During the height of the season, the Isle of Skye is highly popular with tourists and finding accommodation can be difficult. In fact, one day last summer, Skye even made the national news, advising people not to travel there as all the accommodation was booked out! However, it’s always worth remembering that it is possible to drive to Skye and back to Inverness on a day trip, so if you are staying at our Inverness B&B, why not save yourself having to pack your case and move on, and stay another day at Inverglen Guest House?
Susan first visited Skye just after she finished university when the only way to get there was by ferry. It was part of a two-week tour of Scotland with her friend, and it rained every day of their holiday. In fact, the rain was so heavy and the cloud was so low on their trip to Skye that they both decided it was a dreich and dismal place, turned the car around and headed back to the mainland. She didn’t go again for over 25 years, and then was amazed by the beautiful and dramatic scenery, so it is worth the trip but timing is everything.
If you plan your visit outside of the main summer months, there will be fewer tourists around, and many of the day-tour companies do not operate out of season. There will also be fewer midgies (little biting insects) to avoid, although sprays are available to deter them from eating you alive! However, in winter make sure that you have planned your excursion and have suitable clothing for the weather conditions, and bear in mind that the daylight hours are much shorter than in summer.
There are many great places to visit on Skye, but this blog will focus on two walking routes, which offer spectacular scenery and the opportunity for some great photographs. You need to be fairly fit and suitably attired and equipped to complete both walks, but you can easily avoid the scrambling sections if you wish to, and if you don’t want to do the full circular walks, even doing part of the circuit will afford some amazing views. The Quiraing walk in winter conditions is really only recommended for very experienced climbers.
The Fairy Pools
A very popular spot with photographers and walkers, the path from the car park will lead you across some stepping stones, past a dramatic waterfall and alongside the River Brittle. The Fairy Pools are naturally occurring cascading pools in the river, where the crystal clear water reflects the surrounding colours of the landscape and sky, so they sometimes appear blue, sometimes green, sometimes grey. There is an underwater arch at one point in the river, so look out for this on your way. The short walk is approximately 2.4km and is well described here by Visit Scotland, or if you want to take a longer walk, try the 8km version by walkhighlands, heading towards the Black Cuillins.
Located on the summit of the minor road between Staffin and Uig, north of Portree, the landscape in this area is stunning and very unusual, having been formed by a landslide of rock, and whilst the walk is more challenging than that at the Fairy Pools, the views are worth the effort if you are fit enough. Even the drive to the start of the walk and the parking area will take your breath away, but again there is a limited amount of parking so visiting off-season is much easier. If you can only manage part of the walk uphill, you will still see spectacular landscape views – the photographs attached are taken from part way along the trail, as we only had limited time on the day of our visit in April. Walkhighlands give great advice and directions for walkers, and please note that the route can also be used by mountain bikers.