At Glenelg (10 miles) are two fine examples of Iron Age Brochs (roughly 700BC – AD43) built by the Picts. These were built throughout Scotland, generally near the coast, and acted as refuges during attack.
Eilean Donan Castle (6 miles) is one of the most photogenic castles in Scotland. Built in the 13th century as the principle seat of the MacKenzies of Kintail, during the 1719 Jacobite rising the castle was battered to a ruin and remained so for 300 years until Colonel MacRae-Gilstrap restored it around 100 years ago.
General Wade’s Barracks, Glenelg, was built to house 300 soldiers. In 1724 General Wade reported to King George I that certain Highland Clans were against him and advised the King on how to bring them into line. This resulted in ‘the clearances’. The ruins of General Wade’s Barracks can be seen to this day.
Author Gavin Maxwell has strong connections with Sandaig (12 miles). He wrote Ring of Bright Water, a story about an otter he called Mijbil. Towards the end of his life he lived on a small island – Eilean Ban – just off Kyleakin. This now has a visitors’ centre and offers boat trips to see otters. Seals and other wild life can also be seen in the area.
Loch Ness with its world-famous monster, Nessie, is only a short drive away. The Exhibition Centre offers eye-witness accounts and photographs of the monster. Boat trips ‘monster spotting’ on the loch are also available. Visiting Urquhart Castle en route makes for a good day out.