Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum
Armadale Castle Gardens sits in a dramatic position on the southern tip of the Isle of Skye. Visitors can enjoy 40 acres of historic woodland gardens featuring 19th century specimen trees and exotic shrubs. Formal lawns, tranquil ponds and colourful herbaceous borders are set around the romantic ruins of Armadale Castle.
The castle and wider estate were once the seat of the Macdonalds of Sleat and are now run by a charity, the Clan Donald Lands Trust. The Trust took over the estate in the 1970s and set about restoring the historic gardens planted by Lord Macdonald in the 19th century, while also developing new areas of landscaping.
This area, the Sleat Peninsula, is known as the '˜Garden of Skye' due to its sheltered aspect and the mild climate created by the Gulf Stream. As a result, plants from around the world thrive at Armadale.
Complementing the planting, a number of interesting sculptures are dotted throughout the grounds. These include 'The Homecoming', a much-loved pair of bronze Skye Terriers, and 'Teko the Swimming Otter' by Laurence Broderick.
Entrance ticket also includes admission to the award-winning Museum of the Isles, which tells the story of the Highlands and Islands through the eyes of Clan Donald. There's plenty for families, too, including an adventure playground and children's trails. While you're here don't miss the welcoming Armadale Bar and Bistro, located in the castle's former stables building.
Opening times: 1 April - 31 Oct, daily 9.30am - 5.30pm; November & March, Mon-Fri 10-3pm
Admission costs: Adult £9, Concessions £7.50, child £5, family £25
Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum Armadale, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV45 8RS Website: www.armadalecastle.com Telephone: 01471 844305