Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clan Donald Centre

History, tradition and beauty elegantly entwined: discover the history of the Scottish Highlands, gaze upon the Book of Remembrance and stroll through 40 acres of magnificent woodland gardens at the Clan Donald Centre on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Armadale Castle is a ruined country house in Armadale, Isle of Skye, former home of the MacDonalds. A mansion house was first built here around 1790. In 1815 a Scottish baronial style mock-castle, intended for show rather than defense, was built next to the house. After 1855 the part of the house destroyed by fire was replaced by a central wing. Since 1925 the castle, abandoned by the Macdonald family, has fallen into ruin. The gardens around the castle have been maintained, and are now home to the Clan Donald Centre, which operates the Museum of the Isles.

At the award-winning Museum of the Isles you can trace the history of the Highlands and Islands through the eyes of the MacDonalds, or Clan Donald, from the days of the medieval Lordship of the Isles, to the sadness of clearance and emigration. Six interconnecting galleries, each with their own theme, take you through 1500 years of history and culture. Clan Donald is considered one of the largest and most powerful Scottish clans. The Clan’s Leaders were Lords of the Isles. In 1493, the Scottish King took their title away, however their influence survived.

Armadale Castle Gardens and Museum of the Isles is set in the heart of a 20,000 acre Highland estate. The nature trails at Armadale lead the visitor out of the gardens and into areas of beautiful mixed woodlands. Magnificent trees, some almost 200 years old, tower above stunning carpets of bluebells, orchids and wildflowers in spring and summer. Sheltered below the giants are the young firs and growing collections of elegant birch and beech trees. After a stroll through the Woodland Gardens, gaze upon the beautifully decorated and inscribed Clan Donald Book of Remembrance. The Book provides a simple and dignified memorial to Clan members. One page of the Book is allocated to each day of the year. The Book is displayed so that memorial entries are seen on the relevant dates.

Join Celtic Tours on a visit to the truly historical and memorable Clan Donald Centre on our 10 Day Scottish Dream Tour.

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