Billow and breeze, islands and seas, mountains of rain and sun… Sadly we no longer have to travel to Skye by boat, but the island is still just as spectacular. Here are my favourite things to do on the Isle of Skye.
Visiting The Isle of Skye
Once you arrive on Skye and leave the civilisation of the Broadford you will find the highlands of the Skye are literally awe-inspiring. It is no wonder that the Isle of Skye is Scotland’s most popular island. Whilst Skye should always be on your list of islands to visit in Scotland but think about visiting in autumn or winter when the crowds are much smaller. Please don’t build rock towers at the Fairy Glen or park in passing places or on the roadside if you can’t find a parking spot.
Things to do on the Isle of Skye
- The popular spots – thanks to Instagram, the Fairy Pools, the Fairy Glen (Glenbrittle) Neist Point Lighthouse and Kilt Rock (Meall Falls) are the most popular spots on Skye. Please do not attempt to climb down the cliff to the bottom of Meall Falls – you can’t, it is actually a long walk along the coast.
- The east coast – in the height of summer it may feel like a conveyor belt of hire cars, the east coast of Skye will be filled with campervans and tour buses on their day out – but don’t let you put that off. You often have the road to yourself and the hike to the Old Man of Storr, pretty Portree harbour and the mighty Quiraing are well worth a visit.
- On the west coast – visit Dunvegan Castle, home of Clan MacLeod to learn not only about the history of this clan but also the role of clans today – as well as their most famous member, Dame Flora MacLeod. The Castle sits in a stunning location on the seafront, and the gardens are also lovely to wander around.
- On the south coast – with rolling lush green landscapes and views over the sound to Morar, Knoydart and Glenelg, the Sleat Peninsula is one of Skye’s hidden gems. Often bypassed by those arriving on the Skye ferry the peninsula is also one of Skye’s quieter corners – which makes it perfect as a base to explore.
- Get off the beaten track – if you like life a little more sedate the Cuillin is also viewed in all its magnificence from a walk to Camasunary Beach on the Elgol (or to give it its proper name) Strathaird Peninsula. Take a boat trip to Loch Coruisk right into the heart of the mountains. Take a walk around Loch Coriusk for the most incredible views of the mountains, before catching the afternoon ride back – magical.
- The mountains – the dramatic red and black Cuillin (singular, it is ridge, not a range of mountains) dominate the misty isles’ skyline wherever you look – climbing the twelve 3000 ft+ peaks of the Black Cuillin ridge is on most Munro Baggers bucket list. Whilst there is no easy Munro in the Cuillin, with the right hill walking gear and in good weather, Bruach na Frithe and Bla Bheinn are two of the easiest summits to reach. Don’t attempt the Cuillin in winter without winter climbing experience.
I was asked if “the waterfall going over the cliff” and I’d answered her no, a little confused.
HAHAHA. How did I miss looking down???!!! Oh well.
Where to stay on Skye
- The Old Inn at Carbost – a traditional pub with rooms, located out at what feels like the end of the world – you turn left at The Cullins and just keep going and going and going until you reach Carbost and the home of the Talisker Distillery. The rooms at the Old Inn are good value, but basic. The view from the pub, however, was worth every penny. The pub has a beer garden right out on the water.
- Skye Yurts – offering up a glamping alternative to camping on Skye. Set peacefully in the owner’s garden surrounded by trees are three yurts, Water and Earth, which are perfect for families and Fire, which is designed for couples. With no wifi or mobile phone signal you are guaranteed peace and quiet – a luxury on this most popular of islands.
Where to eat on Skye
- Lunch at The Oyster Shed (although we chickened out of the slippery suckers for prawns & mussels)
- Dinner at the Old Inn at Carbost (excellent fish, fish & more fish) where you can also enjoy the local Skye & Cullin breweries.
- Woodfired pizzas from Cafe Sia – they are also available to take away if you prefer the peace of your yurt.
- Fine dining at the Three Chimneys and Loch Bay restaurants.
How To Get To Skye
The Isle of Skye is connected to the mainland by both a bridge and three ferry services.
- The Mallaig to Armadale ferry links the mainland direct to Sleat. There are up to 9 ferries a day in summer and it 30/40 minute crossing. Make sure you book in advance as if there is no ferry crossing available from Mallaig it is about 3-hour drive round via the bridge!
- You can also arrive on the island at Uig from Tarbert on Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
- Catch the tiny Glenelg ferry – great fun
Love from, Scotland x