Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Hello friends! The picturesque castle you see behind me is the Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, one of the most photographed castles in the country!
History behind the island of Donan
Eilean Donan means ‘the island of Donan’. The small island and castle of Donan is named after a 7th century Irish priest, Donan of Eigg, who was killed on the nearby island of Eigg. Donan, the priest, had travelled to the West coast of Scotland to try and convert the pagan inhabitants into Christianity. Though there is no evidence as to how Donan was killed, he is traditionally said to be buried in Kildonan on Arran. The island was fortified before written records existed. It was Alexander III who gave the castle to the Mackenzies. The struggle for controlling the island and the castle went on between the Mackenzies and the Earl of Ross for decades but in the end the Mackenzies gained control over it all. It was after 200 years that John Macrae-Gilstrap (descendent to the Macraes who acted as constables to the Mackenzie) restored the castle and rebuilt the beautiful bridge that linked the castle to the shore.
Inside Eilean Donan Castle and visitor centre
There is a huge parking area and a modern visitor centre on the shore as this castle is a famous tourist attraction. Inside the rooms of the castle one can find period furniture, Jacobean artefacts, displays of weapons and fine arts. There are informed guides who can give you a thorough tour of the castle.
The castle also has fun filled attractions for children. You can swing a Claymore, spy through the spy holes, lift cannon balls, explore the ancient battlements or have fun with the surrounding wildlife with regular viewings of porpoise, dolphins, otters and numerous species of birds.