“Skye is the largest and certainly the best known Scottish island. It is an island of contrasts, from the rugged and imposing Cuillin mountains, to the serenity of picturesque Loch Coruisk and the brightly painted buildings of Portree.
I have been to Skye several times. There is plenty to do, both indoors and outdoors. My favourite place on Skye is the Museum of Island Life. As is often the way, we found this living Museum by accident, on our way through to catch the ferry to North Uist.
The Museum is a township of thatched cottages, each one depicting the conditions prevalent on the island at the close of the nineteenth century. The Museum is in a very exposed position and although it was a clear, bright day, it was very windy, but it didn’t stop our enjoyment at all.
My family and I loved this Museum and took our time exploring it and reading the information boards. It really gave us an insight into what life was like on Skye at the end of the Nineteenth century.
How do I get to Skye? There are four ways to get to the Isle of Skye. The most obvious one is to go over the Skye Bridge. Secondly, you could take the traditional Skye Ferry from Glenelg to Kylerhea. Thirdly, there is a Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry from Mallaig to Armadale, at the southern end of Skye. Finally, you can reach Skye from the Outer Hebrides, where the Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry docks at Uig, in the northern end of Skye.
How do I get around Skye? There are various local Bus services operating on Skye. The main roads are covered by the Citylink services between Kyleakin, Broadford, Portree and Uig. Stagecoach buses operate many other local routes including Armadale-Kyleakin, Portree-Dunvegan, etc. There are also several Taxi firms in most of the main towns on Skye. Tours and holidays around Skye are available through Shearings Holidays.
What’s worth visiting on Skye? Lots! The Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing, in the Trotternish Peninsula. The Cuillin Ridge around the centre of the island. Dunvegan Castle and it’s grounds are definitely worth visiting. So is the Clan Donald Visitor Centre near Armadale. From Elgol, there are Boat trips out to Loch Curuisk and the Small Isles with Aqua Explore, Bella Jane Boat trips and Misty Isle Boat trips. If you fancy a ‘wee dram’ head to Talisker Distillery on the Minginish Peninsula. Finally, the main town of Portree is an attractive fishing port, where there are boat trips to Rona and other islands. About a mile out of town is the Aros Centre, where you can find out about the isle of Skye’s history. In bad weather you could try the Skye Serpentarium, which is an award winning reptile exhibition and breeding centre, refuge and shop that is unique in Scotland.
Where can I stay on Skye? There are many Hotels, Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfasts on Skye. Here are just a few of each. There is the Uig Hotel and Skeabost Country House Hotel in Portree, Kings Arms Hotel in Kyleakin, the Duisdale House Hotel and Toravaig House Hotel in Sleat and the Dunollie Hotel in Broadford. There is the Six Willows Guest House in Glendale and Coolin View Guest House in Portree. Also in Portree are Dunsgiath Luxury Apartments. There is camping available at Torvaig Caravan And Camping Site in Portree and the Kinloch Campsite in Dunvegan. The Hostels include Skye Backpackers Hostel and Saucy Mary’s Hostel in Kyleakin, and the Broadford Hostel in Broadford. Self-catering is available throughout Skye, such as Epona Cottage in Dunvegan, Waterside Cottage in Kyleakin, Lawrie’s Cottage near Uig, Distillery Croft Cottage in Carbost, Seascape in Waternish, Thatched Croft in Kilmuir and The Malt House in Portree. Also, there are more Isle of Skye Hotels available to book through Hotels Combined.
Any other information on Skye? Apart from the Outer Hebrides, Skye is the most important centre for Gaelic culture. There is a Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, a few miles north of Armadale.