For our full Scottish roadtrip itinerary, take a look at this post.
Out of all the places we visited on our recent trip to Scotland, the Isle of Skye was by far our favourite and the most magical. Joined now to the Scottish mainland by a bridge, the island still feels very separate and different, with its volcanic formation producing epic views and scenery.
Just a warning for anyone wanting to visit the island: Skye held the most concentrated amount of tourists we saw anywhere on our trip, and unless you visit the main attractions at unsociable hours, you are likely to never find yourself alone. There’s even been talk of Skye limiting the amount of tourists that visit the island at one time – make sure you check what the situation is before you travel.
Where to stay
We stayed in the most amazing pod that we found on Airbnb which gave us great views of the countryside and meant that we had a little bit of freedom and independence that you don’t always get in hotels and B&Bs. It had everything we needed for a cosy stay and we loved falling asleep to the sound of the rain or wind. It’s probably the closest I will ever come to camping, by which I mean it’s not like camping at all.
What to see
You really can’t visit the Isle of Skye without seeing the famous Old Man of Storr rock formation that looms over the north east of the island. It really is the most amazing sight – so weird and wild – and it’s by far the most popular tourist attraction with hoards of other people exploring the rocks as well. Get there for sunrise for the place to yourself, and don’t forget that it’s a steep hike up to the rocks themselves. We took a flask of tea and climbed up close by to get some pretty spectacular views on a gorgeous day.
The Fairy Pools is another increasingly busy and popular tourist spot, but boy oh boy is it worth it. Picture crystal-clear pools and waterfalls running below snow-topped mountains and then you’ll have some idea of how wonderful this place is. You have to pay to park at the local car park which was cash only, but the money goes towards protecting and conserving the surrounding area.
What was probably once a hidden gem but is now on everyone’s list, is the wonderfully weird Fairy Glen which is tucked away near the village of Uig. I’d found this place on Pinterest and was so glad that we dropped in. It’s the strangest place – like a miniature fairy village with its small green hills and stone circles. Again, aim for sunset or sunrise for the best views and to avoid the crowds of tourists!
Other things to do in Skye include fish and chips at pretty Portree, Dunvegan Castle and Gardens which we drove past but never stopped at and hiking the Quiraing for the more intrepid of visitors.
Where to eat and drink
I’m not going to lie, we had a lot of microwave meals in our little pod during this part of the trip, purely to save money during a long trip!
If you like whisky, or even if you don’t, a trip to the Talisker Distillery is a must-do during your stay on Skye. It was so interesting to find out how whisky is made – especially the peaty western Scottish whisky – and to learn about the history of the distillery on the island. Plus you’ll get bonus points when you bring back bottles for your Dad, even if you think the whisky tastes like fire when you try it.
There’s a cute coffee shop opposite the distillery in Carbost, and we had a delicious lunch in the quaint old pub down the road – The Old Inn. On one of our drives around the north of the island we stopped at the loveliest hotel – The Flodigarry Hotel – in the middle of nowhere for a much-needed coffee break and walk down to the seafront. To be honest I quite wished we were staying here but alas, our budget did not stretch that far.
Keep an eye out for the rest of my posts in the Scottish roadtrip series – I’ll be creating mini guides for some of the places we visited.