CASTLE GARDENS
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GLENBRITTLE CAMPSITE
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Any visit to the Isle of Skye is incomplete without savouring the wealth of history at Dunvegan Castle & Gardens. Built on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Loch Dunvegan once entirely encircled by the sea, Dunvegan is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years.

 

On display are many fine oil paintings and clan treasures, the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that this sacred Banner has miraculous powers and when unfurled in battle, the clan MacLeod will defeat their enemies. Another of the castle's great treasures is the Dunvegan Cup, a unique ‘mazer’ dating back to the Middle Ages. It was gifted by the O'Neils of Ulster as a token of thanks to one of the clan's most celebrated Chiefs, Sir Rory Mor, for his support of their cause against the marauding forces of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1596.

 

Today visitors can enjoy tours of an extraordinary castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, take a boat trip onto Loch Dunvegan to see the seal colony, charter one of its traditionally built clinker boats for a fishing trip or Loch cruise, stay in one of its charming holiday cottages, enjoy an appetising meal at the MacLeod Tables Cafe or browse in one of its four shops offering a wide choice to suit every taste.

 

Dunvegan Castle’s five acres of formal gardens began life in the 18th century. In stark contrast to the barren moorland and mountains that dominate Skye’s landscape, the gardens are a hidden oa­sis featuring an eclectic mix of plants, woodland glades, shimmering pools fed by waterfalls and streams flowing down to the sea. After experiencing the Water Gar­den with its ornate bridges and islands replete with a rich and colourful plant variety, wander through the elegant surroundings of the formal Round Garden featuring a Box-wood Parterre as its centrepiece. The Walled Garden is well worth a visit. In what was formerly the castle’s vegetable garden, is now a diverse range of plants and flowers that complement the attractive landscaped features including a water lily pond, a neoclassical urn and a Larch Pergola. The introduction of new formal design layouts and a considerable amount of replanting over the last thirty years has restored these gardens to their former glory.

 

Over time, we have given a warm Highland welcome to visitors including Sir Walter Scott, Dr Johnson, Flora MacDonald and Queen Elizabeth II and we look forward to welcoming you.

 

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