Skye is an absolutely stunning island off the West coast of Scotland. It’s the largest Isle of the Inner Hebrides, and despite being over 5 hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh, it is still a hugely popular tourist hotspot.
I’ve been to Skye quite a lot – almost once a year since I was 8 months old. Taking part in the Portree half marathon is a bit of a family tradition and one that has allowed me to explore just a little of this brilliant Isle. If you are planning a trip to Skye, here are a few places you should try to visit:
The Fairy Pools
The ice melts on the Cullins and runs down into the Glen Brittle. Which is probably why the first time we tried to swim in the pools we didn’t last very long! It was April, and it was bloody freezing! A few years later, we tried again in June. This time we stayed in for nearly an hour. Check out my wee video of it here. While initially getting in is still a bit of a shock, once you’re used to the cold it’s lovely! It’s a popular spot though, so to get parked and a swimming space in the best pools, it’s worth trying to get there early.
Growing tourist numbers have seen this area getting visitor number well beyond the capacity of current facilities. If visiting, please consider making a donation here: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/fairypools The local community is trying to raise enough to purchase land that will allow them to extend visitor facilities.
The biggest town in Skye is a great base to see the island from. There are lots of B&B’s and there is a campsite just about a mile away too, so it’s great for any budget.
With lots of local shops, cafes and restaurants it is well set up for tourists and is a lovely place to wander around in an afternoon. With such an environmental focus this year, I’m trying to do my bit, even when away for a weekend break. With several independent shops stocking products by local creators and artists, Portree makes it easy to shop local and do your bit to make your holiday a little greener.
The seat of Clan MacLeod is well worth a visit. The old castle has many old Clan possessions and some Fairy mythology that you will have to go to learn more of. With acres of stunning gardens and even a seal boat trip too, making the trip over to Dunvegan is well worth it!
The Fairy Glen
Fairy’s seem to be a recurring theme on Skye! On the road towards Uig, take the time to explore the Fairy Glen. In a very small area, but there is a lot going on geographically. With such dramatic landscapes on a tiny scale, I don’t really know of anywhere else like it in the world. It does almost feel like you could be on a film set!
I’ve been going to Skye for years, but only got around to exploring Staffin last weekend!
Take the road North from Portree and you’re in for a real treat. Head to Staffin Bay, and at low tide, you might just be able to find dinosaur footprints! These were only discovered in 2002, but they provide confirmation of a long-suspected Jurassic past on Skye!
Just past Staffin is the Quirang – a huge landslip that adds yet another dramatic landscape to Skye. You can enjoy a short walk out just far enough to get a picture or take the longer loop out to get the full impact of the views.
As always, you should take care of the landscape that you’re visiting and follow the Scottish Access code. We are very lucky that we can access many of these sites freely! Check out https://www.roamresponsibly.com/ to find out how to reduce your impact while adventuring in some of the most amazing parts of Scotland.