Dunvegan (Gaelic: Dùn Bheagain) is a small village on Skye in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, with a population of 386 in 2011. The main draw is the castle. Dunvegan is also a base for exploring Duirnish, the peninsula to the west.
Get in Edit
By car take A87 then A850.
Stagecoach Bus 56 runs 3-5 times M-Sa from Portree via Skeabost and Edinbane to Dunvegan (50 min) and Lonmore, with a couple continuing west to Colbost and Glendale.
Get around Edit
The castle and village are a mile apart with a road and walking track between. You need a car to reach the lighthouse or the start of the hike to the Maidens.
- 1 Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, Dunvegan IV55 8WF (A mile north of village off jcn A850 & A863). Apr-mid-Oct: daily 10:00-17:30. Ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years, built 13th century but much altered and prettified in the 19th. The "Fairy Flag" is an ancient silk heirloom, steeped in hoaky legend and tenuously-connected miracles; it's probably from Syria and may date back to the Crusades, though family tradition puts it much earlier. Other heirlooms are the Dunvegan Cup, dating to 1493, and Sir Rory Mor's Horn which may be 10th century Norse. Adult £14, child £9, senior £11.
- 2 Giant MacAskill Museum. Apr-Oct: daily 09:30-18:00. Small museum about a giant (an ancestor of the owner) from Berneray, who emigrated to Canada. Giant MacAskill, (Angus Mor MacAskill, 1825-1863) was known as the world's largest "true" giant (with normal proportions and no growth abnormalities), reaching a height of 7 ft 9 in. £2.
- St Mary's church is a ruin at the main village junction.
- Duirinish Stone behind St Mary's is a modern megalith, erected in June 2000 to mark the millennium.
- 3 Dun Fiadhairt is a broch, an Iron Age fortified settlement, overlooking the coast two miles north of the castle.
- 4 Coral Beach is reached at the end of the lane north, then a one mile path. It glitters white with marl, best seen at half-tide. At low tide you can walk to the double-islet of Lampay.
- 5 Dun Osdale is another broch. It's not deliberate camouflage, but you could easily mistake it for a heather-clad natural knoll as you drive past towards Colbost.
- See Colbost for sights further west on that road, which ends at Neist Point Lighthouse.
- 1 MacLeod's Table North or Healabhal Mhòr is a plateau at 471 m, an easy hike from Dunvegan. Its partner Healabhal Bheag is slightly higher but not as bulky, and is a longer tramp.
- 2 MacLeod's Maidens are sea stacks near the south tip of the peninsula, a 5-mile (9-km) hike each way, see Walkhighlands for a trail description.
- 1 Old School Restaurant, Dunvegan, ☏ . Mid Mar-mid Oct: daily 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-21:00. In the old school house, serves modern Scottish seafood, beef & game; limited vegetarian choice. Mains from £16.
- Waterside Cafe Bistro is a pleasant little place near the junction, open M-F 09:00-17:00.
- Harlosh Takeout is open Tu-Sa 13:00-19:00.
- Three Chimneys restaurant and House Over-By accommodation: see Colbost.
- Dunvegan Hotel (see "Sleep") has a lounge bar upstairs and the Cellar Bar below, both open daily 11:00-23:00. There's often live music downstairs Thursday and Saturday.
- Camping pods are behind the Post Office, open all year, £100 per night.
- Dunvegan Hotel Bunkhouse, Dunvegan IV55 8WA, ☏ . Two small rooms with bunks run by the adjacent Dunvegan Hotel, sleeps six. Linen provided, small bathroom but no kitchen facilities. £12.50 ppn.
- 1 Dunvegan Hotel, Dunvegan IV55 8WA, ☏ . Small family-run hotel with six rooms en suite; lounge bar and restaurant and pub downstairs. Great sunset views over the loch. They also run the adjacent bunkhouse. B&B double from £90.
- B&Bs include Skye Lodge on Mill Rd (double £150), Atholl Guest House opposite the Post Office (double £120), Minnie's Rooms by the filling station (double £80) and Tullorchard House[dead link] on the main road (double £90).
As of June 2022, Dunvegan and its approach roads have 4G from all UK carriers but with lots of dead spots. 5G has not reached Skye.
Go next Edit
- The lane west runs to Colbost, Glendale and Milovaig to end near Neist Point.
- The obvious onward route is towards Portree, taking in the other peninsulas of northern Skye.
- You can also wind along the west coast, passing near Carbost (for the Talisker distillery) and rejoining the main road at Sligachan.