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Holidays in Dornie

A peaceful, lochside village set close to Eilean Donan Castle

Dornie is a former fishing village, nestled at the meeting point of three lochs in the Ross-shire Highlands. It’s a short walk from Eilean Donan Castle, which is one of the Highland’s most iconic landmarks. Dornie is perfectly located for gazing out across the misty lochs, heading out to visit the Isle of Skye or exploring the wilderness of the rural Highlands.

At the point where Loch Duich, Loch Alsh and Loch Long meet, the village of Dornie huddles against the elements. It’s little more than a scattering of historic houses and cottages, surrounded by water and towering, snow-capped mountains. A short drive will bring you to the Skye Bridge, which you can use to access the spectacular Isle of Skye and the remote, windswept islands beyond. Dornie occupies a dramatic area of the Highlands which is perfect for hiking, wildlife watching or settling down by a roaring fire.

A short walk away from Dornie is one of Scotland’s most celebrated landmarks, Eilean Donan Castle. Perched at the water’s edge and surrounded by nature, it’s an impressive sight and a unique piece of Scottish history. It has appeared in a number of hit films, including the Highlander with Sean Connery. During centuries of violent conflict, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times. But it has been beautifully restored and is now open to the public with a visitor centre which tells the fascinating story of the castle’s troubled past.

There’s no better way to explore the great sea lochs which surround Dornie than by boat. There is an abundance of wildlife from dolphins and seals to sea eagles and the iconic golden eagle. For a unique perspective on the Highlands’ waters, book a place on the Seaprobe Atlantis . This semi-submersible boat has a glass bottom, so you can enjoy the wildlife above and below the water. You’ll also be taken for a look at the World War II shipwreck, HMS Port Napier.

Although dining options are limited in Dornie, like many Highland villages, there is an excellent pub. The Clachan serves a range of delicious meals using locally sourced produce and takes pride in its welcoming, cosy atmosphere. A visit to the Clachan is an authentic Highland experience and wouldn’t be complete without sampling a dram from the bar’s extensive range of whiskies. For a coffee or a bite to eat, there is a dramatically situated café at the Ailean Donan Castle, and plenty of pubs and restaurants on nearby Skye.

A short drive from Dornie will take you across the Skye Bridge into one of Scotland’s most beautiful islands, the Isle of Skye. Take a day to drive around this spectacular landscape, where rugged cliffs, incredible rock formations, snowy mountain ranges and a real sense of solitude can all be found.

“Dornie occupies a dramatic area of the Highlands which is perfect for hiking, wildlife watching or settling down by a roaring fire.

While you’re there

Balmacara Estate

Begin at the visitor centre then head out to explore the rich heritage of Highland crofting

Eilean Donan Castle

One of Scotland's most iconic castles set on a small tidal island

Loch Duich

Take a waterside walk or hop in a boat to discover this enchanting loch

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