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Armadale & Ardvasar

2 villages bside each other half way down the Sleat Peninsula. People with name MacDonald will wish to stop at Armadale Castle to read of their clan.

Just before the ferry pier at Armadale is Armadale Castle which was built in 1815 as the main residence of the MacDonalds of Sleat. Most of the castle is now a roofless ruin but the servants' quarters contain an excellent exhibition and accompanying video explaining the history of the Lordship of the Isles. The Clan Donald Lords of the Isles took over from their Norse predecessors in ruling the Hebrides until their power was broken in 1493. The former stables at the entrance comprise offices, a restaurant and bookshop, while the estate manager's house has been converted to accommodate an extensive library and archives. The castle is surrounded by 40 acres of handsome gardens and woodland, and there are ranger-led walks along nature trails with fine views across to the mainland. Info - Apr to end-Oct daily 0930-1730. Tel. 844305, 844275, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Just beyond Armadale Castle is the tiny village of Armadale which is strung out along the wooded shoreline and merges into the neighbouring village of Ardvasar (pronounced Ard-vaa-sar), which has a post office, general store. Armadale's raison d'ĂȘtre is the ferry pier and there's not a huge amount to keep you occupied, but there are a couple of good handicraft shops. At the turn-off to the pier is Skye Batiks, which also has a shop in Portree. Here you'll find the colourful cotton garments which make a unique souvenir of the island, Tel. 844396. They also now have B&B accommodation. On the ferry pier is Ragamuffin, Tel. 844217, which sells a wide range of knitwear and is open daily 0900-1800. About four or five miles past the ferry port, at the end of the road, is Aird of Sleat, a crofting township, from where you walk out to the lighthouse at the Point of Sleat. It's a five-mile walk on a clear path across moorland with fine coastal scenery.