Dunvegan Castle

We visited beautiful Skye during our recent tour of Scotland and my personal highlight was our visit to Dunvegan Castle and gardens. It was pouring with rain on the day we visited, but that made no difference as we were equipped with our raincoats and umbrellas.

Dunvegan Castle is one of the greatest Hebridean castles and is the only one that has been occupied by the same family, the clan MacLeod, for 800 years. The castle was build over the course of ten different building periods which ranged from 1200 to the 1850s and has a wonderfully picturesque quality. The castle is surrounded by the most glorious gardens.


Dunvegan Castle from the side


Dunvegan Castle from the gardens


The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan hangs on the wall in the drawing room of the castle, between the seaward-facing windows. It is the clan’s most treasured possession. Woven in silk in the 4th century, it is thought to be from either Syria or Rhodes. It is reputed to have miraculous powers.


Rory Mor’s Drinking Horn – tradition has it that when each male heir comes of age, he must drink it in one draught “without setting down or falling down.” The Horn holds 1.5 litres of claret. 


In an ebony cabinet in the medieval castle kitchen is the Great Sword of Dunvegan. It has lost at least 3 ft of its original length and is one of only two surviving medieval claymores in Scotland. It once belonged to William Long Sword (7th Chief) who lived and died by this sword at the battle of the Bloody Bay on Mull in 1480.

12 thoughts on “Dunvegan Castle

  1. I love places like this. What memories and stories those walls hold. I would love to visit Skye and I am humming the Skye Boat Song as I read this.

    1. I really enjoyed Scotland, Darlene, but I do love the UK. The thing that strikes me the most about touring in the UK is the passion and enthusiasm of the tour guides for their history. It is wonderful and they share so much knowledge in such an interesting way.

    1. Scotland is very beautiful, Brad. Quite wild and untamed. I will share our tour of Dunvegan Castle’s amazing garden next week. It was sensational. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Thanks for this terrific tour – I love that they respect their history and have so many items form the past to share…sounds like a tough drink to handle in one gulp, however!

    1. Oh yes, I wouldn’t be able to stand if I drank all that. The UK certainly has worked out how to present, share and make money from their interesting and violent past, John. It is a marvelous place to tour.

  3. When my daughter and I visited Scotland, we did not make it to Skye. It is on my list for my next visit, although I am not sure when that will be. Great pics Robbie.

    1. Hi Carla, Skye was a really beautiful place to visit and the people were so nice and friendly. I am glad we managed to visit. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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