Isle of Skye | Scotland
ATTRACTIONS IN SKYE
Fairy Glenn: Being a desert dwelling creature Fairy Glenn is like a different planet. Made of cone-shaped neon green hills, Fairy Glenn has a magical quality. It’s a short drive into the Isle of Skye and provides beautiful views and little vertical walks. I recommend wearing some good shoes, as this area can be very damp and slick. Keep an eye out, as you might just spot a dragon.
Bonus: If the weather is good, take a drive to see the Fairy Pools. Sadly the weather was too rough for the two hour hike, but I’ve been told its worth seeing. If you’re short on time, take a 20 minute hike to the first pool then turn around.
Kilt Rock: If you’ve ever visited the Cliff of Mohr, Kilt Rock is very similar. Near the very top of the Isle of Skye, Kilt Rock is a unique rock formation you can see from a viewing area. Be warned, it can be extremely windy and dangerous, so keep to the viewing areas and use commonsense.
Bonus: Take a hike to The Storr. Sadly the weather was horrendous that day, like blow you off your feet bad. So the hike was virtually impossible. However, it looks like a beautiful destination with unique landscape features.
Eilean Donan: If you are a fan of castles, you’ll want to stop and see Eilean Donan. This reconstructed castle is on your way into the Isle and is worth a stop. Nested on a small island, this castle is a great photo opportunity as its sits on the meeting point of three locks: Loch Duich, Loch Long, and Loch Alsh. This castle is about $20 USD to enter and in my opinion not really worth the entry fee. While they have created rooms for you to explore, I personally find castle interiors pretty meh. The exteriors are much more interesting, and if you feel the same, give this one a pass and find a unique spot to take some photos instead. Be sure to swing by at different times when leaving and entering the Isle as the tide levels shift, which provides different photo opportunities.
Bonus: Dunvegan Castle is a big tourist stop up in Skye. Sadly it was closed for the season while I was there. With lovely gardens, this castle looks like a must visit.
Drive: Lets be real, if you are in the Isle of Skye you aren’t shy about driving in Scotland. Which I personally find to be delightful. These small one-lane roads are fun to weave through and you can see everything Skye has to offer. I recommend taking a drive through Quiraing as it provides stunning views if the weather is cooperative.
Heads up: Be sure to keep your eyes pilled as the drive is littered with wild goats, red deer, and sheep. While the sheep and deer tend to keep their distance from the road, the black goats don’t. They can be seen on and beside the road. These guys are awesome, but unpredictable and can be aggressive.
WHERE TO STAY
Accommodations in Skye are limited and almost impossible during peak travel months. Be sure to book well in advance since you might be sleeping in your car otherwise. I personally stayed in a lovely BNB called Carters Rest. I highly recommend staying here with Julie and Stephen. They’re truly delightful hosts and they work so hard to make your stay perfect. Not to mention the view outside their window is jaw-dropping.
Stephen told us about Neist Point Lighthouse, which is just a 10 minute drive from the BNB and I captured some of my favorite photos of the trip there. Not of the lighthouse, but the clouds falling over the cliff sides.
While I spent most of my stay at Carters Rest, I also spent one night at Duisdale House. This place is fancy. As someone who isn’t use to this level of class I was a bit thrown off balance. However, its a wonderful stay with lovely rooms, friendly staff, and is located in a great halfway point into Skye.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GO
If you don’t feel comfortable driving on the left and on one-lane roads which can require you to back up to pull off points, this might not be enjoyable for you. However, it’s worth it if you can handle it. You just can’t see everything otherwise. Plus when you drive yourself, you can pull off wherever and whenever you feel like it. Be warned, gas is limited up in Skye. Be sure to keep a close eye on your levels and ask your host the best place to top off as gas can run out due to demand.
Accommodations are limited and can get pricy during peak travel months. I visited during the off-season as per-usual and had no issue finding the nicest locations to stay at an affordable price point. Not to mention I shared a room, which brought the price down even further. Which brings me to my next point, there isn’t a lot of food options in Skye. Be sure to plan accordingly. Our accommodations happened to offer food, which Carters Rest usually doesn’t do except for off season, so keep that in mind!
The weather can be a beast. While I love the rain and have no issue spending a lot of time in it, it can prevent you from doing some cool hikes and/or drives. In general is rains in Skye the bulk of the year, however they do get nice sunny days here and there. If you aren’t a fan of unpredictable weather, Skye might not be your best bet. Not to mention is doesn’t get too warm either.
Overall, Isle of Skye is a must visit for landscape junkies like me. The environment is so different from one second to another. It’s a relaxing destination and we had almost every location to ourselves. In a world that feels crowded at times, it was so nice to feel like we had a slice of heaven to ourselves. Keep in mind, the summer months can get pretty crowded in Skye, but even then, its not too bad.