Is there anything more Scottish than a fairy-tale castle wedding? The splendour, the love, the rich history—it's a quintessential Scottish experience.
The Outer Hebrides, a remote and captivating chain of islands off the west coast of Scotland, are known for their rugged landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a sense of timelessness that envelopes you as soon as you arrive. Amidst these enchanting islands, you'll discover a unique collection of Scottish castles, each with its own story to tell. Join us on a journey through time and stone as we explore the majesty and history of the Scottish castles in the Outer Hebrides.
Our journey begins on the island of Barra, where we encounter Kisimul Castle, a remarkable fortress situated on a rocky islet in the bay of Castlebay. This iconic stronghold, with its fairy-tale-like setting, is a testament to the resilience of the clans in the region.
Kisimul Castle's history is deeply intertwined with the MacNeil clan, who have called it their ancestral home for centuries. The castle's stone walls, tower house, and strategic location on the islet reflect its medieval origins.
Visitors to Kisimul Castle can access the islet via boat and explore its well-preserved interiors, including the great hall, the dungeon, and the chambers that offer glimpses into clan life. The castle's stunning coastal surroundings and views of Castlebay make it a truly magical experience.Lews Castle
Travelling north to the Isle of Lewis, we arrive at Lews Castle, a grand mansion nestled amidst the town of Stornoway. While not a traditional castle, this Victorian-era mansion is a symbol of the region's history and cultural heritage.
Lews Castle's history dates back to the 19th century when it was built by Sir James Matheson, a wealthy industrialist. The castle's imposing façade, lush gardens, and turrets reflect the opulence of the Victorian era.
Visitors to Lews Castle can explore its elegant interiors, including the grand hall, the library, and the museum that tells the story of the Outer Hebrides. The castle's scenic location overlooking Stornoway Harbour and its surrounding parkland offer a delightful escape into the island's natural beauty.
Returning to the island of Barra, we discover Castlebay House, a charming Georgian mansion nestled amidst picturesque gardens. While not a traditional castle, this historic house is a testament to the island's heritage and architectural elegance.
Castlebay House's history can be traced back to the 18th century when it was constructed by the MacNeil clan. The house's classic Georgian design, complete with symmetrical proportions and a central entrance, reflects the architectural tastes of the era.
Visitors to Castlebay House can explore its period rooms, including the drawing room, the dining room, and the grand staircase. The house's idyllic gardens, with their floral displays and serene setting, provide a tranquil backdrop for relaxation and reflection.
The Outer Hebrides, with their wild beauty and enduring spirit, are a region that invites travellers to explore its remarkable castles and historical sites. From the fairytale setting of Kisimul Castle on Barra to the Victorian elegance of Lews Castle on Lewis, from the Georgian charm of Castlebay House on Barra to the ancient marvel of the Broch of Clickimin on the Shetland Mainland, each site offers a unique perspective on the Outer Hebrides' history.
These castles and historical sites, set against the backdrop of the islands' natural beauty, are not just relics of the past; they are guardians of history and culture. They stand as testaments to the resilience of clans, the opulence of Victorian industrialists, the architectural elegance of Georgian mansions, and the enduring legacy of ancient peoples.
Whether you're drawn to the romance of island fortresses, the grandeur of Victorian mansions, the charm of Georgian residences, or the mysteries of ancient structures, the castles and historical sites of the Outer Hebrides invite you to step into the past and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Scotland's history and island heritage.
“See Scotland throughout the ages and take in some breathtaking scenery on the way.