Dornie and Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan Castle

In July, we spent a week in an apartment within walking distance of Eilean Donan, arguably the most romantic and most photographed of all Scotland’s castles. It’s a bit of a cheat though – originally established in 1230, it was destroyed during the Jacobite uprising in 1719 and what you see today was rebuilt between 1912 and 1932 by a British army officer, John MacRae-Gilstrap. The MacRae clan has ancestral links to the area and its war memorial is below the castle walls (see gallery below).

We took a stroll round the exterior after we arrived late on Saturday afternoon, and returned a few days later to look inside. No interior photography was allowed, but I think the exterior is the spectacular part anyway.

In the last picture above we are looking down from the castle onto the remains of a medieval tower (more or less obscured by a tree). Beyond it, immediately before the northern end of the road bridge, you can just make out our apartments. To the right of the bridge is the village of Dornie, and we finished our afternoon / early evening by following the dead-end road through the village to its termination at the small settlement of Bundalloch (just over a mile each way). We could again see our apartments on the other side of Loch Long.

In the last image above, the windows just above the fence belonged to us. I can highly recommend Eilean Donan Apartments which are operated by the same trust which owns the castle. The building was initially constructed as a hotel in the late 19th century, but has been extensively refurbished over the last few years into eleven self-catering units for 2-8 people. We loved it!

We settled in for our first evening, but the view across Loch Long to Dornie kept distracting us from making plans for the next seven days. These pictures were taken around 10pm – it’s wonderful when it stays light so late.

Spoiler alert: we did make some plans. What would the next day bring? Coming next – Applecross.

 

88 thoughts on “Dornie and Eilean Donan

  1. Dr Sock October 27, 2019 / 18:19

    Beautiful photos of the castle and area. I can see why it is the most photographed castle in Scotland. It was interesting to read of the connection to John McCrae and the poem “In Flanders Field,” which every Canadian schoolchild learns.

    Jude

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  2. hilarymb October 27, 2019 / 14:32

    Hi Anabel – what a great idea … I shall remember this … another place I’d love to visit. The Remembrance poem is so evocative and so sad … cheers Hilary

    Like

  3. cassam101 October 25, 2019 / 13:00

    The apartment looks really nice. Scenery is amazing.

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  4. Erica/Erika October 19, 2019 / 16:45

    Friends of ours have loved visiting Scotland, and I can see why. The area does look spectacular and romantic. Bonus on the walking distances from the apartments. You remind me how we stayed in the barn of a castle in New Zealand this Spring. I think the castle was outside of Dunedin, New Zealand. I now see why your post reminded me of this. Stunning photos! Always an interesting post, Anabel:)

    Like

  5. notesoflifeuk October 18, 2019 / 19:05

    What a wonderful place! So beautiful and picturesque, but that’s Scotland for you 🙂

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  6. teabeestrips October 16, 2019 / 20:51

    What a beautiful place. Your first picture with the castle is amazing.

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  7. Steve Schwartzman October 16, 2019 / 19:31

    A decade ago the famous poem by John McCrae led me to a World War I poem from Texas. The writer was Aline Michaelis, and though in the 1930s she was chosen as the first female poet laureate of Texas, she and her poem are both largely forgotten today, while “In Flanders Fields” and therefore McCrae live on.

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      • Steve Schwartzman October 16, 2019 / 20:31

        I was searching for references to the Texas bluebell, a showy native wildflower. The poem mentions another native as well, the larkspur. A great thing about the digitization of old publications is how much otherwise forgotten lore remains available.

        Liked by 1 person

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