Destination List > Eilean Donan
Photo by Brian Toward
Eilean Donan is a small tidal island in the western Highlands of Scotland, about 1 kilometre (5⁄8 mi) from the village of Dornie. It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge that was installed early in the 20th century and is dominated by a picturesque castle.
The island's original castle was built in the thirteenth century; it became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies, the Clan MacRae. However, in response to the Mackenzies' involvement in the Jacobite rebellions early in the 18th century, government ships destroyed the castle in 1719. The present-day castle is Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap's 20th-century reconstruction of the old castle.
Eilean Donan, which means simply "island of Donnán", is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint who was martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains.