Plans have been lodged to extend parking facilities at a popular Highland tourist attraction.
Eilean Donan Castle, situated by the village of Dornie, has become one of the most popular attractions in the Scottish Highlands, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
In an effort to meet the growing demand for access, castle owners Conchra Charitable Trust have now lodged a full planning application to the Highland Council to extend car parking facilities.
David Win, General Manager of Eilean Donan Castle said the plans have been put together to help alleviate pressure.
He said: “It is required as an overflow car park to the castle during the peak tourist months to help alleviate pressure from our existing car parks. We also intend to install electric car charging points in this new car park to assist with the somewhat limited charging facilities in the immediate locale.”
Developers have outlined plans to extend their existing car park at Eilean Donan Apartments, located just half a mile from the main attraction site.
The existing car park already has 30 spaces however developers are hopeful to increase this to 79 incorporating four disabled spaces to accommodate visitors during the busy season.
Associated landscaping in the form of native trees and shrubs will also be planted to break-up blocks of parking spaces.
Eilean Donan Castle was first built on a small island in Loch Duich in the early 13th century as a defence measure to protect the lands of Kintail against the Vikings.
Through the centuries, the structure variously expanded and contracted in size, before playing a role in the Jacobite risings of the 17th and 18th centuries, leading to the castle’s destruction.
For around 200 years, the ruins of the historic castle lay neglected and open to the elements until the island was bought by Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap in 1911.
Two decades later, Eilean Donan was restored to its former glory, by July of 1932.