The A87 Glen Shiel Road runs from the
Great Glen to the Isle of Skye, part of
the main road when traveling from
Fort William or Inverness to the Isle of
The 35 mile section between Loch
Cluanie and the Skye Bridge at the Kyle
of Lochalsh is one of the most scenic
roads in Scotland, with mountains over
3,000ft on each side, Loch Duich at the
end of the Glen, and Eilean Donan Castle on an
Island in the Loch.
See also a large Click On
Map for Top Attractions in the area.
Glen Shiel Video
Slide through the Glen and past the
The Cluanie Inn is
at the west end of Loch Cluanie with the
Battle of Glen
Shiel Monument five and a half miles west
of the Inn.
There are a number of Mountains along this
stretch of road over 3,000ft, popular for
hiking with car parks by each mountain. Follow
the Click on Map link above for Photos, Route
Maps, and Information on these mountains.
At the end of Glen Shiel is Loch Duich with
the very small villages of Shiel Bridge and
Seven miles on from Shiel Bridge, along the
banks of Loch Duich, is Eilean Donan Castle,
one of the most photographed Castles in
Scotland, with a Visitor Centre and Castle
tours can be taken.
Eight miles west of Eilean Donan Castle,
with the road running alongside Loch Alsh, is
the village of Kyle of Lochalsh with the Skye
A87 Glen Shiel Road History
The mountains on the north side of Glen
Shiel are referred to as the Five Sisters of Kintail, all
over 3,000 feet / 915 metres.
The south side of Glen Shiel contains the
most impressive mountains, The Saddle at 3,310ft, and
Sgurr na Sgine at 3.104ft.
A track through these mountains would have
been made many centuries back.
500s - a Monastic building is believed to
have been built on the small Island on Loch
1200s - the earliest parts of Eilean
Donan Castle were built for King Alexander
II on the small Island on Loch Duich to prevent
Vikings from traveling though Glen Shiel to
raid the Highlands of Scotland.
1262 - King Alexander III of Scotland
invaded the Isle of Skye to free the Island
from Viking control.
Clans given control of Eilean Donan Castle
so they could keep peace in the area included
McKenzie and Macrae.
1719 May 11th - Eilean Donan Castle was
destroyed by cannon from Government Ships
during the Jacobite Risings.
1719 June 10th - the Battle of Glen
Shiel takes place with Government Forces
defeating the Jacobite's. The famous Jacobite
MacGregor was injured during the
1746 - the Jacobite's were defeated at the
Battle of Culloden, the last battle
1755 - a Military Road was built between
Fort William, Fort Augustus, and Bernera Barracks 9 miles west
of Shiel Bridge. This road passed through Glen
Shiel linking these Government strongholds,
allowing large numbers of Government Troops to
easily move between the Forts to keep the
Jacobite's under control.
1932 - Eilean Donan Castle was rebuilt for
John MacRae-Gilstrap to serve as his family
1955 - Eilean Donan Castle was opened to the
public as a tourist attraction.
1960 - the author Gavin Maxwell moved to
Sandaig where he wrote the book Ring of Bright
Water. Sandaig is an extremely remote area
13 miles southwest of Shiel Bridge, Map IV40
1968 - Maxwell's cottage at Sandaig burned
down, leading to him moving to the lighthouse
cottages on Eilean Ban Island at the Kyle of
1969 - Gavin Maxwell died, leading to the
Island being run by the Eilean Ban Trust &
Bright Water Visitor
Centre. Tours of the Island can be arranged
through the website.
1995 - the Sky Bridge was completed at the
Kyle of Lochalsh, about 1,640 ft / 500m in
length. Part of the Bridge was built on Eilean