The oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland, Dunvegan has served as the ancestral home of Clan MacLeod for more than 800 years. Restored between 1840 and 1850, the castle features a unified exterior complete with defensive battlements running the length of the roofline, but actually comprises five separate buildings, each with its own story to tell. Tour the interior to see several beautiful paintings and important heirlooms, like the sacred Fairy Flag and Sir Rory Mor’s ceremonial drinking horn, then head outdoors to explore the castle’s surroundings, from formal gardens to wild woodlands. From here, you can take a 25-minute boat trip to visit the Loch Dunvegan seal colony, or head out for a two-hour fishing expedition to catch pollock, mackerel, and coalfish.
Off the beaten path on the Isle of Skye
Located near Loch Dunvegan, this castle and grounds has been ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. Dunvegan Castle & Gardens is at the heart of the 42,000 acre MacLeod Estate on the Isle of Skye. A tour of the castle (no photos allowed inside), a stroll through the formal gardens or a boat trip onto Loch Dunvegan to see a seal colony keep visitors occupied for hours.
Ramble through the Isle of Skye
The English Lakeland Ramblers use local guides to lead the seven-day wander past such sites as Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and, on Lewis Island, the prehistoric Standing Stones of Callanish. From $3,175. This appeared in the March/April issue 2014 issue.