Adventures on the Isle of Skye

on Travel  

Halfway through our driving tour of the Scottish Highlands we visited the Isle of Skye, which is accessible by ferry or the Skye Road. Often referred to as the ‘Misty Isle’, weather can be a little hit-and-miss at this time of year. We were really lucky to have beautiful weather when we drove over the Skye Bridge (as in it wasn’t raining very much), and it even cleared up enough for us to do a short trail walk.

Skye has the kind of dramatic landscapes that I think of when I imagine Scotland – rugged grassy hills and boulders, mountains peaked with snow, dramatic rock formations and a whole lot of sheep. Although it’s not a huge island the roads are winding, often single-track and sometimes invaded by sheep, so it takes hours to drive from one side to the other. We drove straight across to the Quirang – a distinctive landslip near the most northern tip of the island – and went an hour or so along the track, until we decided that setting out without food, water or any way of contacting anyone was probably not the smartest idea. It wasn’t a difficult walk, although I got a bit scared when crossing a small waterfall! If you ever find yourself in that part of the world, make sure you don’t just take photos from the lookout (which is what most people were doing). Even walking a little way down the trail gives a much better view, and makes you feel all cool and adventurous, like a mountain goat (or at least I did anyway!).

Afterwards we dropped off our luggage at our apartment, in a remote part of this remote island, and ventured on to the lighthouse at Neist Point to watch the sunset. The owners of the apartment gave us freshly laid eggs from their hens, which made the most perfect poached eggs (no vinegar, no swirling, just perfect eggs) and made us really want hens of our own someday.

Here especially, I had to accept the fact that I simply can’t capture the things that I see with my camera as well as I can with my eyes. My photos below really don’t do the place justice – it really has to be seen in person. I’ve had a bad habit in the past of focusing too much on the camera and less on really looking; I’m trying to make sure that I capture these views in my mind, as well as on camera.

The next couple of days showed us the weather more typical on Skye at this time of year – mostly involving horizontal rain. There unfortunately isn’t a lot to do on Skye when the weather is bad, especially when you’re staying somewhere that requires an hour of driving on a glorified goat track. Still, it was nice to have a day to relax, and we made it in one piece to a fancy breakfast at Kinloch Lodge on the way out. I wish we’d had more time to explore – I definitely want to come back someday.

Foodie Notes:

  • Kinloch Lodge – a Michelin-starred restaurant on Skye, and also a super fancy B&B. We couldn’t afford dinner and couldn’t make afternoon tea due to the weather, so settled for breakfast. Impeccable service and great food, although the servings are small and there’s not a whole lot to put it above the delicious cooked breakfasts we’ve been having at (far cheaper) B&B’s. I’m sure it has more opportunity to shine at other meals though.

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