Sir Reginald MacLeod (27th Chief) was the first Chief to open Dunvegan to the public in 1933 for charitable purposes two days a week. Since then, the number of visitors has risen from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. Despite such numbers crowding into a space that was designed to keep people out, we do everything we can to maintain this atmosphere of a family home while sharing our passion for Dunvegan’s historic collection with you.

Covering ten different building periods from 1200 to the 1850s, Dunvegan Castle today has a unified design with Victorian dummy pepper-pots and defensive battlements running the whole length of the roof line. This romantic restoration was carried out by the 25th Chief between 1840 and 1850, but underneath this outer skin there remains a series of five separate buildings each with its own unique character and story to tell.

The picturesque quality of the castle itself is matched by its glorious surroundings. Ane starke strengthe biggit upon ane craig, as it was described by a writer in 1549; and so it still remains. Rising sheer from the perpendicular edges of the rock, its massive battlements ‘Hold Fast’ against an unrivalled backdrop of sky, mountains and sea. The landward side of the castle is now sheltered by extensive formal gardens and woodlands.

The castle collection contains many beautiful paintings and important heirlooms such as the Fairy Flag and Sir Rory Mor’s ceremonial drinking horn (pictured below). Although much has been lost, Dunvegan preserves the legends of the famous clan MacLeod which is rich with the twists and turns of history.