Dunscaith Castle also known as Dun Sgathaich Castle, Dun Scaith, and Tokavaig, is a ruined castle on the coast of the Isle of Skye, in the north-west of Scotland. It is located in the Parish of Sleat, in the Highland council area, and in the former county of Inverness-shire, at. Also called Fortress of Shadows, it is named after and was the home of the warrior maiden Scáthach.HistoryThe castle itself sits on an off-shore rock. The rock rises 40 feet above sea level and there is a gap of 20 feet between the rock and the mainland. The gap was once spanned by a walled bridge with arches 6 feet apart. This stone walled bridge then led onto a drawbridge, the pivot holes for which are still visible on the far side. Once on the other side of the drawbridge a door opened to a flight of stairs which was also sided by two walls. The flight of stairs led up to the castle.Parts of the castle curtain wall still survive on the cliff edge but most of the inner buildings have gone. The curtain wall was about 5 ft thick. In the courtyard is a well and the remains of a stairway which once led up a tower.Originally the castle belonged to the Clan MacDonald of Sleat, a branch of the Clan Donald or MacDonald. At some time in the 14th century it was taken from them by the Clan MacLeod and held briefly by the MacAskills, allies of the MacLeods but it was recaptured by the MacDonalds sometime in the 15th century.For travelers who use our international travel planner, Isle of Skye holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Dunscaith Castle and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
Dunscaith Castle Reviews
It was absolutely beautiful, though the crossing to get over the drawbridge to the ruins was interesting. All the boards have rotted away, so you have to scoot along the edge, over a roughly 9ft drop.... more »
Absolutely gorgeous and out-of-the-way. It’s like a tucked away secret. Utterly beautiful surroundings. No great sunset for us as it was cloudy, but the wind was minimal so we could sit on the cliff a... more »
We are big fans of romantic ruins like this one. The walk out can get a bit squishy, and you have to hold onto the side of the bridge wall to get across which might be a bit much for some, but it's a beauty of a ruin. Picturesque. And free.
Beautiful and stunning landscape. I was so happy I came, it was deserted which made it all the more special. Careful if you decide to go over on the actual castle portion it is quite tricky.
Places to stay near Dunscaith Castle
Plan your trip to Isle of Skye
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Nature in Isle of Skye
Side trips from Isle of Skye
Hidden gems in Isle of Skye
Outdoors in Isle of Skye
Plans to Dunscaith Castle by other users
23 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 55 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in London & Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 6 days in Isle of Skye BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Isle of Skye BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium