Located on the isle of Skye, the Dunvegan Castle and Gardens is the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland. For more than 800 years this beautiful castle has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan Macleod. Situated on 40,000 acres of the Macleod estate, on top of the mountain, with the sea, gardens, and woodlands as the backdrop, the Dunvegan Castle is an attraction visited by thousands every year, and a place that many guests look forward to visiting in Scotland. Photo: duncanandison/Fotolia

»Guest Accommodations

Guest Accommodations

Guests can indulge and stay in one of the three self-catering cottages at the Dunvegan Castle. Each cottage has its own look and feel and is located within the castle grounds. Guests can just relax and take in the surrounding beauty of the gardens, mountains, and sea or have a more adventurous stay on the castle grounds with fishing holes, walking trails, and sightseeing tours available to those guests who are interested in such activities.

When booking their stay at the Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, guests can choose from the Gardens cottage, the Rose Valley Cottage, and the Laundry Cottage. Upon arrival, guests receive a welcome package which includes complimentary tickets to the Dunvegan Castle and Gardens and information on the best things to do and places to see during one’s stay.

The Gardens Cottage is the largest of the castle’s early Victorian cottages. This cottage features many of the original decor and designs of the Victorian period. The Gardens cottage is located on a private road and includes a private back lawn that is surrounded by magnificent foliage that offers views of Loch Dunvegan and the castle’s walled garden. The cottage can accommodate up to six guests, with three bedrooms, a large living room that includes a fireplace, a dining room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. Things to Do in Scotland: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens - Courtesy Henner Damke/Fotolia

»More Guest Accommodations

More Guest Accommodations

Another cottage guests can choose to stay in is the Laundry Cottage. Dating back to the 1700’s and once used for the castle’s laundry in the 1900’s, the Laundry cottage is situated right on the water and offers picturesque views of the castle and Loch Dunvegan as well. It’s situated in the middle of the action, where castle ad seal trip tours take place, so guests of the Laundry Cottage should keep this in mind when booking this cottage. However, guests of the laundry cottage get to enjoy peace and quiet as of five o’clock every evening when the castle closes to tours and visitors. With one double, one twin, and one single bedroom, the cottage can accommodate up to five guests. The cottage also features an open floor kitchen, dining room, and seating area.

Lastly, guests can choose to stay in the Rose Valley Cottage at the Dunvegan Castle and gardens. Located at the end of a private drive in the castle’s walled garden, guests of the Rose Valley Cottage can enjoy all of the surrounding natural beauty. This picturesque Victorian cottage includes a private garden and views of the lake. This cottage can sleep up to four guests and includes one double and one twin bedroom, as well as a large bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room and living room. Guests of all three cottages are made to feel as comfortable as possible and will feel at home during their stay at the Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. Things to Do in Scotland: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens - Photo: CL-Medien/Fotolia



The Macleod Tables Café is a small café onsite that offers a variety of snacks and light meal items like hot homemade soup, sandwiches, and salads as well as hot chocolate and coffee, brewed by Cuillin Coffee Co., a local specialty coffee maker of Skye. During the warm summer months, guests can indulge and enjoy homemade ice-cream on-site from the Dunvegan Castle Ice-cream pop-up stand.

There are many great restaurants in the area for guests to venture to as well. Some noteworthy restaurants on the isle of Skye include the Three Chimneys restaurant, the Old School restaurant, and the Stein Inn. The Three Chimneys restaurant is a world renowned five-star Scottish restaurant located right on the ocean next to the iconic House Over-by hotel, run and operated by the same owners. The Three Chimneys restaurant uses all fresh and local ingredients in its menu items which change seasonally. For lunch, the Three Chimneys offers meat dishes like smoked haddock rarebit and head to tail Skye beef served with onion, black garlic and shallot tart and stuffed chicken wings, cod and salmon dishes for dinner. Reservations are recommended for the Three Chimneys Restaurant.

The Old School restaurant is also a beloved spot on the isle of Skye. The restaurant is a popular restaurant for both locals and visitors of Skye and offers a very relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant offers snacks and lunch items like freshly baked baguettes, salad, soup, and roasted chicken and steak during the day and an a la carte dinner menu featuring dishes like scallops served with black pudding, cauliflower puree and sherry caramel and the seafood platter served with potatoes and salad. This restaurant is a great place for a date and or family night out.

The Stein Inn is another wonderful place to enjoy lunch and dinner. As the oldest Inn on the isle of Skye, the Stein Inn is a place to visit. All meals at the Stein Inn are made to order and the unique menu changes daily. Some dishes include fresh crab sandwiches for lunch and bean and nut patties and pork chop with delicious walnut and blue cheese butter for dinner. Things to Do in Scotland: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens - Photo: Guillaume/Fotolia

»Events and Weddings

Events and Weddings

The Dunvegan Castle and Gardens is a perfect place to have a wedding or special event. The Dunvegan Castle and gardens has an experienced wedding planning team for the bride and groom to utilize as they put together the details of their special day. The bride and groom can choose to have their ceremony in one of the castle’s state rooms which include the 18th century drawing room, the main entrance hall, the North Room, or the Dining Room and adjoining library. If the weather is nice, the bride and groom can also have their ceremony in the walled garden of the castle which features both the glass house and garden museum. For inside ceremonies, the castle can accommodate up to 65 guests whereas outside the castle can accommodate up to 30 guests.

The Dunvegan Castle and gardens is also open to hosting private and corporate events. With many state rooms available for meetings and social gatherings, as well as partnerships with local restaurants, the Dunvegan Castle is readily available to host all types of events and coordinate meals and beverages for visitors of the castle. Things to Do in Scotland: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens - Photo: bennymarty/Fotolia

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»Plan this Vacation

Plan this Vacation

The Dunvegan Castle and Gardens and isle of Skye offer a variety of activities to its visitors. The Dunvegan Castle and Gardens offers seal trips and lake cruises and fishing trips to its guests. Families can hop on one of the castle’s boat and enjoy a twenty-five-minute boat trip out to see the seal colony in their natural habitat. Guests can also sign up for a boat tour of loch Dunvegan and catch a glimpse of a variety of birds like the heron, arctic tern or sea eagle, and even the seals. For a more hands on experience, guests can sign up for a fishing trip. The fishing trip can include up to four people. The experienced boatmen take the group out on the open water and make sure the guests do not return to shore empty handed. Common fish of this region include Pollock, mackerel and coalfish.

Other activities include hiking, swimming, touring a local distillery and shopping. Guests can enjoy a scenic walk up to the Old Man of Storr, a large pillar of rock that is found on the north east of Skye. Once at the top, guests can take in the magnificent views of the landscape and sea below. A more rigorous trail for the more experienced hikers is the Cuillin Summit. The Cuillin summit includes over ten mountains that are over 3,000 feet high which offer spectacular views of Skye and the surrounding landscape as well. As for swimming, a recommended swimming spot is the Fairy pools. These pools are located in the river and are deep, clean, and full of crystal blue water. This is a great place to relax at the end of a long hike.

Additional activities include a visit to the Talisker Whisky distillery in the village of Carbost where visitors can take a tour and have a taste of this worldwide brand of whisky and a visit to Skyeskyns. Skyeskyns is where the locals turn Scottish lambskin into all natural rugs. Also available here are many unique and locally made pieces of cashmere and wool clothing and accessories. Visitors can take advantage of a free guided tour of the Skyeskyns workshop where one can see how the beam, paddles, and buffing wheel work and how the hand finishing process takes place.

Guests of the Dunvegan Castle and Gardens and visitors of Skye will love their unique experience on the island.

Back to: Europe vacation ideas Address: MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, United Kingdom, website, Phone: +44-14-70-52-12-06 Things to Do in Scotland: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens - Photo: Louise McGilviray/Fotolia

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Things to Do in Scotland: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens