Tucked away far to the north, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is a real gem. It’s deceptively large, almost 100km from north to south with plenty yo explore. Varying between lush green Highland countryside and the steep, cruel and bear munros of the Black Cuillin.
It turns out the Mallaig to Armadale ferry is quite popular in the summer months, so since we didn’t book ahead we had to drive the longer way from Glenfinnan, back through Fort William and across the bridge to Broadford on the Isle of Skye.
Along the way though we passed Eilean Donan castle which has been used in many movies. From there it was still half an hour or so to cross the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh and reach our accommodation in Broadford.
Apparently the Isle of Skye was an area of Scotland that was once in decline, but now people are slowly starting to come back. Little white cottages are dotted about the landscape and it’s undercrowded-ness really gives it charm.
The Quiraing is a landslip in the northeast peninsula of Skye. I’m not really sure how it constitutes a landslide, but it is a beautiful area nonetheless.
We went for a short 2-3 hour hike there, but we’re rudely interrupted by the Transformers 5 film crew. They made us do the hike in reverse, boring part first, but at least we felt rewarded at the end.
The Old Man of Storr
The Old Man is a rock formation at a place called The Storr several miles past Portree on the northern end of Loch Leathen. It’s a fairly impressive pillar of rock and you only have a short walk to see it up close.
Again that damn Transformers mob was there! I’m sure it was just a code name or cover story for the film project because why would middle aged men in rustic leather clothing be needed in Transformers scenes on the Isle of Skye?
The largest town on the Isle of Skye. Again, the colourful waterfront has been used in movies before. Unfortunately since we stayed in the other major town, Broadford, we didn’t see much of Portree other than passing through.
Sadly there are no Michelin star restaurants here, the one on Skye is down below Broadford.
The Black Cuillin
The Black Cuillin (pronounced “cool-in”) are the UK’s most alpine environment and the most like the Alps. Cold black unforgiving stone. They are quite a marvel though and there are numerous hikes to climb the peaks and “bag a munro” (a big thing in Scotland).
The one thing our accommodation didn’t promise was good weather, and just as well they didn’t because we didn’t get good weather for munro bagging.
Sgurr Alasdair (the highest), Bruach na Frithe and Sgurr nan Gillean were among our hot favourites though. Lots of rock scrambling required!
On the west side of the Black Cuillin towards Glenbrittle are the Fairy Pools. You can walk two hours from Sligachan or drive around past Carbost to the carpark.
Expect swarms of tourists and on calm shady days swarms of midges too, but you’ll be sure to have the pools to yourselves if you brave a dip. We did and I’m fairly sure it was no more than 14C.
In your freezing cold induced stupor, why not enjoy some yoga by the pools as well!
I loooove smokey whisky, and one of my favourites is in Carbost on the way back from the Fairy Pools, the Talisker Distillery. They offer free tastings of four different whiskies.
You can also pay £8 to see the distillery process, but I think we’d already got what we came for 😉
Sadly Pete and Nangel had to head off from here. It was the end of our group trip and so back to riding solo!