where the typical photographs are taken, has no cost.

Scotland tours

If we do not have a rental car and time is short, it is best to take us on a comfortable tour.

Book tours in Scotland

Where to sleep ?

There is a lot of accommodation available but most of their visitors end up sleeping on the nearby island of Skye. There are from luxury hotels, overlooking the castle and some more or less economical hostel.

  • Balmacara Hotel: beautiful and elegant hotel by the sea.
  • Ratagan SYHA Hostelling Scotland: good hostel and located in an exceptional place. Perfect for families.
  • Skye Backpapers: possibly the most economical hostel in the area.

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