Skye & The Kyle of Lochalsh

Holiday photos (March 2022)

“Skye is not a place but an intoxication.”

—Skye: The Island and it’s Legends (Otta Swire)
Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh

The Old Man of Storr (background)
Portree, Isle of Skye

Folk tales / legends

Skye is an amazingly beautiful island; it’s charm and beauty feel very surreal. It has the most intriguing sky and seascapes – you can’t help but stop and stare. It also has a few folk tales, e.g. The legend of the Water under the Sligachan Bridge and The Fairy flag of Clan MacLeod. These are just a few of the tales that would have been shared many years ago around open peat fires in homes across the island. Otta Swire, an island resident, remembers such stories being told to her as a child. So intrigued was she that she later recorded the stories (plus lots more) in her book Skye: The Island and it’s Legends.

Other-worldly

If I had to describe the island in one word, I’d use “other-worldly”. Hubby and myself had to tear ourselves away to come home. It was so relaxing to get away from normal everyday life and spend it in such a wonderful place. We booked our vacation at the very last minute and set off the next day! Sometimes the best times are had ‘last minute.com,’ as I like to call them, lol.

Below: The cottage we rented whilst visiting Skye

The Barn is a traditional white-washed stone cottage nestled on a peaceful cliff at Brother’s Point, Culnacnoc. It is roughly 13 miles from Portree and 43 miles from Dunvegan. The Barn offers a relaxing atmosphere and is a fine base to explore the island from. Its traditional large stone fireplace with log burner added a cosy warm atmosphere in the evenings. The building would originally have had a thatched roof which has since been replaced with slate. An additional two rooms have been added in the roof area providing three bedrooms as opposed to one bedroom which it would have had originally. We spotted another three similar white-washed cottages on the island whilst touring plus ‘Mary’s Cottages’ which still had their original thatched roofs. They gave us a glimpse of what The Barn would have looked like once upon a time. We discovered Mary’s Cottages are also available for holiday let and are popular with honeymooners. They look really lovely inside. Check out the official video at skyecottages.com.

The Barn, Culnacnoc, Brother’s Point, Isle of Skye

The Barn

Accommodation

The Barn was very nice, cosy and clean and had everything you could possibly need to make your stay comfortable, cosy and relaxed…. well maybe a hot tub would have been good too, lol! It’s online reviews are all very good and so we are not the only visitors who enjoyed our stay at this particular location. I’d definitely recommend it.

Inside The Barn

Dinosaur footprints

The discovery of dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye is yet another reason to visit this famous Scottish island. Whilst people have long been drawn to Skye for its whimsical folklore and stunning landscape, its new status as the ‘Dinosaur Isle’ is luring fossil enthusiasts from all over the world.  Just a stone’s throw from The Barn, at Brothers Point in Staffin, a steep footpath leads down onto Corran Beach where some of the island’s dinosaur footprints can be found. To find out more, visit: Scotland’s Prehistoric Past.

Raasay

The cottage garden had views across Raasay which could be viewed beyond Brother’s Point from all of the upstairs windows (see my Youtube video here: Skye & The Barn).

Kilt Rock and Mealt Waterfall

Less than a mile along the road was Kilt Rock and Mealt Waterfall (see photo above). This was just ‘one’ of the many amazing viewpoints across the island. Apparently dolphins and seals swim in the waters below the cliff and if you’re fortunate, you may be able to spot them on a clear day. We didn’t see any, but it didn’t matter because the beautiful scenery and the thundering sound of the cascading waterfall beating against the rocks below were truly breathtaking—reward enough for stopping to view this beautiful landmark.

The Old Man of Storr

The Old Man of Storr peeking out through the mist – complete with electricity pylons also shrouded in mist!

Another few miles south of Kilt Rock is the Old Man of Storr. Every time we passed this world-famous landmark, it seemed to be covered in mist hiding it from view. Storr mountains looked very mystical and surreal peeking through the mist. Truly beautiful.

Sheep wander the roads freely in Skye and have no fear of traffic

The Fairy Pools, Fairy Glen and Spar Cave

We had hoped to visit The Fairy Pools located at the foot of the Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle; also the Fairy Glen (aka the ‘cutest’ place to visit on Syke) located on the West side of Trotternish at Balnacnoc (above Uig), but unfortunately time did not permit. Both these locations would have made amazing photo opportunities, but hopefully another time (DV).

We since found out about another tourist attraction, but only since we arrived home. Spar Cave, near Elgol (apparently one of Scotland’s great wonders) would have been very interesting to visit. Mind, I don’t know if would be brave enough, e.g. “This walk is only possible for around one hour either side of low-tide. It is quite possible to become stranded in the Spar Cave.” — Walk Highlands.

On the evening before we were due to travel home, the mist on the top of the Storr mountains cleared away and I managed to capture a few photos of the Old Man of Storr, albeit from a distance (see photos above).

Dunvegan Castle

We would love to have seen Dunvegan Castle, but it was closed when we passed by. It opens in April and we were just a few days too early. Still the trip around that part of the island was very pleasant and it was a fine day out regardless. We ended up taking detours off the main roads and passed by quite a few scattered villages as a result. Everywhere we went the scenery was mind blowing and it seemed there was something beautiful to look at around every corner.

Kendram Turf House

On one of our day trips, hubby pointed out the ‘coffin-shaped’ turf house that appeared on Grand Designs (Channel 4) a few years ago. He recognised it straight away. I remembered it too but only when hubby pointed it out! He’s a big Grand Designs fan, lol. I think I’ve had to sit through every episode at least twice over (or more even). Seriously! Outside the gate, there is an ‘honesty box’ which looked like the owner had popped craft items, mugs, and eggs, etc inside for sale. We noticed honesty boxes all across the island in different locations. It’s a lovely idea and one which I’ve seen in Aberdeenshire too.

Kyle of Lochalsh

All too soon it was time to return home. Our four-day trip passed far too quickly. On the way home, we stopped at Kyle of Lochalsh to visit Eileen Donan Castle. I’ve always admired photos online and in books of this beautiful castle, so to see and photograph it for myself finished the holiday on a high note.

A few wee tips for visiting Skye

If you have never visited the island, I recommend you add it to your bucket list, but do try and visit out of season if you prefer to avoid the heavy visitor traffic on the many single-track roads; you’ll also be able to enjoy the viewpoints without queuing and have uninterrupted time to enjoy the scenery. Also, check the weather before booking your holiday wherever possible. The weather was very pleasant during our stay, but we once visited the island on a weekend trip and couldn’t see anything for mist and rain! Like many parts of Scotland, it isn’t the same in dreich weather – just another wee tip! Many people (including hill walkers, etc) don’t mind the rain and if that’s you, it won’t bother you too much either, but for hubby and myself, we wanted to take in the views as much as possible and such was also important to me having a keen interest in photography. Skye is definitely a photographer’s dream.

Hope you enjoyed my photo share. 💓

All photographs © Wendy May 2022


Please note: I am not affiliated with any of the companies/links posted on my blog pages and therefore I do not receive any commission, etc for such. Links are provided for information only.

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