A87 Glen Shiel Road

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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 Skye.

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.

Glen Shiel Map Large Images

See also a large Click On Map for Top Attractions in the area.

Glen Shiel Video Slide through the Glen and past the Lochs.

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 Invershiel.

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 Bridge.

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 Duich.

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 Rob Roy MacGregor was injured during the Battle.

1746 - the Jacobite's were defeated at the Battle of Culloden, the last battle in Britain.

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 home.

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 8JB.

1968 - Maxwell's cottage at Sandaig burned down, leading to him moving to the lighthouse cottages on Eilean Ban Island at the Kyle of Lochalsh.

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 Ban Island.

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Glen Shiel Photos