I love going abroad and seeing what the world has to offer outside of bonnie Scotland, but why would we go abroad every holiday when there is a gorgeous country waiting to be explored right on our door step.
I have been to the Isle of Skye twice and I fall in love with it more and more every time I visit. My second trip to the island was in June of this year with my best friend, Sophie.
The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s largest islands, just off the west coast. Skye’s rugged landscape and beautiful scenery has most certainly made it one of my favourite places in Scotland.
Skye is a 6-hour drive from where I live, but it is one of the most stunning drives I have ever driven. Through the eerie mountains of Glencoe, along the shores of Loch Lomond, and past the beautiful castle that is Eilean Donan. Skye is connected to the mainland by a land bridge so was very easy to reach.
Both times I have stayed in a cute little bunkhouse at the north of the Isle, about an hour from the land bridge, called The Cow Shed. Unfortunately, the second time we arrived very late at night, just before check-in closed and the shops had shut, so we had to live off what was left of our road trip snacks.
Day one of my second trip to the island, was spent exploring the north of the island, mainly getting lost because our map skills were not up to scratch. First stop was Loch Mealt. This is an inland loch, just north of Portree. Here there is viewpoint with a beautiful view of Mealt falls and Kilt rock. Kilt rock is 90 metres high and gets its name from its pleated appearance, similar to that of a kilt, surprise surprise. The viewpoint is a great place to see the 100m high waterfall, the Mealt Falls.
Duntulm castle is a ruin that was built in the 14th-15th centuries and was home to the MacDonald of Sleat Clan. The ruin stands on a basalt cliff hanging above the sea. Unfortunately, the public are not allowed in the remaining castle walls, but there is still an amazing view from the top of the cliff and is very photogenic with views all round.
Day two on the Isle of Skye was spent exploring more castles and getting lost, yet again, trying to find the fairy pools.
Dunvegan Castle is on the west coast of the isle. It is at the heart of an estate of over 42000 acres. The castle was built between the 13th and 14th centuries, but parts of the building were added on right up to the 18th century. The castle was home to the Clan MacLeod. The castle gardens lie over an area of 5 acres. There is a vast array of plants on show as well as waterfall fed pools and streams that reach the sea. This castle is full of history and fairy tales and should definitely be on anyone’s list of things to see on Skye.
The highlight of my trip was definitely the fairy pools. These crystal clear, blue waters are found at the foot of the Black Cuillins on the river Brittle. We went on a very misty and dreich day, so the photos we took really didn’t do the place justice. This is one of the busiest sites on Skye, and you’ll see why if you visit them. The walk to and from the pools is quite steep in places and can be a challenge for some people, having to jump over streams and rivers but is definitely worth it. The fairy pools have many waterfalls along the walk. The first waterfall that we came across was the highest and deepest. If you are brave enough, the clear blue waters are ideal for swimming in with many pools deep enough to jump off the waterfalls. But I was not getting in those freezing cold pools, even in the middle of June, I wouldn’t recommend it.
After our freezing cold afternoon, we felt that the best way to heat up was to have a gin in the local pub, The Ferry Inn, in Uig. This is a family owned inn with a great passion for both their customers and their gins. The atmosphere inside was amazing, everyone was so friendly and I will certainly be going back there soon.
Skye was definitely a highlight of my year and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a weekend trip away or a getaway from the bustling city life.
Some more photos from Skye: