Last season I gave my readers a taster of what they could do if they were only staying with us for 2 nights giving them one full day to explore this beautiful Island. But what to do, if this is not your first visit?
If this is not your first time on Skye, then you will know that our B&B is located right in the centre of Skye. We are in fact, more or less – give or take a minute or three – an hour from the tip of each of the main peninsulas of Skye; Elgol on Strathaird, Armadale, Sleat; Duntulm Castle, Trotternish; Coral Beaches, Waternish and Neist Point, Durinish. We are located on Minginnish.
So where to go? A whole day in the summer months is a lot of hours, as the sun rises early and sets very late. Thereby giving you plenty of time to explore.
On a fine day there’s nothing better than exploring the Coral Beaches just north of Dunvegan. Travelling west from our B&B (turn right out of the drive), you follow the winding road that leads to Dunvegan. Along the way there are several large lay-bys that give the enthusiastic photographer spectacular views of; the mouth of the Loch Harport, the cliffs of Fiskavaig, MacLeods Tables and Macleods Maidens with views across the Minch to South Uist.
Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Laird of Clan MacLeod, is a must for any visitor to Skye who is ancestor hunting, or simply loves Scottish history. The castle gardens are honestly stunning, built into the curve of the bay, whereas the castle itself is magnificent – exactly as we all imagine a castle to be, all turrets and high walls. Moreover, if you’re into your MacLeod history you will very much want to explore the castle within and soak up the atmosphere as you discover its secrets. To cap it all, during the summer there are boat trips that take you around the tiny islands in Loch Dunvegan where you can get close to the Seal colony there.
Turning right out of the Castle carpark, you travel towards the tiny settlement of Claigan. Leaving the carpark at the end of the road, its an easy walk following a track to the Coral Beaches; beautiful white beaches made of fossilised seaweed, with breathtaking turquoise shallow seas. Its a magnificent place to explore the rock pools, have a picnic and enjoy the views.
It is easy from here to retrace your steps and, as you exit Dunvegan take a right turn and follow the signs to Glendale, Three Chimneys Restaurant and Neist Point.
Its a pleasant journey passing by Skye Silver and maybe dropping in to Red Roof Cafe for afternoon tea or Ceiteag’s Restaurant (pronounced ‘Katies’), the choice is yours. Of course if you’re feeling flush or celebrating a special occasion then an early dinner at Three Chimneys may be your next port of call. I say early as you may wish to hop back in your car afterwards to enjoy the sunset at Neist Point, which is further around the peninsula.
Of course, as with anywhere in the Highlands, you may, dare I say it, experience a dreich day (gaelic for wet, windy with a low mist). It happens but its not the end of the world and if you think about it – you can’t have green lush grass, magnificent waterfalls and babbling burns without a bit of rain here and there – well you can’t! That doesn’t mean though that your enjoyment of this beautiful Island will be any the less thrilling.
So wriggle into your waterproofs, pull on those walking boots and enjoy an alternative adventure. The gardens at Dunvegan Castle are relatively sheltered so no change there, and along the road, if you are into art, there are several studios/galleries that you can visit.
You know, all is not lost just because of a little rain. Instead of retracing your route upon re-entering Dunvegan, take the left hand fork and drive to Waternish. On your way you will find the township of Edinbane, where where you’ll discover the Edinbane Pottery. We have a few of their pieces here, you’ll find them in the dining area, they’re really rather good (well we think so anyway!).
Driving on there is a sign to the Stein Inn, the oldest Inn on the Island, located in the fishing village of Stein. Its a cozy place for a late lunch and if the rain has stopped you can enjoy the views of the loch from the garden.
Skye Skyns is further up the road, a fascinating place where you learn during a short tour how they cure the sheep skins, then you can visit their shop above the tannery. ‘Tis lush!
Some of our guests are interested in spinning and weaving so Shilasdair further up the coast at Càrnach is definitely the place to visit. Acres of locally spun wool, using natural dyes and knitted garments galore. Its a veritable treasure trove.
So you see there’s lots to see and do even on a dreich day. Oh! and along the way you will have to stop at the Faerie Bridge too – just to gather that little bit of extra magic.