Castle Moil, Isle of Skye

Caisteal Maol (Gaelic: Caisteal, 'Castle', Maol, 'bare')
Castle Moil is also known as Castle Moal, Caisteal Maol, Dun Akyn, Dun Haakon and Castle Dunakin. It is located near the village of Kyleakin next to Loch Alsh on Isle of Skye. It was a MacKinnon castle built between 1490 and 1513.

We walked to the castle from the beautiful small village of Kyleakin. 

I had to show you this cute sign in Kyleakin. :)

It's a short hike to the castle that includes walking along village streets and then through bracken fern and along the shore where the water flows in at high tide. This is a flagstone with a warning about the tide. I suppose someone could get stuck at the castle overnight if they weren't careful.

To prevent unpaid crossings through the narrow straight between Skye and the mainland, the reputed builder of Castle Moil, a Norwegian princess and wife of a MacKinnon chieftain remembered today as "Saucy Mary", had a chain hung from the castle walls across the channel to the mainland. The chain was raised to block passage and thus allowed her to extract toll from all vessels which passed through the Kyles. Why was she named Saucy Mary? Allegedly Mary, following payment of her tolls would, as a gesture of thanks, flash her breasts at the sailors as the ships would pass. Today, there is a lodge and restaurant in Kyleakin called Saucy Mary's.

Looking across the bracken and heather toward Castle Moil and Kyle.
 At one point on our hike, we followed some other tourists who didn't know where they were going either. :) And two of us ended up climbing a rocky, muddy hillside. Very difficult! I took the above photo from there. Once we realized this was the wrong trail, we climbed back down again. LOL Sometimes the bracken grows over five feet tall. It's easy to see how enemy warriors could've hidden in it before an attack. Above, you can also see the heather (pinkish purple). It was in bloom all over Scotland when we were there in mid-September.

Walking along through the edge of Loch Alsh while the tide was out. As you can see from the seaweed, the water comes in pretty far.

After all that walking, I needed a break. Here, I'm sitting on a bench below the castle ruin.

The hardest part of the hike normally would be climbing up to the castle itself. My two friends didn't want to join me in the climb but I enjoyed it. :) I love exploring old ruins and taking photos of everything possible.
I love this one remaining window.

Looking up at the "ceiling" of the window alcove.

View from Castle Moil across Loch Alsh.

Castle Moil window

View from Castle Moil window.

View in the opposite direction from the window.
 I took pics of the sign below the castle. It contains historical information. Click to enlarge them.
Click to enlarge. How the castle originally looked before it fell into ruin.

Click to enlarge and read the history of the castle.

Click to enlarge to see diagrams of castle.
What's left of the window and wall. The holes above the window are where wooden floor joists were originally for the floor above. You can also see how thick the wall is.

Click to enlarge. View from the castle across to the village of Kyle of Lochalsh.
After leaving the castle, we walked back to the village and ate at Castle Moil Restaurant. The food was delicious and I recommend it highly. I hope you've enjoyed this wee visit to Castle Moil. Thank you for taking the journey with me. :)

 PS Coming soon... the audiobook version of My Daring Highlander. :)


Collette Cameron said...

I love these posts! It makes me want to go to Scotland all that much more.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thank you for checking it out, Collette! You'll love Scotland when you visit!

Alanna Lucas said...

Love this! One day I want you to be my tour guide in Scotland!

Vonda Sinclair said...

LOL! Thank you, Alanna! That would be fun. :)

Anonymous said...

Love it! I wish I had gotten to Skye - it is so helpful to see it through your eyes!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Sherrie! I hope you get to visit Skye soon!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Loved the guided tour, Vonda. You know how I enjoy your grand photos, especially of Scotland. Thanks for sharing. :)

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thank you, Paisley! So glad you enjoyed it! :)

BBT said...

A very interesting post, especially the part about the lady thanking the sailors. Lovely photos.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Aye! I can see why she was called Saucy Mary. LOL Thanks for checking it out Brenda! :)

Doris Sabatier said...

Thanks for the fascinating history and photos of this beautiful place.