The Isle of Skye has been on our bucket list for forever and even though we are only a 5 hour drive away, for some reason we just never had the time or chance to make the journey. We were very excited about this trip and it certainly did not disappoint, even though the weather was atrocious. Scottish weather is known for being miserable and highly unpredictable at the best of times, on top of this we were extremely unfortunate to catch the tail end of Hurricane Dorian which devastated the Bahamas the week prior.
The A82 road towards the Isle of Skye has always been one of our favourite roads to drive and it never fails to amaze us. For those who don’t know, you can actually drive to Skye which is ideal. The bridge was built back in 1995, before that you would have to take a ferry to the island. As soon as we arrived on Skye the landscape was just spectacular, very similar to other beautiful landscapes we know and love on the West Coast of Scotland. The roads are fantastic and luckily there are loads of places to stop, you will definitely want to pull over more than a few times. On the drive towards our accommodation in Harlosh we even found a spot that was full of beautiful Highland Cows.
Top Tip –
- (57.2925690, -6.0895405) – the co-ordinates of the spot we seen the Highland Cows
We arrived at our accommodation around mid-afternoon, the Harlosh Pods. It was our first time staying in a pod and we found it to be so cosy. It was such a compact space but felt much larger because of how well the space had been utilised. We found the pod to be very well equipped with a double bed, a toilet/shower room, a kitchen with sink, fridge/freezer and cooking facilities, a dining table, a small tv and a large sofa that also pulled out into another full size double bed.
- Skye accommodation sells out really fast so booking in advance is essential
- On the subject of accommodation… we’ve just discovered a new website called Likibu which is the “Sky Scanner of accommodations”, bringing together the likes of TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Booking.com all in one site! If you are like us and love scrolling accommodations you definitely need to check it out – www.likibu.co.uk
We had an early start of 4:30am as we wanted to hike The Storr for sunrise. Of course we are just wishful thinkers, being typical Scotland there was no sunrise, it just got slightly less dull haha. However we did practically have the whole place to ourselves so it was totally worth it! The hike itself is quite easy (if you can even call it a hike). We found it a little tricky at points when gusts of wind were literally blowing us away but apart from that it was pretty good going. When we reached the top it honestly felt like we were on the set of a movie – it’s totally otherworldly!
- Plan to spend no little than 2 hours here – the hike took us about 45 mins each way
- If you want to head there for first light then make sure you have a torch with you
After our hike we decided to drive the coastal route stopping firstly at the Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls viewpoint. The “Kilt Rock” is the rock formation in the distance below and is said to resemble a Kilt. Kilts are traditional Scottish menswear attire, the ridges on the rocks are the pleats of the Kilt and the moss/grass are the Tartan pattern. Wether or not it actually resembles that at all is debatable, but the view is stunning nonetheless with the Mealt Falls waterfall in the foreground. We would highly reccommend stopping here to take in the views, it’s often not too busy and will only take 10 minutes of your time.
Our next stop was the The Fairy Glen which is the most surreal and cute spot we encountered. It has small cone-shaped grassy hills spotted with ponds, rocks and sheep. When you arrive here it feels as though your looking at everything through a tilt-shift camera lens, it’s bizarre how everything appears miniature. When we first stepped out the car we seen lots of bunnies hopping around and the cutest kitten – making the experience even more enchanting. The particular spot below is the Fairy Castle of the Glen, you can definitely imagine fairies living there.
- Get here early as there is very limited parking
- Wear boots or Wellies as the paths can be very muddy
In the afternoon we visited Portree, the largest town and the capital of the Isle of Skye. The town is full of fantastic eateries, cafes and quirky stores. One of the things we particularly loved about Portree was the colourful harbour as it is so picturesque. We even sampled one of Scotland’s most popular dishes here, Fish & Chips from The Harbour Fish & Chip Shop. It’s a must try for anyone visiting Scotland for the first time and don’t forget a can of Irn Bru!
No trip to Skye would be complete without sampling one of the many amazing local eateries. We really wanted to eat at the highly rated Three Chimneys restaurant, however unfortunately it far exceeded our budget on this trip and actually worked out in our favour as we found a gem of a restaurant called The Old School. We can’t recommend this place enough, the experience really made our entire trip to Skye! The restaurant is located literally in an old school, hence the name, and they still have the original wooden gym hall flooring in the dining area. The interior is warm, inviting and very traditionally Scottish. We highly recommend trying the Scottish Sirloin steak served with tomato, mushroom, onion garni with Black pepper and brandy sauce. The Sticky Toffee pudding is also one of the best we’ve ever had!
- Book this restaurant and any others in advance as they will most likely get fully booked
On the route home we stopped at the amazing Eilean Donan Castle. We arrived here about 2 hours before the opening time to take photos and there were people already waiting in their cars to get in. If you want to do a tour of the castle then we would definitely recommend turning up at least half an hour before the opening time.
- You can get a cool view of the castle (shown in photos) from this spot – (57.2778125, -5.5197726) if the castle is full.
Other places on our Skye list we never had time for (all the more reason to go back):
- Fairy pools
- The Quiraing
- Three Chimneys Restaurant
- Neist Point
- Duvegan Castle
- Talisker Distillery
A few helpful things to note:
- For tips on driving in Scotland refer to the end of our NC500 blog
- You will struggle to get phone signal in Skye out-with the bigger towns, so make sure you have maps/routes organised before visiting
- Make sure to stick to the speed limit as police are regularly on force with radar guns
- Don’t worry about not being able to get fuel, there is a Co-op Petrol station in Skye (Broadford) with the cheapest fuel we’ve seen in the Highlands
Thank you so much for reading our latest adventure and if you have any questions please just ask 🙂