Travelogue: Day-Trip to the Isle of Skye

I had posted a little while ago about my trip to the Scottish Highlands and promised another post about the second part of the trip, my day-trip to the Isle of Skye. Here it is!

Driving across the Skye Bridge, we took a long day-trip to the Isle of Skye from our base in Stromeferry. We spent the entire day exploring different parts around Skye. The beauty of this island cannot be described in words, and even the pictures don’t really do it justice. I fell in love with this part of the world on that day. I still count the Isle of Skye amongst one of my favourite places in the world. Maybe someday I will revisit and explore it in greater detail.

Cuilin peaks on Skye

On this trip around the Isle of Skye we stopped to see the Cuillin Mountains; Portree which is the main town of Skye and rather quaint and lovely; the “Old Man of Storr” rock, etc. We spent an hour relaxing and admiring the views in Glenshiel (Fairy Glen). As per legends, this is the point where our world and that of the fairies meet. It did feel magical and beautiful high up there (I had climbed up to the top of the rock described as the fairy fort).

Old Man of Storr (L), Kilt Rock (R)

Tip: If you wish to pick up travel souvenirs or gifts while in Skye, try out the shops in Portree. You can buy interesting stoneware, pottery, trinkets and jewellery, things incorporating the local products like heather, and so on.

 

After passing Uig and catching some stunning sea views, we stopped at an unmarked point surrounded by cliffs and cliffside paths. Our guide took us on a walk along a trail which was, in hindsight, probably not the best idea for me with my propensity for accidents. However, the views at the end of the trail did make up for the nervous moments.

We ended the day with a visit to the Kilt Rock and its waterfall. From here, on a clear day, you can see right across the sea to the islands of Raasay and Rona. We were told that we were very lucky to have this view, since there are very few days with such good visibility here.

 

I was really tired by the time we drove back to Stromeferry. But this day-trip to the Isle of Skye was probably the most beautiful part of my days in Scotland. Just thinking about it now makes me want to go back!

The next morning we left Stromeferry and drove to Inverness, crossing the Glenelg Scenic Way. I was finally getting to visit Nessie!! Loch Ness is a huge, and I mean huge, expanse of water –  25 miles long, 1 mile wide, over 700 feet deep. Interestingly it’s a mix of salt and fresh water – salt water stays at the bottom and fresh water on top, with some kind of geothermal layer acting as a barrier. Not sure of the technicalities but interesting fact anyway. I looked around for Nessie but maybe she was sleeping in, it was a Sunday morning after all! It was grey and foggy and rather cold so we took some pictures, I picked up some pebbles that I’d promised to get for my sister, and then we drove on.

Loch Ness on a grey day

I’d been lucky with the weather so far; in all my time in Scotland there hadn’t been a drop of rain and I’d seen some glorious sunny days. Today that changed and the day was dark, gloomy, and windy with bouts of rain every now and then. Apparently, this is more what Scottish weather is supposed to be.

From Inverness, we went on to visit the Culloden battle site. This was a flat patch of moor where the Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charles fought a final battle against a much larger English army under the Duke of Cumberland in the mid 18th century. It was literally a massacre, over in less than an hour’s time for the most part. No prisoners were to be taken, so all survivors including the women and children were killed. Once the battle was over, the Duke set two trained butchers on the field to ensure that none of the dead would be recognisable in any way. As a result, all that marks the dead of this battle is one big common cairn in the middle. There are also numerous small stones scattered around, each bearing the name of a clan that fought and died here. It was a very sad place.

Culloden moor

At Culloden, I took a coffee break because I found myself really affected by the whole story of the battle and the brave Highlanders. In time we all got back, and soon a short drive brought us to Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial site 3000 to 5000 years old. It is the best preserved Bronze Age burial site in Scotland. The cairns of stacked stones were constructed in such a way that on a solstice day the light of the sun would hit the inside wall of the cairn. Nobody knows exactly why the cairns were built, but it is supposed that they came up gradually over many years.

Clava Cairns

From Clava Cairns, we drove to a tiny little town called Aviemore, which is mostly a base for people going trekking/skiing/hiking in the mountains. Practically half the town was built around the one High Street. I will remember Aviemore for the awesome hot chocolate I had here!

Leaving Aviemore we went past Blair Atholl castle (the place after which the original Scottish owners had named what is now Wallwood Garden in Coonoor, India) to Pitlochry, a slightly bigger town. It was raining much too hard to look around though, and we continued in the driving rain towards Edinburgh.  At the Mile I said goodbye to the others and left for the bus station with two of the American girls from the group, as all three of us were taking the same night bus back to London.

Midnight saw me bringing in my birthday in a National Express Coach somewhere on the highway to London!!

Visiting the scenic Isle of Skye in Scotland covering places like Portree, Old Man of Storr, Glenshiel, Kilt Rock etc.

 

Two Traveling Texans

60 thoughts on “Travelogue: Day-Trip to the Isle of Skye

  1. It’s a breath-taking place indeed. One of my everlasting regrets is not being able to make time for the Isle of Sky during our UK trip a couple of years ago. We just had 2.5 days in Scotland, so we based ourselves out of Edinburgh, and did Loch Ness on one day, and Loch Lomond on the second.

    1. Neha

      Oh what a pity. But yes, 2.5 days would not have been enough for all of that. Perhaps you can plan for another trip sometime in the future, covering Glasgow and Skye.

  2. I’m planning a June trip to the Isle of Skye and this has me even more excited for that beautiful scenery. I also stayed in Aviemore as the base for a short road-trip a few days ago – I loved the landscapes and visiting Loch Ness! #WanderfulWednesday

  3. I’d really love to explore the Scottish Highlands ever since I read the series Outlander. I’m even beginning to re-read it at the moment and the story of Culloden is very tragic! But it would be interesting to see it for myself and not just in my imagination and on TV. Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  4. I feel the same way about Iceland! The beauty of the place cannot be described with words or captured on pictures. After visiting Iceland, I have a desire to road trip around Scotland. Seems like the country is full of gorgeous scenery. #WeekendWanderlust

    1. Neha

      Glad to know you found the post helpful. You will love Scotland. I haven’t been to Ireland yet but it’s on my list 😊

  5. How beautiful is Skye?! I’m ashamed to say I never made it there, despite living in England for over 30 years. It also makes me very ashamed to be British, hearing what the Duke of Cumberland did. Tragic.

    I think I need to go back to my home country and see it properly, basically!

    1. Neha

      Don’t be ashamed about not having visited yet. There are scores of amazing places in my country that I haven’t seen yet, because one tends to sometimes take one’s own backyard a little bit for granted. I hope you will enjoy discovering or rediscovering your home country 😊

  6. The Isle of Skye looks so peaceful and inviting. I love the sheer drop of the “Old Man of Storr” rock. Looks kind of scary though… It must be beautiful hiking in a place like this. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. Anisa

    The Isle of Skye is one of my favorite places too. We spent 3 days there and it wasn’t enough. I really want to go back. The natural beauty of Skye is just something you have to see for yourself. Thanks for #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  8. I did know you could do a day trip to Skye that us good to know. You crammed a lot into your Scottish visit, wow!!!
    Beautiful views on Skye, such a stunning part of the world. #weeklypostcard

    1. Neha

      Yes I suppose I did. It was a tour, so that’s how things go sometimes. I hope someday I can revisit and spend a more leisurely vacation just in Skye. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Thanks for sharing. Your trip to Isle of Skye look so picturesque. I love doing a side trip for a day to explore the other islands in the area.

    1. Neha

      Sorry I just found your comment in my spam folder. I hope you have an amazing trip in Scotland and write lots of posts about it 🙂

  10. Gorgeous photos. We went to Isle of Skye a few years ago and unfortunately did not have as nice weather as you! It was still such a beautiful place to be, rain or shine, though!

    1. Neha

      Thank you Sarah. Sorry to hear that you had bad weather during your visit, but yeah I agree, it’s a beautiful place in just about any weather.

    1. Neha

      If your husband enjoys history then apart from Culloden also add Bannockburn to your list, it’s where Robert the Bruce fought the British. There’s a big statue of him up there too.

  11. I hope to visit Scotland someday, as my ancestors are there, the photos look absolutely magical. Did you have a book tour that was taking you from town to town? Or was there just a bus station at all those places so you could explore at your own pace?

    1. Neha

      You’re lucky to be descended from such a magical place! I booked a backpacker mini-bus tour of 2 nights from Edinburgh, but you can also just hire a car and drive yourself around.

  12. Scotland is high on my UK bucket list and I agree with you I’m sure Isle of Skye has to one of the prettiest places! I love those high cliffs and the famous rapidly changing Scottish weather. Thanks for the insipiration.

    1. Neha

      Ah you’re welcome. I was reliving my trip as I wrote about it 🙂
      Hope you get to cross this one off your bucket list soon!

  13. The Isle of Skye is a place i’d love to go to this year. Preferably in the summer for some hiking but I think its a beautiful place all year round really.

    1. Neha

      I imagine it could be rather cold and windy in winter but still very beautiful. I hope you are able to plan your visit for summer to get the most out of the lovely long days 🙂

    1. Neha

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, with all that amazing scenery all around, I can well imagine it. I must go back. Thanks for stopping by!

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