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Exploring Scotland | Eilean Donan Castle & the Road to Skye

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t was on the road to Skye that I first got to see those amazing mountains I’d been dreaming about since we set out on our Highland adventure.

Having checked out of Eagle Brae earlier that morning, we drove alongside Loch Ness for a while (Like, a really, really LONG while: that thing is huuuuuuge, seriously…), before veering right, and heading for the west coast. It was at this point that the weather, which we’d been reasonably lucky with until now, suddenly took a turn for the terrible, and I found myself secretly hoping that Terry wouldn’t want to stop off at any of the viewing points along the road, and make me stand in the sleet, wind and cold to take photos, or something crazy like that.

rainbow on the road to the isle of Skye, Scotland

For the first hour or so of our drive, the landscape around us was pretty similar to what we’d left behind. Then, all of a sudden, a cheeky little mountain popped up at the end of the road. I got really quite excited about this… and then, a few minutes later, I felt really quite silly for that initial excitement, because that one little mountain turned into this:

the road to skye
The Road to Skye

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ountains, Gandalf!” I shrieked. “Mountains!” And yes, folks, these were most definitely mountains, and not just very big hills, say. They were magnificent: and honestly, while it would’ve been nice to have been able to see them without feeling like we were about to freeze to death at any moment, I have to admit that the mists and rain did help add to the sheer drama of it all. Driving past Loch Cluanie, and down through Glen Shiel, we truly felt like we were on a grand adventure – and it’s not often I get to say THAT, let me tell you.  We did actually end up making a couple of stops, just to look at the view (And once to try to work out why the car was making that weird noise: always fun to feel like you’re about to break down in the middle of a mountain range!), but then we pressed on to our next destination – Eilean Donan Castle:

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle

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ome of you will probably recognise Eilean Donan Castle as one of the settings used in the movie Highlander. I actually don’t recognise it from that, because, shockingly, I’ve never seen Highlander: I did, however, recognise it from the many, many photos I’ve seen of it over the years, because this is another one of those truly iconic Scottish sights, and probably one of the most photographed buildings in the country.

In this respect, I guess March was actually a pretty good time to visit: it was, as you can probably tell from the photos, bitterly cold, but while there were plenty of tourists around, it wasn’t too crowded, either, so we were able to take our time and have a good look around the exterior, which is reached by a short bridge from the mainland.

 

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he island the castle sits on is located at a point where three sea lochs meet, which makes it incredibly dramatic, and just ridiculously photogenic, really.  Although there’s been a castle on this site since the 13th century, though, I was surprised to find that most of what you see today is actually reasonably modern: by the start of the 20th century, the castle had fallen into ruin, and was almost completely rebuilt between 1919 and 1932 –  which, as I say, surprised me, because it looks so authentically ancient:

 

Visiting Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

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egardless of its age, though, Eilean Donan is still one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been, and well worth braving the elements to see: although I’m not totally sure Max would agree with that statement, to be honest:

Max in his snowsuit

Speaking of Max, you see that dummy he has in his mouth here? We’ve been trying to wean him off that, so its presence in this photo is a sure sign that he was right on the edge of the kind of meltdown that can’t be easily contained. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend at Eilean Donan, as it was really just supposed to be a quick stop on the way to Skye, and as Max was desperate for food and a nap, we decided it would be more sensible to spend that time feeding him, and then letting him get back into the car for a nap, than walking around the castle itself, which I’m pretty sure he’d have strongly objected to. Such is life with a toddler, folks… (And such is the subject of an upcoming blog post, actually – if I ever get round to actually finishing it, that is…)

looking out over the loch from Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

I might not be able to show you the inside of the castle, then, but, well, I CAN show you inside the visitor centre/cafe, if that’s any good to you?

To be fair, it WAS a pretty good visitor centre: and I’m pretty sure our view for lunch was one of the best you’ll find. Oh, and the company wasn’t bad, either:

Max, March 2019

(Totally cheered up as soon as there was food in front of him. SO like his daddy…)

And so ended our brief visit to Eilean Donan: and I feel like I end all of these posts right now with a promise that we’ll be back one day to see it all properly, but I really hope we will – we have to get inside at least ONE of these castles we keep visiting, don’t we?

Visiting one of Scotland's top tourist destinations: Eilean Donan Castle, in the Highlands

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1 Comment
  • Brenda
    March 27, 2019

    Sooooo beautiful, Amber! Really makes me want to come back and spend a decent amount of time in Scotland. I have to say, I am fortunate because we live really close to the Rocky Mountains in Canada, but there aren’t really any castles tucked into them — unless you count the Banff Springs Hotel, which is pretty nice also. I am a bit of a castle-freak, simply because we really don’t have them here! Sometimes it is nice to explore what you have in your own country isn’t it?

AD | We’re spending a few days at @highlandheatherlodges in beautiful Perthshire, for what Terry is optimistically referring to as his ‘birthday week’. (I say ‘optimistically’ - we’re only here for three days, and his birthday was yesterday, but don’t stop believing, Terry!)⁣
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There’s a hot tub for us and a playpark for Max, so needless to say, we’re having a fantastic time, and I’m already dreading having to leave. Today’s big question: can I pass as an under-12, so I qualify for a pony ride at the nearby wildlife centre? 🤔 (On second thoughts, don’t answer that one...)⁣
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#thetraveltag #scotland_ig #visitscotland #scotland_insta #scotlandlife #scottishblogger  #stayandwander #travelbloggerlife #travelblogging #tblogger #thattravelblog #travellifestyle #travelpreneur #perthshire #scotlandinsta #reallifeandstyle #wearingtoday #igstyleblogger #fashiongrammerv

AD | We’re spending a...

AD | Time for a quick game of “Where’s Amber?”⁣
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It’s another rainy Monday, so I’m throwing it back to our trip to @universalorlando ‘s amazing Volcano Bay water park last month. I’m a bit of a scaredy when it comes to water flumes, but this park had tons of stuff for pretty much everyone: plenty of rides for me, and an amazing splash pad for Max 👶In fact, I’d still be on The Fearless River right now if I possibly could be. Still, doing the laundry and turning the heating on will be just as good, right? Right?! 🌋 🏊‍♀️ .
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#universalorlando #volcanobay #waterpark #lazyriver #vacay #floridavacay

AD | Time for a...

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. ⁣
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I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ ⁣
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(Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂)⁣
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#pbloggers #mummybloggers #mummybloggersuk #ukmumblog #mumblogsuk #mumblogs #mamablog #ukparentbloggers #parentbloggersuk #ukparentingblog #parentingbloggers #motherhoodblogger #motherhoodblog #ukblogger #ukofficialblogger #happyblogger #mummyblog #bloggerclubuk #instamum

Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 ⁣
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They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. ⁣
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If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 ⁣
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Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
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#whatiwear #30plusblogs #everydaystyle #realoutfitgram  #scottishbloggers #fashionblogger  #fashionblog #fashionstyle #whatimwearing #stylegram  #outfitoftheday #personalstyle #todayiamwearing #styleinspiration 
#stylediaries #styleblogger #over30style

#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
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#littlepiecesofchildhood #cameramama #chikdhoodeveryday #childofig #celebrate_childhood #babieswithstyle #ootdkids #fashionbaby #trendykids

I posted this on Stories...

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Exploring Scotland | Eilean Donan Castle & the Road to Skye