Isle Of Skye – A Scottish Heaven

Posted On November 27, 2009 

The Isle of Skye has been immortalized in the Gaelic poetry and song as Eilean a’ Cheo or the Misty Isle.  Gaelic is the language of this place.  This Scottish isle is worth visiting if sea, mountains, palaces, wildlife and history of a place is what interests you.

Each part of the isle has its won charm to attract you for your fist visit here and the appeal that will make you want to come back here again.


Off the west coast in Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides, is the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebrides islands and the second largest Scottish island, after the island of Lewis and Harris. It spreads to about 1,656 square kilometers of land.

isle of skye scotland

How to reach

The Skye Bridge links Scotland to the Isle. From Mallaig, you can reach Armadale in Skye by a ferry and from Glenelg to Kylerhea. Tarbert on the Harris Island, North Uist’s Lochmaddy and Rassay too have ferries connecting them to Uig and Sconser respectively.

There are bus services between Inverness and Glasgow and on the island too. You can also take a train in Scotland, from Kyle of Lochalsh that’s at the end of the Skye Bridge to get to Inverness in the Isle of Skye. Trains also serve between Glasgow to Mallaig and from there, there are ferries to Armadale. Private Aircrafts use the small aerodrome at Ashiag near Broadford.

There are trunk roads that connect the Skye Bridge to other surrounding areas of the Isle of Skye.


The isle enjoys a mild ocean climate under the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. Temperatures are cool, with an average of about 6.5 degree Celsius in January and about 15.4 degree Celsius in July. In comparison to Scotland, frosts are fewer here and snow is seldom owing to its sea level.

Like most of islands off the western coasts of Scotland, the Isle of Skye too records a high rainfall of about 1500 to 2000 millimeters on an average annually. There are considerable differences between the north and the south, with the areas in the north like Broadford being comparatively dry.

The Scottish islands are worth a visit throughout the year, though April to September is the peak tourist season.


In Armadale, you must check out the seal island, the forest trail, The Shed; a seafood takeaway /café, The Bay pottery as well as art galleries like the Nigel Grounds gallery full of his paintings.

You could try out the boat trips here to places like Rum & Canna.   The Armadale Castle Gardens and the Museum of Isle are major attractions.  The ruins of knock castle on way to Aramdale are worth a watch.

Armadale Castle Gardens

At Isle Ornsay here is the An Talla Dearg Gallery, displaying sculptures of wild life like otters by Laurence Broderick in stone and bronze. There’s also the Heaven’s Ocean, an art studio with paintings, sculptures and other works on display and the Gaelic Whisky shop. .

On the southern coast of the Isle of Skye, to the north of Kylerhea, is the Kylerhea Otter Haven.

The village of Kyleakin has ruins of the 14th century Castle Maol. The name of the village comes from Kule- a narrow water strait between Skye and Scotland that Haakon IV, the Norwegian king sailed through in the 13th century when defeated by Hebrides at the Battle of Largs.  For a good view of the place, there is a hillock here.

To get an insight of the local lighthouse and wildlife through displays, you should visit the Bright Water Visitor Centre here in Skye. From here, you can go for a boat trip to the island of Eilean Ban which has the Maxwell museum, named after Gavin Maxwell.

There are underwater tours from Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh with extended cruise to the World War II shipwreck, a 500 feet long minelayer that sank in 1940 and other such ruins, for a breathtaking diving experience.

Broadford in Skye is a good place to stay with numerous restaurants like Creelers, shops etc. In the Old Mill here is the Skye Serpentarium, a reptile exhibition and breeding centre. There are boat trips you could enjoy here too.  Just outside Broadford is The Dancing Dolphin, an organic aromatherapy body centre that offers care products as well as therapies like Reiki and Reflexology.

The 45 minutes drive away from Broadford to Elgol, has panoramic view such as that of Blaven Mountain about 3000 feet high, a ruined Pre-Reformation church at Kilchrist and the Skye marble Quarry at Torinn. Kilmarie, also on way, is home to the ruins of Dun Ringill, a stronghold of the Mackinnons.

The Elgol village is known for its pebble beach, the Camasunary Bay; a little far away, the Suidhe Biorach cave to its south and the Spar cave to its east.  On a boat trip from here, you could explore Loch Coruisk or the isles of Rum, Canna, Sanday and Soay when you can also spot dolphins, whales and sharks.

The Cuilin mountain ranges in Scotland have about 20 Munros and the Red Cuilin and the jagged Black Cuilin.

Portree is a busy port and the Isle’s capital with the Portree Craft Gallery, The Aros Experience that is a cultural center and a number of entertainment evenings.

The Trotternish Peninsula, the Strorr Lochs, the Bearreraig Bay are other attractions nearby.14 miles to the north of Portree is Lealt which has the magnificent The Mealt Waterfall, 300 feet high and the Kilt Rock at the same site. There is a fossil museum nearby at Ellishader.

At Staffin, 19 miles north of Portree is a Corran dating back to 8,500 years and beach.  Further north is the Quiraing Mountains, the ruined Duntulm Castle.

The Skye Museum of Island Life at Kilmuir, illustrate highland life a century ago. The Waternish Peninsula in the Skye has a number of craft centers and shops.

Skye Museum of Island Life

The Dunvegan Castle belonging to the Chief of Clan Macleod dates back to about 9th century and is said to be the oldest castle in Scotland. On display here are family portraits, antique furniture, weapons, relics such as lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair, trophies, the famous fairy flag etc.

At Glendale are the Colbost Croft Museum; a black house that depict the life in 19th century and a well-preserved old illegal whisky. Other cultural centers around this place include the Raven Press Gallery, the Toy Museum, the Borreraig Park Museum and the popular Glendale Watermill.

The Carbost village has the Talisker whisky distiller, the Talisker Bay and a waterfall.

For excursions, you could go to Isle or Raasay, off the east coast of Skye. The Dun Cann here is 1,456 feet high extinct volcano with a flat top. You could spot wildlife like golden eagles, buzzards, red deer and orchids as well here. A number of historical places can be explored here, like the Dun Borodale, the 13th century St. Mouluag’s Chapel, the Brochel Castle and the cave of the oars. Inverarish is village here that dates back to World War I, originally built as a POW camp.

Other good excursions are to Isle of Rona, Isle of Harris and Lewis and Uists.

The Isle of sky has everything to make it a picture-perfect destination.

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