ISLE OF SKYE

 

The Isle of Skye is an odd little place.

 

If I'm honest, 

I had never heard of it

before I was supposed to take a group there.

 

Now I try to get up there as often as I can.

 

It's tiny, lonely, inexpensive...

and with scenery that feels

like a Tolkien tale.

 

There's not a ton to say about what to do there

because it really is so tiny...

but here's what we like to do & see.

 

ISLE OF SKYE

 

DO

It's hard to say what there is to "do" on the Isle of Skye. Having a good time is fairly intuitive and a hard objective to miss. It's kind of just a little place that you drive around, hopping in and out of your car as you make your way around the enchanted island. You'll come across so many waterfalls you'll start to feel like you are in a laundry detergent commercial. You'll find yourself crossing over tiny rivers and streams, and, if you're lucky, you may come across some friendly highland coos!

We always spend some time wandering around the tiny harbour town of Portree stopping in shops, eating ice cream, and kicking rocks into the water by the port. Or we opt for the less social route: cuddled up under a mess of blankets, watching movies on our computers, drinking lots of warm beverages, and spending way too much time huddled over hot food and good conversation inside cozy pubs.

JACOBITE TRAIN | Technically, this won't take you to Skye... but it will get you close. Spend the night in Fort Wiliiam and take the historic train up through the gorgeous Scottish countryside as if you were headed to Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express. Eventually, you'll arrive in Mallaig. Hop off there, grab some lunch and plan to be on the ferry at the dock a couple of hours later headed to Armadale, Skye. Advance booking necessary. (Read more about the train in my post here.)

THE SKYE MUSEUM OF ISLAND LIFE | This tiny recreation of a traditional Skye village is a nice stop along the northern edge of the island. Pay a small fee (£2.50 per person) and wander through old thatched houses and explore how life would have been lived a few hundred of years ago on the island. You can also wander up the path to the cemetery to see the burial place of the famous, Flora McDonald, and (to many other’s surprise), the grave of fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, who had family ties to the island.

RENT A CAR | You'll definitely need one to get around Skye. We used Kyle Taxis. They were really friendly and met us at the ferry dock when we got in. Easy peasy. Email them at kyletaxis@aol.com or call to book: +44 (0) 1599 534 323

 

EAT

THREE CHIMNEYS | Honestly, food isn't why you visit Skye... but if you insist on something gourmet while you are here, the legendary Three Chimneys should suit your fancy. I've never been,  but apparently- it's quite the place to eat on Skye, if the hefty price tags don't scare you off.

 

STAY

BOSVILLE | Located in the main part of Skye's largest city, Portree ('Port Ree' meaning in Gallic, "The King's Port), the Bosville is one of the "fancier" hotels in town. While it is nice and clean accommodation, don't compare the luxury outfitting of these rooms to the findings of a luxury hotel in Manhattan or Paris. But there is free shortbread & tea in your room which makes for a good replacement for me. Both the hotel pub & restaurant serve really good food... if you're the eating type. :)

MARMALADE | This sister hotel to the Bosville is also situated in Portree, though about a 5 minute walk up the hill out of town. The position of the hotel gives it a stunning view of the port below. Accommodation here is a grade down than at the Bosville, but rooms are clean and the staff is above & beyond friendly. The restaurant downstairs is also a popular location for locals.

MACKINNON COUNTRY HOUSE | If you're looking for a quaint & affordable place out in the country, the MacKinnon Country House is a sweet option. Sat near Kyle of Lochalsh on some quiet and pretty land, this country hotel is a quiet escape from most normal life as you may know it. The food is good (like, really good) and the staff is friendly and welcoming. You'll feel like part of the family when you leave. {Bring books... no great internet or tv options here!}

FLODIGARRY HOTEL | This hotel is gorgeous in a lot of ways- the location on the northern edge of the island and setting is unparalleled. The architecture of the hotel is perfect for the island, and the view of the sea at the edge of the luscious grassy lawn surrounding the hotel is intoxicating. The rooms are well appointed, the homemade biscuits by the tea kettle are crumbly and perfectly buttery, and the breakfast is really, really good. And while all these things are majorly attractive for a hotel, I can’t get over how pretentious the hotel staff was.