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The small ancient township of Tokavaig is scattered around the rocky bay famed as the location of the atmospheric ruins of the oldest castle on the Isle of Skye. The legend of Dun Scaith castle, as recounted in Macpherson’s ‘Ossian’, tells of Cu Chulainn, the Irish hero, learning the art of war from the warrior queen Sgathach. Today the ruins, possibly 13th century (though occupying an older fortified site), can be seen perched on the small headland above Loch Eishort. Once the stronghold of the Macleod’s, the castle was won by the MacDonald’s in the 15th century, and became the clan’s principal seat. It is possible to enter the castle over a gully which is bridged by two walls – the pivot holes of the long gone drawbridge are still visible and care must be taken if deciding to cross to explore the castle remains. Amongst the grassy mounds is evidence of a well and a stair that once led to a tower.
There are stunning views across the loch to the Cuillins - the rocks of the bay itself echoing the rugged skyline and a sandy beach exposed as the tide recedes. This is a truly beautiful location to spend time exploring the ancient Atlantic oak, hazel and birch woodlands that frame the bay – a rich and diverse habitat of mosses, lichens and verdant ferns. Cattle and sheep graze freely all along the single track road and there are opportunities to see a great diversity of wildlife including golden eagles and red deer.