"Loch an Eilein" Scotland Things to Do Tip by iandsmith
Scotland Things to Do: 1,337 reviews and 2,738 photos
I remember well the moment I came upon them. You're in a foreign country, you're not sure of the culture (or the language for that matter), you're out on your own and, suddenly, you come upon something that's not mentioned in the guidebooks that looks decidedly strange.
You'll know how I felt when I came upon this pile of rocks then (see pic one).
Then, a little further on, I came across an amazing row of trees (pic 2), so at odds with the rest of the estate where it's all chaotic nature at work.
The ruined island castle on Loch an Eilein (pic 3) is estimated to be at least 600 years old and was used as a refuge in troubled times. It was attacked by Jacobite MacDonalds after the Battle of Cromdale in 1690, but the Grant defenders successfully beat off the assault. The castle was used in the 1700's to hold Jacobite prisoners, but later fell into disuse as Scotland became a more peaceful country.
The Visitor Centre at Loch an Eilein and the surrounding area are themselves part of the story of Rothiemurchus through the centuries. The loch was at one time dammed to provide water to float cut timber down to the River Spey. Limestone was quarried nearby and burnt in the lime kiln beside the Visitor Centre. Traces can still be seen of the small community which lived and worked beside the loch.
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