Ross-Shire & Cromarty
Ross-Shire & Cromarty
The region south of Sutherland is Ross-shire & Cromarty. This part of the Scottish highlands was once very rich in castles. Sadly, many have succumbed to battle damage, weather & time. In this blog we will focus on the ones that are still standing, to help you plan visits.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is not just one of Ross-shire & Cromarty’s famous castles, it is a Scottish icon. Just about every angle of this castle is breathtaking, so be sure to bring your camera when you visit!
The castle sits on a small island in a tidal loch near the Kyle of Lochalsh. The island is named after an Irish saint (Donnán of Eigg).
The Mackenzie’s of Kintail made this their stronghold in the 13th century. The castle was ruined during the Jacobite conflicts in the 18th century. Today’s structure is a result of reconstruction in the 20th century, which is when the arched bridge was also built.
Eilean Donan Castle – Image courtesy of Visit Scotland
The castle is located about 25mins drive south of the Strathcarron, just south of the NC500 route. It is also very close to the isle of Skye, which means you can plan an excellent sight seeing tour to/from NC500pods!
The castle is open almost all year round, although opening times vary throughout the year.
Dingwall & Tulloch Castles
Dingwall castle was built sometime in the 1300s. It saw battles in the war of Scottish independence, duels between Scottish nobles and even the odd murder. It was abandoned in favour of nearby Tulloch castle (built in the 1600s). Only a few remnants of Dingwall castle still exist, including a tunnel thought to join Tulloch Castle.
Today Tulloch castle is a hotel. Do you fancy a stay in this piece of Scottish history?
Castle Leod remains the seat of the Mackenzie clan and is located near Strathpeffer. Prior to the 1500s, it was under the ownership of MacLeods. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the trials and tribulations of Scottish politics and warfare saw castles trade hands and often received heavy damage. This Castle was no different and required refurbishement in the 1700s, to restore the castle to today’s splendid appearance.
Happily, this is one of Ross-shire & Cromarty’s castles that is open to the pubic. That said it is only open on certain days in the months of May to September. Best to check these dates before planning a visit, although private tours may be possible if requested in advance. More info can be found on their website.
Have you visited any of these castles in Ross-shire & Cromarty? Tell us about your visits and share your photos on our Facebook page.