Scotland’s Eilean Donan Castle

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Last Updated on July 23, 2017 by Audrey Scott

If dreams really do come true, you could say that the Scottish Highland castle of Eilean Donan is proof.

Aye, the story — it goes something like this.

eilean donan castle
Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands.

It was the early 1900s. Eilean Donan castle had been destroyed over 200 years earlier, and nothing but rubble remained on the island where it had once stood. A man named Farquhar MacRae was commissioned to help rebuild the castle, to restore the structure to its previous glory and grandeur. The only problem: there were no plans of the original structure that could guide its reconstruction.

Then, one night, a vision of the original castle in elaborate detail came to Farquhar in his dreams. With the dream fresh, he hastily scribbled and sketched his vision. He eventually completed the plans and the castle was rebuilt accordingly.

Years later, long after the Eilean Donan Castle reconstruction was completed, someone had discovered the original architectural plans for it in the Edinburgh Castle archives. When specialists compared MacRae's dream-vision reconstruction to that of the original plans, they found something quite remarkable: MacRae's dream and the original plans were 98% the same.

The 2% that differed? We don't know. But we'll take 2% as the margin of error on dreams coming true, any day.

Disclosure: Our trip to Scotland and the Blogmanay campaign are brought to you by Edinburgh's Hogmanay and is sponsored by VisitScotland, ETAG, Edinburgh Festivals, Haggis Adventures and Skyscanner. The campaign bloggers were sourced and managed by iambassador. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely our own.
About Audrey Scott
Audrey Scott is a writer, storyteller, speaker and tourism development consultant. She aims to help turn people's fears into curiosity and connection. She harbors an obsession for artichokes and can bake a devastating pan of brownies. You can keep up with her adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about her on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

11 thoughts on “Scotland’s Eilean Donan Castle”

  1. SO awesome. Thanks for that panoramic view. I read the story in the last post and look forward to see what this one had in store. I need to get to Scotland!

  2. Yes dreams and story telling… something I will miss dearly (and already miss) about the scots and scotland. Sigh.. nobody to tell me stories in the dark now! Great panorama effect.. gotta show me how you do it;)

  3. @Lori: Glad you enjoyed this panorama and the story. It’s hard to talk about Scotland and NOT tell a story : )

    @Ciki: We’re missing it as well here in Berlin. Maybe we should round up all the Scots in town and hold a party. We’ll show you how we do this next time we meet…somewhere in this big (but small) world of ours!

    @Andi: Thank you!

  4. I’ve just come across this after Wandering Walters shared your ’10 Ways Travel Helps You Let Go’. I’ve just come back from a road trip, specifically to see Eilean Donan after I saw it in a magazine. It’s so beautiful! I didn’t know about the lack of plans when the restoration started though, cool if a little weird…

  5. @Rachel: Great to see you here. Definitely a lot of worthwhile castle action in Scotland, Eilean Donan among them. And the restoration story is, as is oft the case in Scotland, a good story.


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