Set on a basalt outcrop overlooking Loch Dunvegan, this historic fortress has been home to the chiefs of a prominent Highland clan for eight centuries.
Dunvegan Castle is one of the most iconic attractions on the island. Its image can be seen on postcards and promotional materials for Skye. Discover oil paintings and precious heirlooms and take boat trips out on to the loch.
Most of the current structure is the result of a 19th-century restoration. The family residence of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod, this fortress is said to be one of the oldest castles in Scotland to be continuously occupied by the same family. In 1933, the then chief of the clan opened up his home to the public.
Explore the castle interior and examine many of the fascinating items on show. Survey a collection of portraits and oil paintings, including the famous Fairy Flag. This delicate silk banner dates from between the 4th and 7th centuries and was said to provide power to the MacLeod clan when unfurled during battles.
Marvel at the dazzling silverware and swords belonging to the clan and inspect rare historical objects, including a waistcoat and a lock of hair, both thought to belong to Bonnie Prince Charlie. Also of note is the Dunvegan Cup, a drinking bowl that dates back to the Middle Ages.
Wander around the formal gardens, where a range of pretty flowering plants sprout around ponds and streams. Boat trips also depart from the pier down by the lakeshore. Enjoy a romantic private cruise with a loved one or fish for pollock, mackerel or coalfish during a fishing excursion. Seal-spotting excursions also take place on the loch, allowing participants to observe the resident seal colony close up.
Dunvegan Castle is located in northwest Skye, about 1 mile (2 kilometers) north of Dunvegan village. The Castle and Gardens are open daily from 1st April to 15th October 10am to 5.30pm (last entry 5pm), and an admission fee is required to enter. From 16th October to 31st March – open for Groups by appointment on weekdays only. The Castle and Gardens are closed Christmas and New Year.
Boat trips are weather dependent, but usually run between late March and late September.