15 Amazing Abbeys You Can Visit in Scotland
Get away to the Isle of Skye to Harlosh’s two custom holiday homes on the western coast of the island, offering empty landscape views and waterside locations. Select from the minimalist black H for two, designed to get you back to nature, or the beautiful coastal escape for six, wood h.
If you want the calm of the countryside without being too far from Edinburgh, Eastside Cottages gives you the best of both worlds. Set into the hillside, traditional cottages overflow with rustic charm, you’ll have views over the snow-topped hills that cross the landscape from the comfort of your home away from home.
Found in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, this gorgeous, contemporary lodge is packed with luxurious touches. Overlooking the snowy Cairngorm mountains, you can take in the bracing Highlands air with a walk or entertain with family and friends in the bright, airy living spaces that the lodge offers.
Dell of Abernethy
Nestled in the Cairngorms, this rustic collection of fully renovated houses is packed with modern touches that’ll take you right back to nature. Stylish and comfortable, its enviable location offers lodges and cottages so there’s something for everyone – from a romantic retreat for two to spots for a big family holiday.
Minimalist and soothing, this contemporary lodge overlooks Wester Ross and the rolling hills of the landscape. Perfect if you’re looking to relax and recharge in tranquil surroundings, this unique, Scandinavian-style cottage offers a small slice of serene paradise to escape to – perfect for getting cosy in during the winter months.
Mint Croft Cottages
Named by Vogue as one of the Best Honeymoon Hideaway’s and featured on Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List, Mint Croft Cottages are two self-catering slices of paradise on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Fully renovated crofters’ cottages on the Waternish Peninsula, the two locations overlook the beautiful stretch of Loch Snizort.
Visit the Northwest coast of the Isle Skye and you’ll find Lagan Glas, a holiday cottage perfect for six. Its interiors are cosy and charming – and newly renovated – so all your contemporary creature comforts are here too. From the comfort of your bedroom, you’ll get gorgeous views stretching out to the ocean.
RiverBeds Luxury Wee Lodges
Glencoe is home to these unique stays, offering a miniature hotel in a cabin! The RiverBeds are beautiful mini cabins hanging over the river, with plenty packed into 12m of space. Comforting and cosy, the thick insulation of the walls means you’ll get a quiet and serene night’s sleep on Egyptian cotton sheets.
Wildlife Croft, Skye
A croft cottage on the Sleat Peninsula on Skye, Stonechat Bothy is a cosy, self-catering cottage set among the woodland and nearby orchard. The perfect place to unwind and fully relax, the cottage is particularly secluded, set on more than nine acres of private woodland. Its contemporary interior may only briefly distract you from the majestic beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Dod Mill, Borders
Just forty minutes from Edinburgh and nestled into the Scottish Borders is Dod Mill, a collection of charming cottages that will suit a variety of guests. With each cottage set around a wood-burning stove, they make for idyllic spots in the winter months – perfect if you’re looking for somewhere to get cosy.
Sweet Donside Cabins
If you’re looking for a romantic winter getaway in Aberdeenshire, then look no further than the Wee Love Nest and the Wee Beehive Cabins – bringing glamping to a whole new level. Set in the Cairngorms National Park, the wooden cabins are perfect for curling up in – plus the hot tubs on-site are well worth trying out.
The Crofter’s House
On Skye’s Camustianavaig Bay is the Crofter’s House, a cosy getaway cottage for two. Surrounded by the landscape of the island, the cottage is bright and calming, with a distinctly Scandinavian vibe about it. The town of Portree, with a variety of shops and restaurants, is just five miles away.
The Field House, Avernish
Look out over the coast of Loch Alch from the Field House, a comfortable, contemporary cottage in the heart of the Highlands. Even in the winter, you’ll find yourself drawn to the outdoors for walks or mountain biking. Or you can relax in the comfort of this eco-build home, watching the loch drift by.
If you want your cosy hideaway to be eco-friendly, Guardswell Farm has a cottage for you. North of Dundee and set on 150 acres of natural grassland, you’ll have views over the River Tay and the North of Fife right from the snug comfort of your custom house or hut.
Overlook Kilmartin Glen and live like a royal at the beautiful, five-hundred-year-old Kilmartin Castle in Western Scotland. Offering luxurious en-suite bedrooms, you can revel in the history of the castle in its stunning Great Hall – complete with a huge fireplace to curl up in front of during the cold nights.
Treshnish and Haunn Cottages
Travel to the Isle of Mull and you’ll find the charming Treshnish, a collection of country cottages overlooking the coastline. Sharing a beautiful garden between them, the cottages plus one studio have been lovingly managed by the same team since 1994 and are a great base for exploring wildlife and hiking.
Woodcroft Guest House
The Cesar winner in the Good Hotel Guide 2022, this guest house offers luxury and style in the heart of Perth. Found in the conservation area of Kinnoull Hill, a charming Victorian building has been fully renovated with period touches, offering large, comfortable rooms with delicious meals provided on-site to satisfy every palette.
Skye White House
A cosy getaway on the Isle of Skye, overlooking the Sound of Sleat is Skye White House, a cosy retreat perfect for the winter. Fully renovated in 2012, the house comes with a wood-burning stove and can comfortably accommodate up to four guests looking to escape into the wilderness in the colder months.
Williamstone Farm Steadings
Contemporary and cool, the barn at Williamstone Farm Steadings is situated in acres of farmland in North Berwick. Luxurious fittings are found across the three floors of the barn, including a gorgeous, modern kitchen. Just 30 minutes from Edinburgh, it’s a beautiful seaside retreat that’ll keep you close to the capital’s action.
Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages
Perfect for lovers of the outdoors, Glen Dye Cabins & Cottages run through acres of private forest and are just steps away from the River Dye. Whether you’re vying for a contemporary caretaker’s cottage, a cosy country house or a fully refurbished campervan, you’ll find a vibrant place to stay in this neck of the woods.
If you’re dreaming of Loch Ness in winter, the Ancarraig Lodges are here to provide cosy comfort in the nearby rolling hills. Set on twelve acres of private woodland, these Scandinavian-style lodges in a variety of styles and sizes are peaceful, rustic and featuring plenty of mod-cons – as well as pet-friendly!
Big Sky Lodge
In the heart of the Scottish Highlands is a little slice of Scandinavia, with Big Sky Lodge, a charming, detached space settled into the surrounding woodland. The site offers six Finnish style lodges, alongside a vintage glamping caravan, each with its own rustic charm. Snuggle up under a blanket and relax.
Get the five-star experience in the Perthshire Hills at Dun Aluinn. Offering both a grand central house and a further lodge to rent, the space overlooks the town of Aberfeldy and further along the River Tay. Sumptuous and stunningly decorated, the house is perfect for big families looking for a grand winter retreat.
A favourite Highland spot from hunters to royalty, Gairnshiel Lodge is over two centuries old. It aims to make itself your home away from home, presenting a comfortable, Eastern-inspired interior designed to help you relax completely. The lodge is perfect for winter visitors who want modernity and comfort – whilst still getting away from it all.
Simple and charming, Porteous’ Studio is found near Edinburgh’s Old Town. Its minimalist interiors present an oasis away from the bustle of the city, with open-plan interiors perfect for two. Built using only natural products, you’ll be treated to a breakfast hamper and organic toiletries to use during your stay.
If you like your accommodation on the quirky side, look no further than the Tower O’Ess, a gatehouse conversion near the edge of Glen Tanar. Though renovated fully, the space still retains many of its original Victorian features. Alongside panoramic views and a super king bed, the outdoor hot tub is one of the highlights of this exciting property.
Two bespoke cottages on the Isle of Skye are yours to explore near the village of Broadford. Offering a fantastic, central location, each cottage sleeps four guests and offers a comfortable, relaxing space to unwind in. It’s a great spot for those looking to explore the island in its entirety.#
Quite literally offering a room with a – rather spectacular – view, this stunning cottage in the Cairngorms National Park is a peaceful retreat for visitors. Its location offers plenty of hiking, golfing, and biking activities nearby. Even better? You’re just fifteen minutes from Balmoral Castle – making the Royal Family your neighbours.
On the tranquil coastline are cosy Bothies, wooden structures that encourage you to get back to nature – whatever time of year you visit. Found in Newburgh on the Aberdeenshire coast, you’ll get panoramic views of the nearby water, as well as a comfortable, luxurious interior that you’ll never want to leave.
Skye Window House
There is perhaps no more view on the Isle of Skye more breath-taking than one from the floor-to-ceiling windows of Skye Window House. Simple, but luxurious, the house is bright and comfortable and looks out towards the Highlands. It’s perfect as a family retreat or even a chance for friends to get away from it all.
Keiss Harbour House
Keiss Harbour HouseA Grade-A listed property in the Northeast of Scotland, this house was converted from a fishing station into a comfortable, charming property. The harbour is still in use, so the house’s sea views are unparalleled. Its enviable location is also one of the only places in the UK you can see the Northern Lights in the colder months – perfect for a winter holiday.
Fifty Things to do in Perthshire
Meikleour Beech Hedge
Black Spout Waterfall
Throughout all of Scotland, there is only one Second World War PoW camp open to the public, and it’s located just a mile outside of Comrie. Cultybraggan Camp had a holding capacity of 4000, and quickly gained a reputation for harsh conditions, even being dubbed the ‘Black Camp of the North’. Bought by the community in 2007, the camp is now divided up into several different spaces such as allotments, bakeries, and workshops.
The Falls of Archarn
When exploring the Falls of Archarn, walkers traverse an enchanting pathway through a Victorian folly and climb one of Scotland’s iconic glens. The falls are found just outside the village of Kenmore, and the walk itself takes around an hour – but the views might make it last longer! As the fascinating Hermit’s Cave can be rather gloomy, it is recommended that a torch be taken for safety.
Glen Lyon Praying Hands
The Neolithic population of Scotland left future archaeologists and historians with countless uncrackable mysteries to puzzle over. One of these is the number of standing stones dotted across the country, such as this pair in Glen Lyon. Sometimes referred to as Fionn’s Rock, these stones are arranged similarly to a pair of hands praying towards the heavens.
Like a prototype Alcatraz, Lochleven Castle sits atop an island in the centre of its namesake loch. While the isle and ruined castle lie peaceful now, in 1567, Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned within the walls by William Douglas, who kept her in custody for eleven months. When Mary finally escaped in 1568, she would never return to Scotland again.
Loch of Lowes
One of the more unique walking routes in the north, the Cateran Trail has no beginning nor end. Instead, this 103km (64 mile) track begins and ends wherever the walker decides, making it an incredibly flexible journey for tentative hikers. As the entire route is waymarked and continuously maintained by the local council, the Cateran Trail is a great way to explore the Perthshire landscape.
Beatrix Potter Garden
Although the author was born in London, Beatrix Potter was intrinsically connected with Perthshire following her family’s long holidays spent in the county. Stepping into the quaint cottage of Hill Top, there is undeniable magic at play, primarily thanks to the intrepid work of gardener Pete Tasker who has replanted the lawn back to Potter’s original vision.
Birnam Oak and Sycamore
Immortalised forever in the witches’ prophecy of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the Birnam Oak and neighbouring Sycamore are all that survives of the legendary Birnam Wood. The sprawling limbs of the oak tree are an incredible site that pays tribute to its staggering age, dating back at least 500 years to the playwright’s Perthshire visit.
Phone Box Library
Operating from an obsolete phone box, the library in Bendochy is one of the smallest in the country. The villagers are firm believers in the sharing of literature, meaning the system works purely on trust, with individuals borrowing and donating books voluntarily. In the summer months, members of the community plant fruit and vegetables in the phone box, ensuring there is always a healthy and vibrant space in the village.
A little over a century ago, the merchant Archibald Birkmyre constructed the Dalmunzie Railway as a means of escorting hunting parties up and down the hills of Glenshee. The lodge is now a ruin, yet the railway line still serves as a walking route for those in the area. Like the Royal Deeside line to its east, many of the community hope to see this hidden track restored to its former glory.
Cluny House Gardens
Gardening runs in the Masterton family’s veins. During the 1950s, partners Betty and Bobby began arranging what would turn into Cluny House Gardens around a few exemplar trees in the area. Now tended by their youngest daughter, the green space has only expanded over the decades, encompassing countless species of trees and smaller flora.
Fittingly for the jewel in Perthshire’s crown, Scone Palace was the location of dozens of Scottish coronations over the centuries. The immense red sandstone castle is infused with more history than perhaps any other place in the country. However, there is more than historicity on offer at Scone: visitors can also traverse the pentangular hedge maze created by internationally acclaimed designer Adrian Fisher.
Representing one of the triumphs of Mary’s reign, Huntingtower Castle housed the Queen and her husband as they fought off the rebels’ Chaseabout Raid. The twin tower houses establish Huntingtower as a strange castle architecturally, with various hidden alcoves and secret spots used to shield some of the royals’ more precious artefacts. Dating from 1540, the beautiful hand-painted ceiling is another of the castle’s highlights.
Hidden deep within the fields northeast of Killin lies an abandoned mine, initially dug by men in search of precious materials such as sulphur and copper. Although these endeavours proved unsuccessful, Tomnadashan has nevertheless become famed for its alter-ego: the Cave of Caerbannog as encountered in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Whether visitors confront a killer bunny or not, the location is not to be missed for fans of the Pythons.
The tranquil state of Drummond Castle belies its tumultuous history, with the building playing major roles in both Cromwell’s invasion and the Jacobite uprising. Although the privately owned castle is not open to the public, the opulent gardens are. The grounds encompass a huge amount of land, and every inch has been meticulously crafted to enchant visitors with dazzling colours and exotic flora.
Glen Tilt Walk
Lain across the very northern tip of Perthshire, Glen Tilt is a route formed on a fault line that stretches for around 11 miles. Glen Tilt is enclosed by the immense Atholl Estates, meaning that the surrounding areas are equally perfect for those searching for idyllic walks or cycles. Following the Glen’s path, walkers will often be accompanied by the beautiful River Tilt, whose rockpools and falls are simply enchanting.
The Fergusson Gallery
Located centrally within Perth’s city centre, the two-tiered cylindrical Fergusson Gallery is a celebration of one of Scotland’s most influential artists. J.D Fergusson, born in Leith in 1874, rapidly became a leading figure in the Scottish Colourist movement. This gallery holds his own immense collection of work and archival documents, all viewable free of charge.
The chalk-white walls of Blair Castle stand out brilliantly against its surrounding sea of dark-green trees. The ancestral seat of Clan Murray, the castle passed through various hands since its construction began in 1269. Though still in private possession, the stately home offers tours and visits to tourists, giving people a chance to glimpse the truly opulent interior design of Scottish nobility.
Bringing a small glint of fairy-tale whimsy into the Perthshire landscape, the ‘twinned’ stones lie some distance apart on the sides of the A85. Although it’s arguable just how lifelike the Frog stone is, the Crocodile stone bears significant resemblance to its namesake. Standing high above the motorway, the painting is thought to be around a century old and makes a wonderful landmark for the various walking routes in the area.
Even in the ancient era of the Picts, the Dunkeld area was held as a site of holiness. By the 7th century, Saint Columba was said to have established a monastery on the land, and even his bones were kept buried inside. Over the centuries, the cathedral evolved with the contemporary styles, meaning Dunkeld is a fascinating amalgam of varying architectural visions and movements.
First built in the 16th century, the spectacular Castle Menzies was restored into its current state during the 20th century after 500 years of warfare and weather damage. By 1957, the castle was a ruin, having been hotly contested during the Jacobite rebellion, until it was elevated by the Menzies Clan Society. Now in the hands of a charitable trust, the restored castle is freely available for public visits.
Blair Atholl Waterwheel
Although first turning in 1590, the Blair Atholl Waterwheel is a rare example of a working wheel in the 21st century. The mill produces a variety of flours and oatmeal, which in turn are crafted into delicious baked goods in the on-site café. The wheel is spun by water from the River Tilt, meaning it is one of only three operating waterwheels in the country.
Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery
There are fewer exports as intrinsically linked to Scotland than whisky. Scotch is part of the country’s lifeblood, and Dewar’s is one of the most celebrated producers. Aberfeldy was where Dewar’s first came into being, establishing their first distillery on the site in 1898. Visitors to the spot can join one of the frequent distillery tours that explore each step of the process (including the drinking).
A few miles north of Pitlochry, the coursing flows of the River Garry begins its journey into the River Tummel. By extension a tributary of the River Tay, the Garry is not to be overshadowed by its larger family, especially given its scenic location and idyllic walking route. Queen Victoria, a noted lover of the Scottish landscape, commented that the river is “very fine, rolling over large stones, and forming perpetual falls”.
Birks of Aberdeldy
Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Built to keep up with the burgeoning performance art scene in the north, the Pitlochry Festival Theatre opened its doors in the late 1940s at the behest of promoter John Stewart. The theatre has remained a hotbed of up-and-coming performers, directors, and producers, who are constantly pushing the boundaries with cutting-edge scripts and breathing new life into old favourites.
The Scottish Crannog Centre
Croft Moraig Stone Circle
Travel northeast from the River Tay and down the rocky hillside and you will come across another set of enigmatic stones. Using shards of pottery found on the site, archaeologists date the circle to at least 2000BC, although they may have been arranged even earlier. There are various fascinating practices visible at Croft Moraig, from the traditional recumbent stone to what some theorize is a deliberate astronomical alignment.
Weem Wood Walk
Tucked away in the Perthshire forests, the cosy Weem Wood Walk takes visitors through the titular wood and around the surrounding landscape. This walk is excellent for viewing Perthshire from new perspectives, giving climbers fantastic panoramas of nearby Aberfeldy. The trail ends at St. David’s Well – a spring found at the back of a deep cave, where St. Cuthbert reportedly spent many nights praying.
The stunning autumnal beauty of Killiecrankie may give the impression of a tranquil area of countryside, but its dramatic history is anything but. The Battle of Killiecrankie was an incredibly violent episode in the Jacobite uprising, occurring on the 27th of July 1689. Visitors can also appreciate Soldier’s Leap – the 18-foot gap across the frothing River Garry that a Redcoat soldier cleared to escape certain death.
Castles in as good condition as Elcho are few and far between, especially ones dating back as far as the 16th century. Both the interior and exterior are fully explorable, standing as a testament to the architectural prowess of Scottish builders at the time. Even the decorative plasterwork can be viewed inside, as the incredibly fortified nature of Elcho meant little damage has stripped away the interior’s beauty.
Fortingall Yew Tree
The world’s leading botanists struggle to identify exactly how old the Fortingall Yew Tree is. However, at between 2000 and 3000 years, it is possibly the oldest living thing in Scotland. The Yew has changed shaped frequently over the centuries – in fact, its current state is far smaller than previously noted, with the trunk first being recorded as 52ft wide in 1769.
Comrie’s Earthquake House
Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre
One of the most expansive of its kind in the country, Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre has entertained locals and tourists alike for over a decade. From farmyard animals to more exotic creatures, there are over 50 species calling Auchinarrich their home, each with their own eccentric personality. Maxine and Shona, the park’s full-time keepers, are experts in the field and are always excited to teach visitors about their favourite animals.
Maggie Walls Memorial
Kenmore lies at the natural end of the 14-mile River Tay, where all its dozens of tributaries coalesce into one pool. The town itself is a wonderful hub for exploring the rest of Perthshire, as well as for water-based activities across the River Tay. Elsewhere, visitors can try out some of the local golf courses or indulge in the seaside spot’s incredible fresh cuisine.
Battle of Luncarty
In the shadow of the Trossachs lies the extensive freshwater Loch Katrine. At 13km long and 1km wide, the loch seems to stretch its way infinitely into the horizon, creating a gorgeous effect when viewed from afar. For those looking to explore the loch further, the Sir Walter Scott ship offers visitors a chance to sail up and down the water, letting the crisp fresh air blow away any stresses.
Loch Katrine Aqueduct
Kellie Castle is a wonderfully eccentric clash of two distant time periods. The exterior, looming over its rolling grounds of pristine green, remains faithful to its original 14th-century construction. However, falling a restoration and overhaul in the 19th century, its interior is a beautiful example of Victorian design, making Kellie Castle a must-see for anyone fascinated by unusual architecture.
Win an overnight stay at Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh
If you’re looking for a mini-break in the heart of beautiful Edinburgh or want a getaway with a luxurious twist, this might just be your lucky day. Hidden Scotland has teamed up with The Dunstane Houses to offer one lucky winner an overnight stay at one of their contemporary townhouse locations with cocktails, dinner and breakfast included.
Winner of the ‘Best Boutique Hotel Experience in Scotland 2020’ The Dunstane Houses are a five-star, luxury boutique hotel found in the heart of Edinburgh. Stylish and contemporary, this independent getaway is set over two historic Victorian townhouses over a quiet road – both of which have been newly refurbished. Your experience here will be unlike anywhere you’ve stayed before. Over twenty-three years of Scottish hospitality is on display – and you’ll find your every need catered for by their knowledgeable staff.
Spacious, yet cosy, your luxury king double room welcomes you with the promise of a king sized Vispring bed that’ll help you sink into a restful night’s sleep. Found in the Dunstane House, the room is a tranquil oasis, complete with ensuite power shower, bath and toiletries exclusively from Noble Isle. Wrap up in the fluffiest of complimentary bathrobes – and be sure to explore the minibar, packed with treats from the local area.
Of course, no stay at The Dunstane Houses is complete without exploring their array of dining and drinking options – each as unique and luxurious as the hotel itself.
The Ba’Bar has a legendary, forty-year-old whisky cabinet at its heart and is the only bar in the city to serve a Highland Park of the same age. Or, for the gin connoisseurs, an artisanal selection that ensures, no matter how long you stay, you’ll never have the same one twice. Take your cocktails to the terrace and soak in the golden hour.
After cocktails, of course, the Dunstane restaurant welcomes you to dinner. You may want to drop in during the day, whether to indulge in brunch, linger in the garden with afternoon tea or fuel up with breakfast for a day of exploring, dinner is where the restaurant truly shines. The menu is specially curated to showcase the best of Scottish cuisine, using local ingredients to create new twists on familiar classics. Orkney fish and chips or a beefburger are great choices for pub food lovers, while beetroot risotto with parmesan and feta, tempura broccoli with sriracha or haggis fritters will satisfy the palate of even the most adventurous foodie. Pair your meal with wine chosen by in-house experts or another choice from their extensive cocktail menu.
A gateway into Edinburgh’s Old Town, the vibrant atmosphere of Scotland’s capital is just a scenic walk away from the comfort of your room. Though, if the hotel entices you enough, you may never want to leave the comfort of your room.
This competition closes on 31st of October 2021. And winners stays are valid until 31st March 2022 excluding Saturday nights and peak periods such as Christmas, Hogmanay and rugby dates.
The prize is subject to availability and full terms and conditions apply.
The Wolf’s Lair – Loch an Eilean
Alexander Stewart, earl of Buchan, is remembered in Scottish history as the Wolf of Badenoch, a name derived from his alleged cruelty and injustice as a powerful lord in northern Scotland. When exploring the Badenoch and Strathspey region of the north-east, it is not difficult to imagine the Wolf ruling amongst the mountains and the forests – particularly so at one of his favourite residences, Loch an Eilein Castle.
Loch an Eilein – Gaelic for ‘loch of the island’ – is an incredibly atmospheric place. Nestled within the Rothiemurchus forest and tucked beneath the mighty Lairig Ghru pass of the Cairngorms, this is a scene straight from the pages of Scottish history. On the loch’s island sits a small castle, once the home of the Wolf of Badenoch.
The castle at Loch an Eilein was one of many constructed during the thirteenth-century by the powerful Comyn family. The purpose of this network of castles was to control Scotland’s north-east, with each castle guarding the entrances to mountain passes and artery routes. This was largely the work of William Comyn, a Norman lord who rose to power by defeating the northern rivals of William I of Scotland. Reward for his victories included a string of illustrious titles, and marriage to a major Gaelic heiress – Marjory, countess of Buchan. A powerful pair, William and Marjory began a great Comyn dynastic command of the north-east that would continue until the early fourteenth-century.
The Wolf of Badenoch’s ownership of Loch an Eilein Castle likely began in the 1360s when his father – the future Robert II of Scotland – began to delegate authority to his son in the region. By the 1380s, the Wolf was arguably the most powerful figure in northern Scotland, holding titles and land to an extent similar to William Comyn in the thirteenth-century. Despite this vast expanse of authority, Loch an Eilein Castle was still one of his primary residences, with the castle being refortified by him during the 1380s. The Wolf’s castle would look very different to what remains today – rising water levels have hidden much of the original island and the causeway that connected it to the shore.
From 1388 to 1392, the Wolf’s power was cut dramatically after accusations of violence and lawlessness in the north-east under his watch. After infamously sacking Elgin Cathedral in 1390 and being divorced in 1392 by his powerful wife – Euphemia Ross, countess of Ross – the final years of the Wolf’s life were a more low-key affair. Despite his fall from power, there is no doubting that Loch an Eilein Castle remained the Wolf’s lair, even with his tail between his legs.
Written by Beth Reid
Beth Reid is a Scottish history graduate, currently undertaking an MRes in Historical Research specialising in medieval Scotland. Beth runs a microblog on Instagram and has written for Hidden Scotland, The History Corner, and the Historians Magazine.
Loch An Eilean Castle
Loch an Eilein Castle
Loch an Eilein Castle is a beautiful ruined 13th century castle located in Rothiemurchus forest, south of Aviemore. It takes its name from the irregular shaped loch lying beside it. Voted ‘Britain’s Favourite Picnic Spot’ in 2010, make sure you take a camera with you so you have a record of its stunning natural beauty. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll spot some great wildlife here – including red squirrels, ospreys, and crossbills.
Hidden Scotland Magazine Issue 3 – Pre-order Now
It gives us great pleasure to be sharing with you the third edition of Hidden Scotland magazine. Welcome to our Autumn Winter 2021/22 issue.
We’ll start with four potent words: the past is alive. Scotland is a land sculpted by its history, a place moulded by the passage of time, and over the following pages, the days of yore are a recurrent theme. Stepping back into the mists of prehistory, we explore the Jurassic beginnings of the Isle of Skye, where dinosaurs once roamed. We enter the towering canopy of the great Caledonian Forest, crunching the underbrush of the temperate rainforest that once blanketed almost the entire country. No less stirringly, we also take a wander among the extraordinary Neolithic sites that make Scotland one of the world’s most important repositories of Stone Age architecture.
Striding forward to more recent centuries, we visit the historic towns and age-old places of worship that mark the Borders Abbeys Way, learn more about the 17th century witches of Shetland, and discover the layered past (not to mention the vibrant culture and open countryside) of Dumfries & Galloway. Keeping the theme going, we also hear the ancient tale of Thomas the Rhymer, and take a winding drive along the fabled Highlands road that is Bealach na Bà.
But there’s more to these pages, of course, than the past. As regular readers will have come to expect, we also meet some of Scotland’s most inspirational modern-day inhabitants, from the sustainably minded food and drink producers of Glenelg, and the determined founders of the Isle of Skye Sea Salt Company, to acclaimed jewellery-maker Róis Clark.
And that’s not all. Among other things, there’s also a journey through Cape Wrath in the company of writer and photographer Richard Gaston, a spotlight on one of the country’s enigmatic mountain hares, and advice on how to make the most of the Scottish winter with your canine companion.
As ever, enjoy the journey. Slàinte mhath