of Skye, Scotland -
Virtual Tour of North-East Skye
We make our way back through the village of
Portree and find the road to Staffin which leads us up the
side of the Trotternish peninsula. Once we have climbed up onto the
moor we are confronted by the massive rock buttress of the Storr,
beneath which stands an unusual pinnacle of rock known as "the
Old Man of Storr".
A little way beyond the lochs we can follow
the path up to the Old Man and discover an eerie wonderland of rock
formations clinging improbably to the grassy slopes beneath the
down on the lochs we can see that there is a dam at the northern end
of them. On descending the hill we make our way down to the dam and
see the water pipes plunging down the hillside to the sea where
Skye"s only hydro-electricity generating station sits isolated
on the rocky shore.
If we have the energy to descend the
precipitous path we can search on the shore for fossils of long-dead
sea creatures, and maybe even a dinosaur, remains of which have been
discovered in this area.
north from the Storr the cliff-top road gives us wonderful views of
the islands of Raasay and Rona with the mountains of the mainland
beyond. If we are in need of refreshment a stop at the Glenview Inn
& Restaurant will more than satisfy us.
A little further up the road we stop at the
famous Kilt Rock viewpoint to see the waterfall tumbling over the
precipice and to marvel at the perfect basalt columns on the cliff
which look just like the pleats in a kilt.
Our approach to Staffin gives us a chance to
savour one of the best views on Skye: Staffin Bay with the townships
of Digg and Flodigarry nestling beneath the cliffs and pinnacles of
the Quirang. We can enjoy fine views of this spectacular landscape
as we refresh ourselves at the
Flodigarry Hotel. Driving through Staffin we take a detour off the main
road and climb up the Bealach to have a closer look at the Quirang.
We can stop at the top of the pass and walk along the path towards
the Needle, the Prison, and the Table, all famous features of this
truly unique collection of crags and pinnacles.
Back down on the main road we find that it
becomes single-track as it continues its way around the North End of
the island past Flodigarry, Balmacqueen, and Kilmaluag, before we
stop at Duntulm where we find the tumbledown remains of Duntulm
Castle, the ancient seat of the MacDonald clan.
In clear weather the views from this area of
Skye over to the Outer Isles are wonderful, especially if you are
lucky enough to catch the sun setting in a blaze of crimson and
south from Duntulm we find ourselves at Kilmuir where there is a
wealth of history to be discovered among the scattered townships. A
small cluster of thatched houses turns out to be a fascinating
Museum of Island Life where we can spend many hours absorbing the
atmosphere of days gone by.
Near the museum is a graveyard with an
imposing monument to Flora MacDonald, the famous Skye woman who
befriended and helped the fleeing Bonnie Prince Charlie after the
battle of Culloden. A little further on we can stop at No.19 Linacro
which, as well as having a friendly little cafe, is the home of
Whitewave who offer all sorts of outdoor activities as well as
information on local history and culture. Leaving Kilmuir we follow
the road on down to Uig Bay.
Uig is the main
of the Trotternish peninsula not least because it is an important
ferry and fishing port. From here we are able to take the ferry to
the Outer Islands of North Uist and Harris or watch the fishing
boats landing their catches of prawns and crabs. At the head of the
pier we can visit the Isle of Skye Brewery and the Uig Pottery as
well as the shops, bars and filling station to stock up for the rest
of our journey.
On the opposite side of the bay from the pier
we find the Ferry Inn and Uig Hotel which are favourite sources of
and hospitality for locals and visitors alike. Having sampled what
Uig has to offer we continue our journey south down the west side of
the peninsula, enjoying the views across the broad expanse of Loch
Snizort. This stretch of the road is littered to right and left with
remains of ancient man-made structures.
With the aid of a good map and some careful
searching we can find the remains of brochs, castles, settlements,
and standing stones. When we have satisfied our appetite for
archaeology we continue on our way through Kensaleyre and Borve,
where the main pony trekking centre for the island is located, and
finish our tour of Skye in Portree.
hope that you have enjoyed our little excursion. Skye is a big
island which offers an infinite variety of things for the visitor to
see and do and it is impossible for us to include everything in this
tour. We hope we have whetted your appetite for finding out more
about the island and that someday you will come and visit us and
discover the place for yourself.