Five stars for Eilean Donan

VisitScotland’s Chris Taylor (left) and castle keeper David Win

Skye and Lochalsh MSP Kate Forbes has congratulated Eilean Donan Castle after it was officially awarded a five-star visitor attraction rating by VisitScotland.

She hailed the castle’s team “for the power of work that has gone into achieving this success”.

Eilean Donan Castle, which welcomed 540,000 visitors this year, was also named the winner of the Best Heritage Tourism Experience category at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards ceremony earlier this month.

Ms Forbes said: “I would like to congratulate Eilean Donan Castle for the power of work that has gone into achieving this success.

“Whilst Eilean Donan is already such an iconic image, there has been no resting on laurels and instead the team at the castle have obviously invested time, effort and money into making Eilean Donan an absolutely fantastic place.”

The castle, which sits on a small tidal island where the sea lochs Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh meet – is one of Scotland’s most iconic sites and regularly features on postcards and TV.

Originally constructedd in the 13th century, the castle was destroyed in 1719 by government ships at the time of the Jacobite rebellions. It was rebuilt in the early 20th century, and is now one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions.

Last year Eilean Donan Castle featured as the winning design on Kate Forbes MSP’s festive Christmas card after a competition to all primary schools in the constituency.

Chris Taylor, regional partnerships director at VisitScotland, said: “Castle tourism is very important to Scotland and I would like to congratulate the staff at Eilean Donan Castle on this marvellous achievement. I¹d also like to congratulate them on winning Best Heritage Tourism Experience at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards.”