Castle inventory

There are hundreds of castles in Great Britain, and we know we can’t see them all – even if we wanted to. So we are being selective about the ones we do see. So far we have seen three. The first was Culzean (pronounced Cul-ane) on the coast in Ayrshire, a majestic family estate belonging to the Kennedy family of Scottish shipbuilding fame.

Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle

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We saw the second and third castles yesterday: Eilean Donan, after returning to the mainland from the Isle of Skye, and Urquhart farther east on the banks of Loch Ness on our way to Inverness.

Eilean Donan castle

Eilean Donan castle

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Both Eilean Donan and Urquhart were actual fortresses in their day, and both were blown up during the Jacobite Rebellions in the 18th century. Eilean Donan was partially restored in the 20th century, but Urquhart was left in ruins. Funny, but I think I like the ruins better.

Urquhart castle

Urquhart castle

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Brief history lesson, which the Scots take very seriously to this day: When the Catholic King James (VII of Scotland and II of England) Stuart was kicked off the throne in 1688 in favor of his Protestant daughter Mary (of William and Mary), his Catholic supporters in Scotland (Jacobites) staged various rebellions against the English to try to bring the Stuart family back to Scotland – just one series in a long history of Scottish-English tussles over the years. The Jacobites were unsuccessful, and Scotland has been largely Protestant since.

6 thoughts on “Castle inventory

  1. Hi Cindy and Marcus,
    I’m sorry I didn’t read my email sooner and had a chance to visit Clan Ross Balnagown – now Al-Fayed Castle. 🙂 I read there were thousands (3,000 ?) of castles built in Scotland. Many may not have looked so regal, I don’t know. Such beautiful settings. You didn’t mention “Nessie” Are people still looking?
    Happy travels.

    • No, the guy who took the photo of Nessie in the 60’s admitted on his deathbed in the 90’s that he had faked the photo, so no one is really looking. There’s an entire museum on the loch about the search for Nessie – and countless stuffed Nessies for sale in every gift shop within 50 miles – but we skipped all that.

  2. I’m so happy to see that everything is going great! Dunnotar Castle in Stonehaven is on your list, right? If not, be sure to add it!

    • Hi, Shannon! Good to hear from you. We are hoping to get to Stonehaven from Edinburgh next week. I’m reading a novel that takes place there now. Regards, Cindy

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