Matt and I first visited Skye back in 2008 on our honeymoon. Back then, we visited with big plans to hike in the Cuillin Mountains. But the weather during our trip was so bad, we didn’t even see the peaks through the clouds! We spent much of the week sheltering from the wind – here’s a honeymoon shot as an example!
So we had high hopes for our return visit in 2021!
Following a recommendation from family, we opted not to travel to Skye by bridge, and instead took the “Glenachulish“, the last manually operated turntable ferry in the world! The Kylerhea straits are the closest point between Skye and the mainland and the tiny car ferry runs back and forth throughout the summer months. We watched it sail over to the mainland before boarding for our crossing. As soon as we set sail, we spotted loads of seals bobbing about in the waves. The kids loved spotting them popping up (but sadly none of our photographs came out!)
Once on the island, we stopped immediately at the Kylerhea Otter Hide to enjoy a picnic and look back over the views across the strait. It was such a stunning day we watched the boats and seals for ages, before following the short 2km trail to the hide. Sadly we didn’t spot any otters, but enjoyed the peaceful walk nevertheless.
The drive from Kylerhea to our accommodation was gorgeous – typically narrow Skye roads and unbelievable views. We finally got a glimpse of the mountains from the car and we weren’t disappointed!
We were equally thrilled to explore our accommodation – Luib House right on the water. I just couldn’t get enough of the views and spent much of my time there glued to the windows taking it all in! Alex on the other hand spent much of his time on the Pac-Man arcade game in the kitchen! It really was fabulous accommodation and I very much hope we can return.
We only had a couple of full days on the island. While we were keen to get out walking, we were all still feeling pretty achy after Ben Nevis, so we didn’t plan anything too strenuous. We spent our first day in the North West of the island, starting at Dunvegan Castle.
The gardens were stunning and we spent ages exploring them.
We managed to book onto a seal watching boat trip from Dunvegan and the kids loved being on a tiny boat getting splashed by the waves!
We were able to get really close to several groups of seals who largely ignored us!
Once we’d finally exhausted the grounds at Dunvegan, we continued north to the Coral Beach. An easy walk of a couple of kilometres from the car park, the beach looks bizarrely tropical with white sand and turquoise water. It didn’t feel particularly tropical as the weather became more stormy for us by the minute!
The kids still managed a quick paddle, and I was able to recreate my honeymoon picture as the rain began! It was quite a torrential hike back to the car which I think we found more amusing than the kids!
The weather wasn’t much better the next day so our hope of hiking the Cuillins was once more scuppered – but all was not lost as we opted for a ramble around the Fairy Pools. Many others had the same idea was it was pretty busy along the waterfalls, and several people were braving wild swimming in the crystal clear pools!
We managed to escape the crowds by taking a longer circular walking route, heading away from the pools towards Coire na Creiche.
It was pretty boggy walking, requiring us to cross lots of little streams – but it was great fun despite the grey skies.
Two days wasn’t nearly long enough – and our wish list of Skye hikes is still very long – but I know for sure we’ll be back!
I enjoyed a walk by myself on our last night as the weather cleared and it was just so peaceful. Exactly the remedy for the craziness of the preceding months of work (our cottage was the white one you can see in the photo below on the far left).
Here we are enjoying another stunning view (albeit from the car park at Coop!).
After our flying visit to Skye, we had one more destination on our roadtrip – but this time on the East coast of Scotland. Next stop, The Black Isle…