Skye and Lochalsh was a busy and turbulent place in times gone by. With the sea as the ancient highway it was vital that the sea lanes were guarded. Castles, brochs and duns can be found all over the area and are a testament to the clan rivalry of the past.
Most famous amongst the clans were the MacLeods and MacDonalds with the lesser clans and septs of MacKinnon, Nicolson, MacAskill, Maccrimmon, Beaton, MacQueen, Martin and MacInnes. MacLeods and MacDonalds visit from all over the world on a regular basis with huge numbers of families still bearing the name on the island today. Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, the seat of the Clan MacLeod, holds a Clan MacLeod Parliament every four years to which MacLeod’s from all over the world return to their ancestral home for this special family gathering. Armadale and the Museum of the Isles is a similar magnet for MacDonalds.
The most famous castle in the world, Eilean Donan is located in the gateway to Skye and originally the seat of the Clan MacKenzie, has been guarded, purchased and now cared for by a charitable trust established by the Clan MacRae and remains an essential stopover for their homecoming. Almost every turn in the road finds the ruin of a once vibrant centre from a simple Iron Age fortification to an abandoned mansion.
Worldwide pride and esteem is still held by descended emigrant highland families, for their clan system, clan chief and their heritage 'left behind'. Continuing tradition sees the wearing of tartan, highland dancing, bagpipe festivals and highland games throughout the world wherever Highlanders and Islanders have settled. Quite simply, a Highlander's heritage is in his blood and is unforgettable.