No visit to the Isle of Skye is complete without experiencing the history and legends of clan MacLeod at the award-winning 5* Dunvegan Castle & Gardens. The first Chief, Sir Reginald MacLeod (27th Chief), opened 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 the numbers, we strive to maintain the atmosphere of a family home while sharing our passion for Dunvegan’s historic collection with you. Your support helps us preserve, develop and share this iconic part of Scotland’s heritage for future generations to enjoy.
Visitors can enjoy tours of an award-winning castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legends, as well as delighting in the beauty of its formal gardens – five acres in total! There are also opportunities to take boat trips to see the Loch Dunvegan seal colony or charter one of our traditional clinker boats for a fishing trip or loch cruise. You can even stay in charming Victorian holiday cottages if you desire to spend longer here exploring all that we have to offer.
On display, there are many fine oil paintings, Clan Treasures, and the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag, believed to possess miraculous powers when unfurled in battle, which would invariably defeat enemies. Another great treasure is the Cup, a unique mazer dating back to the Middle Ages, gifted by the O’Neils of Ulster as a token of thanks to the celebrated Chiefs Rory Mor for their support in their cause against marauding forces of Queen Elizabeth of England in 1595.
We also have a small collection of Jacobite and Bonnie Prince Charlie relics on display, including the Prince’s waistcoat, lock of hair, amen glass, Flora MacDonald’s corset, and a pin cushion. Our garden is a testament to the commitment, skill, and vision of everyone involved over the years. With sympathetic yet innovative design and planting features, Dunvegan Castle’s garden is continually evolving into a beautiful legacy for future generations.
We are proud to prove our mother, the 23rd Chief, wrong when she told Dr. Samuel Johnson in 1773 that we could not and would never have a good garden. Our mission is to exceed visitors’ expectations while preserving this unique horticultural legacy for future generations. Over the centuries, we have welcomed Walter Scott, Boswell, Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Charles, and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan. We look forward to welcoming you. Details about opening times, admission prices, events, group and cruise ship bookings, accessibility, and how to find us are available on our website at dunvegancastle.com/visitor-information.
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