Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle inspires Pixar’s Brave

Eilean Donan Castle inspires Pixar's Brave

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Pixar’s new blockbuster Brave film is set in Scotland and has been inspired by a number of Scottish castles, mainly Eilean Donan Castle and Dunnottar Castle. The film has made $66.7m (£42.8m) in its opening weekend, knocking Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted off the top spot. Brave is the first Disney Pixar animation with a female protagonist. Brave, which will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this week, is the the 13th consecutive Pixar release to open at number one. “Their track record is just unbelievable,” said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
“The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience. It doesn’t matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name.”
Brave’s heroine, who rebels against her family’s plans for her to marry, is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, of Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire fame.She was born and bred in Scotland , as were most of the cast, which includes Robbie Coltrane, comedian and now chat show host Craig Ferguson and Macdonald’s Trainspotting co-star Kevin McKidd, better known to American audiences for his role in Grey’s Anatomy.
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Eilean Donan Castle inspiration

Eilean Donan has inspired many artists and photographers down the years. Images of the castle have featured in countless calendars and postcards. It is one of my favourite castles in Scotland because of the huge potential it offers throughout most of the year.


VisitScotland marketing campaign

VisitScotland found out that Mel Gibson’s film Braveheart in 1995 brought a whole flood of visitors to Scotland , mainly from America.They have decided to try and capitalise on Brave to promote Scotland and bring a whole new generation of visitors to Scotland.
VisitScotland has launched its biggest ever global marketing campaign, working alongside Disney Pixar to reach millions of potential visitors across the world. The campaign will showcase every corner of Scotland through a new TV and cinema advert, a new website and extensive marketing and events activity in countries ranging from the US and UK to France and Germany. The TV and cinema campaign will reach around 80 million people in the UK and abroad and is expected to boost the Scottish economy by around £140m.
The campaign will see the airing of VisitScotland’s first TV advert in North America for ten years – thanks to a major funding boost by the Scottish Government. The timing of the campaign is crucial, with this market showing encouraging signs of recovery. The number of American visitors increased by 15% last year and it is Scotland’s biggest overseas market, with more than 400,000 visitors spending £311m every year.
UK audiences will also be treated to the new advert in cinemas and TV in a special UK version which will launch when the film opens in August.
The new 30-second advert, which is voiced by the BBC’s historian and presenter Neil Oliver, will be broadcast on some of the world’s largest networks and in cinemas before the film, taking creative inspiration from the theme “Scotland. Where legends come to life.”

First Minister Alex Salmond attends Brave premiere

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has done his bit to promote VisitScotland’s marketing campaign with his attendance at the film premiere and a raft of press interviews.

Spooky castles – the most haunted Halloween castles in the UK

Linlithgow Palace 44 HDR print by David Rankin

The UK has hundreds of ruined castles. But some castles are more spooky than others. Here’s a list of the spookiest , most haunted castles in the UK , ideal for a visit at Halloween . If you’re brave enough to visit one of these castles , why not send a  free Halloween greeting card

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle commands the whole of the city centre , sitting on a volcanic rock . The castle is perhaps the spookiest in Britain because it has many ghosts. There is a drummer who only appears when the castle is
about to be attacked. A piper who disappeared in the
tunnels between the castle and the High Street comes back to haunt the dungeons. The castle is Scotland’s biggest visitor attraction with thousands of visitors each year.

edinburgh castle screensavers
Buy Edinburgh
Castle screensaver
£3.95

Send a free Edinburgh Castle Halloween e-card.

Eilean Donan Castle

This is one of the most picturesque and most photographed castles in
the world . Robert the Bruce took refuge here in 1306 . The
original castle was destroyed in 1719 when 3 English
frigates attacked the Spanish troops garrisoned there
. The castle was rebuilt in the 20th century . This castle is spooky because the spirit of
a Spanish troop is said to haunt the castle.

Send a free Halloween e-card

Eilean
Donan castle screensavers

. More pictures of Eilean
Donan Castle

Craigievar
Castle

The Blue Bedroom is the haunt of one of the Gordon clan members, who
fell from a window. He had been pushed to his death by “Red”
Sir John Forbes, a noble. Several people heard the step of
the unfortunate Gordon climbing the stairs to the Blue
Bedroom, as if he was living the moment before his death
again and again.One of the
other ghosts is one of a musician, who is very selective (he
shows himself just to people with the name of Forbes). He
fell in the moat of the castle and drowned. Send free Halloween e-cards

Linlithgow Palace

This was the castle of the Stewart kings of Scotland from the 15th
century . In 1512Mary , Queen of Scots was born here .
Queen Margaret’s Tower at the top of the stair towers
, is said to be haunted by the Queen’s mother , Mary of Guise , waiting for the
return of her husband , James V .

More pictures of Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow travel guide

Crathes
Castle

In the oldest part of the castle, the double tower, there is a room
known as the Green Lady’s Room, because of the several
apparitions of this unknown woman with a baby. It is said
that she’s a member of the Burnett family, proprietor of the
castle.These
apparitions began after the discover of two skeletons,
during renovation work : one of a woman and one of a baby.
The baby is said to be the child of a man who preferred to
kill the baby and the mother to hide their
relationship.The fact
that the apparitions continue, even after the discover of
the bodies means than the two poor beings will never be able
to rest in peace.

Stirling Castle

The castle stands on volcanic rock overlooking the town of Stirling and
the countryside . Mary , Queen of Scots was crowned in the
old chapel in 1533 . The Pink Lady , a beautiful woman in a
pink silk gown , has been seen many times at the castle . It
may be Mary , Queen of Scots. Others say it is the ghost of
a woman searching for her husband who had been killed when
Edward I captured the castle .

Free Stirling Castle e-cards

More pictures of  Stirling Castle
Free Halloween greeting cards


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Free castle screensaver – Eilean Donan Castle

I have just created a new free castle screensaver – Eilean Donan Castle at night

Eilean Donan Castle at night, Scotland Eilean Donan Castle at night

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. The premium screensaverfeatures 3 pictures of the castle on a wintry night. Price £8.95 .  Eilean Donan Castle is one of the iconic images of Scotland. It has featured in countless calendars , postcards and adverts. The castle has been featured in several films including Highlander and a James Bond film.


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3D pictures of castles

Edinburgh Castle 11
Edinburgh Castle 11

I have added three 3D picture galleries to the website . Each one features a 3D cube with 6 pictures on it . You can control the cube by holding your cursor over it .There are 3D pictures of Edinburgh Castle and Eilean Donan Castle

The Edinburgh Castle 3D pictures gallery features six of my pictures of the famous castle which is consistently one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK

Eilean Donan Castle
is my favourite castle in Scotland , sitting on a small island in the middle of 3 lochs

Should Eilean Donan Castle be featured in Monopoly?

eilean donan castle 19 pictures, e-cards
Eilean Donan Castle e-cards

Board game Monopoly is published in a new Highlands version in October . The question is , what properties should feature in the new game ?  Eilean Donan Castle must surely qualify as an iconic building and the most photographed castle in Scotland . The publishers have decided to give the public a say and anyone can vote for their favourite location or landmark between now and April 2 nd . The famous board game, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year , will retain its usual format.

The ownership of property has historically been a controversial issue in the Highlands since the days of the clearances  and it is sure to cause heated debate when voting starts in Inverness.

More than 30 spots are up for grabs before the new game, in English and Gaelic, goes on sale. The Highlands have been described as the playground of the rich and famous with many well known personalities owning Scottish castles , including Mohammed al Fayed ( Balnagown Castle, Easter Ross ), Cameron Mackintosh , painter Jack Vettriano ( Easterheughs Castle )  and Peter de Savary ( the luxury Skibo Castle resort and the venue for Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s wedding ) . Many castles in the Highlands have been sold in recent years . Duncraig Castle was sold last year . Eilean Donan Castle has iconic status as one of the most photographed castles in Scotland . Urquhart Castle , on the shore of Loch Ness and its famous monster, should get serious consideration .

Other suggestions include the Glenfinnan Monument , Inverness Castle, the Cairngorm ski centre, Ben Nevis and the iconic Caledonian Canal . MSP Peter Peacock  nominated Assynt in Sutherland,  bought by crofters from private owners, to replace the prestigious Mayfair.

Maybe Highland Monopoly should feature Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college in Skye, as part of a Gaelic element. It could not be bought and sold, but anyone landing on it would have to learn at least one new Gaelic word in order to be able to move forward again.

A board spokeswoman said: “Gaelic is very much a part of the identity of the Highlands and its place names and we suggest areas such as Culloden and iconic structures such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct”

Cameron Mackintosh’s pocket castle is on the shore of Loch Nevis .The building commands the point between Tarbet Bay and the main loch, midway between the two tiny villages of Tarbet and Kylesmorar, looking due west to the distant Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye. Inaccessible by car,  it is pretty difficult scrambling miles over the headlands by foot.  Mackintosh had bought himself some abandoned estate lodge in this remote spot, perhaps last extended by an Edwardian laird, and spared no expense in bringing it back to life.

Does Eilean Donan Castle qualify as an iconic building in the Highlands . Vote now in our online poll

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15 Scottish castles for sale

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Eilean Donan Castle pictures at night screensaver

Eilean Donan Castle pictures at night 31456
Eilean Donan Castle at night , HDR photo

Eilean Donan Castle is one of my favourite castles in Scotland , mainly because of the stunning location and ample photo opportunities .  My picture of the castle at night is an HDR photo which is now available as a screensaver. The castle can be photographed from 3 sides . Eilean Donan means Island of Donan ( a religious figure from the 12 th century ). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719 by 3 English frigates attacking the Spanish garrison .

Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Above the entrance to the castle there is a Gaelic inscription which translates as : As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. Inside the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription about John Murchison of Auchtertyre who was killed in the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. In the upper floor inside the castle there are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh,Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. There is also a panel with the names of the constables ( guardians ) of the castle carved on it.
Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.They acted as bodyguards to the MacKenzie chiefs. Although there was a number of disputes, the MacKenzies held Eilean Donan right up until until the 16th century. The MacRaes first became Constables of the Castle in 1511 with a lot of control over the surrounding area. A feud between the MacKenzies and the McLeods of Dunvegan, over the disputed claims of Donald Gorm MacDonald to the title of Lord of the Isles, came to a head when he attacked the Castle with 50 galleys. He was shot and killed by Duncan MacRae with a single arrow. The Castle was garrisoned by Government troops but later retaken by the Jacobites before the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

Free pictures gallery – phone wallpapers

Glencoe 456
Glencoe 456

I have just added a new gallery of free pictures which can be sent direct to a mobile phone . The pictures are of Eilean Donan Castle , Glencoe , Buachaille Etive Mor and Blackmount in the Scottish Highlands .

free pictures gallery.