catsholid... 4


Add to my Circle of Trust

Subscribe to reviews

About me: Thank you anyone who is kind enough to read then rate my reviews, especially those Es.

Member since:03.03.2003


Members who trust:395


A Proper Scottish castle on a Loch shore


A very beautiful place to vist

It is a long way from most other places !

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Transport links


Is it worth visiting?Good

Family FriendlyAverage

43 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (47%):
  1. 80smusicreviewer
  2. Jake_Speed
  3. Alyson29
and 17 other members
very helpful by (53%):
  1. hiker
  2. torr
  3. hogsflesh
and 20 other members

View all ratings

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Share this review on

Dunvagen Castle
MacLeod Estate (Dunvegan Castle)
Isle of Skye IV55 8WF
Tel: 01470 521206

Last October 2012 we spent a few days in the Isle of Skye and one of the places we visited was this castle. The castle is about a mile and a half to the north of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye and is the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, chief of the Clan MacLeod. This amused me as the only Macleod I had come across before was the rather eccentric female caretaker of our school and I imagined her here and it just make me smile.

29th March to 15 October
Daily 10am - 5.30pm (last entry 5pm)

16 October to 31 March
Open for Groups by appointment - weekdays only
Castle & Gardens closed Christmas & New Year


ADULT £9.50
CHILD (5-15yrs) £5.00
FAMILY TICKET (2 adults, 3 children): £27.00

ADULT £7.50
CHILD £4.00

There is a free car park just the other side of the road from the castle ticket office which I can imagine gets very busy during the summer season but was pretty empty when we visited as it was October and we were quite early too.


We arrived early and it was a bit drizzly and overcast which was a shame as the gardens are lovely and part of the castle's attraction is its setting on the loch. We bought our tickets from a young man in the ticket office wearing a kilt and speaking with an Aussie accent!

We then headed up the drive towards the castle passing parts of the garden as we made our way up. The driveway is not paved but you could push a pram or wheel chair up with very little difficulty. They may even allow disabled access for a vehicle but I don't know.

The gardens were interesting with curved paths and hidden corners. It was not a neat formal garden but more creative and natural which I liked. There was a wooden bridge and a waterfall , as well as ponds and burns ,secret nooks and covered walkways.

There is a small formal round garden and throughout the entire area you can see many Rhododendrons but sadly they were well past blooming when we visited but I bet they look stunning when they do.
The Castle Gardens were originally created back in the 18th century but since then more has been added and constant re planting keeps the gardens looking as creative and interesting to visitors today.

Dunvagen castle is the only stronghold that has been continuously owned by the same family and has been lived in by the same family for all that time except for during the Potato Famine. It has been added to over the eight centuries and there is distinct evidence of different architectural periods.

To me the castle itself is stunning for its position on a rocky crag overlooking the loch but inside the castle are many pieces of historical Macleod heirlooms. I am not alone in finding the castle and its position striking as this was written describing it in 1549; "Ane starke strengthe biggit upon ane craig". Dr Johnson was also impressed when he visited in 1773 " Rising sheer from the almost perpendicular edges of the rock, its massive grey towers and hoary battlements stand forth against an unrivalled background of sky and mountain and islet-spangled sea. "

The first time the castle was open to the public was in 1933 but since then hundreds and thousands have visited the site.


Outside was very impressive but inside was more like a stately home than a castle. As you entered the large front door the first thing that you see is the huge staircase which dominates the entrance hall. You are greeted at the door and welcomed to the castle and items of interest pointed out for you to look out for which I thought was handy.

It was not huge inside compared to some castles and stately homes and I suspect that part of the building is closed to the public as the family still live there. There was a lot of Scottish clan history and particularly the Macleod clan which I don't really know a lot about.

It was all very nicely laid out and if you were interested in Scottish clan history then there was plenty to read and things to see but it wasn't really our sort of thing. We were more excited by the views from the windows and the atmosphere and general feeling in the rooms of the castle. Some were large and others had interesting nooks and crannies which had bits hidden there for visitors to find.

Under the castle were more rooms on display including cellars , a dungeon and medieval kitchen . Also display boards telling about the castle and the history and some stories about local customs etc. There was a shop or two down there selling souvenirs but we are not into souvenirs so we passed these by although my husband was slightly tempted by their own single malt whisky .

It was a bitterly cold day with a cold wind but we braved this to take photos around the castle capturing it against the Loch Dunvagen as it really is a classic photographer' dream; even though the day was not bright and sunny we managed to get some lovely photos.


Parts of the castle and grounds are difficult but if you are planning a visit then take a look at the website as they have a list of all the places with limited access and which areas have hearing loops and some with brail signs. You are asked to identify your needs when buying your ticket and then assistance will be given. As needed.

Dogs are allowed in the garden on leads but assistance dogs are allowed everywhere with their owners.

There are changing facilities for babies and storage for prams and pushchairs as they cannot be taken to the first floor of the castle.

It is not just my husband and I who think this is a stunning location as the castle has been used in a number of films and TV productions. It was used in 'Highlander' in 1986 , it was seen in 'Mountain' a BBC series with Griff Rhys Jones and is also in 'Made of Honour' which is a recent Colombia film.

The MacLeod Tables Cafe was quite pleasant and offered snacks and soup as well as coffee at reasonable prices.

You can take a trip on a boat oiut towards the se and look for seals from the castle boat landing. This is at extra cost of course. Adults are £6 and children £4, OAPs and students £5. These boats operate when weather permits and then only from April 15 to September 30 from 10 am to 5pm So we were too late in the season to try and see them which was a shame as I would have loved to do that.


Yes it is beautiful, especially outside but inside is worth a good look too.. In summer the gardens must be beautiful but even in the late autumn they were lovely to walk around. If you are on Skye then do make an effort to see this castle as it is just what you imagine a Scottish castle to look like; picture perfect.

I will add the photos when I find they have hidden themselves!!

Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.

Pictures of Dunvegen Castle, Isle of Skye
Dunvegen Castle,  Isle of Skye Dunvegen Castle,  Isle of Skye
Dunvegen Castle, Isle of Skye
  Write your own review

Share this review on


Rate this review »

How helpful would this review be to a person making a buying decision? Rating guidelines

Rate as exceptional

Rate as somewhat helpful

Rate as very helpful

Rate as not helpful

Rate as helpful

Rate as off topic

Write your own review Write a review and you will earn 0.5p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful. Write a review and you will earn 0.5p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful.   Report a problem with this review’s content

Comments about this review »

80smusicreviewer 04.03.2013 19:41

An excellent, informative review and an enjoyable read.

torr 04.03.2013 11:22

I like the look of this one.

Jake_Speed 03.03.2013 22:57

You can't beat a good castle. It looks like something out of a Tintin book.

Add your comment

max. 2000 characters

  Post comment

Product Information »

Product details

Type Castle/Historic House
County Isle of Skye
Long Name Dunvegen Castle

Show all Product Information

Review Ratings »

This review of Dunvegen Castle, Isle of Skye has been rated:

"very helpful" by (53%):

  1. hiker
  2. torr
  3. hogsflesh

and 20 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Products you might be interested in »

Park Inn Heathrow, Hayes

Park Inn Heathrow, Hayes

Hotel - 1 Bath Rd, Heathrow, Hayes, Middlesex, UB7 0DU, Bath Road - 4 Stars - 880, 881 Rooms

User reviews (6)

Buy now for only £ 58.65

Premier Inn, Brentwood

Premier Inn, Brentwood

Hotel - 169 Kings Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4EF, United Kingdom

User reviews (3)

Buy now for only £ 56.00

De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton

De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton

Hotel - West Quay Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 1AG - 4 Stars - 172 Rooms

User reviews (3)

Buy now for only £ 95.00

Are you the manufacturer / provider of Dunvegen Castle, Isle of Skye? Click here