Isle of SkyeFollow our Professional Andrew Bentley as he tours the Isle of Skye, known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles Posted by Andrew
After arriving at my accommodation mid afternoon, and getting settled in, I ventured out to make the last of the fading spring light. Just a short drive along a single track road from the quaint port of Uig, you come to the enchanting landscape of the Fairy Glen.
This landscape is formed from the land slips of the basalt rock formations. Legend has it the landscape is inhabited by fairies, and on a cold, overcast and wintry day you can see why.
The landscape is stunning, with views beyond to the Trotternidh ridge (with a good covering of snow at this time of year).
If you have a spare half hour on your travels, the Fairy Glen is a must see.
Day 2 - AM
Taking the road north from Uig, even on a grey and damp spring morning, the scenery is breathtaking. I parked up just outside Flodigarry, and donned my walking gear ready for a hike up to the Quiraing.
Formed from Basalt pillars and landslips, the Quiraing looks like something out of a fantasy film, and you could almost imaging an Ork jumping out from behind a rock!
The path from the main road, is challenging in places, and takes about an hour to walk into the heart of the Quiraing. I’d recommend a sturdy pair of walking boots and good waterproofs. Especially as, like today, the weather can change quickly.
Despite not getting the clearest view of the peaks of the Quiraing, the snow really added to the atmosphere of the place. If you have an adventurous side, I’d definitely recommend a visit.
Day 2 - PM
After the morning hike in the Quiraing, I took a drive to Neist Point Lighthouse, the most easterly point on the Isle of Skye.
Once you turn off the main road from Dunvegan, a 25 minute drive along a single track road, with regular stops to allow oncoming traffic to pass using the designated passing places, you reach the car park overlooking Neist Point.
A steep path leads down to the outcrop of rock, where the Neist Lighthouse is perched. The sheer Basalt cliffs, that drop hundreds of feet to the Atlantic, are spectacular.
The guidebooks say that the cliffs above Neist Point are a great place to watch the sunset, but with a bitter northerly wind blowing in rain and snow, I wasn’t hanging around to find out.
Day 3 - AM
Last night a storm blew in over the Isle of Skye, strong winds, rain and at times snow, which didn’t bode well for getting any hill walking. Thankfully the storm had blown itself out by morning, and I woke to clear blue skies and miraculously, no wind!
After a hearty breakfast, I set out on the farm track leading from my accommodation out up to the Trotternish ridge beyond. Last nights storm had left a good covering of snow, which made going tough at times, but a near 3 hour hike brought me to the summit of Creag a’ Lain (609 meters).
With clear skies, the views were breathtaking, north to the Quiraing, east to the Torridon hills on the mainland, south towards the Cuillins, and west towards the Western Isles.
The views alone would have made this a worthwhile trek, but the addition of the snow (sometimes up to my waist where it had drifted!) really capped a memorable morning.
This was not a route for the novice hill walker, but that should not stop you getting out walking during a trip to Skye. There are walks to suit all levels of ability. The key is being prepared.
Day 3 - PM
After my morning exertions, I needed to take it easy on my legs, so set off for a drive down to Carbost, home of the the Talisker distillery.
Nestled between the towering Cuillin mountains and the sea, this quaint fishing village is picturesque. Unfortunately, the distillery was undergoing annual maintenance work, so I was not able to take a tour, but that did not stop me from making a few purchases in the distillery shop!
With the weather on the turn, and yet more rain heading in off the Atlantic, I headed back north to my accommodation making a quick stop at Kilt Rock, where fallen rocks have formed to make the sheer cliffs look like a Scotsman’s Kilt. The views to the mainland are well worth the visit.
Unfortunately, my stay on Skye comes to an end tomorrow. But one thing is for sure, I will return.