Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scotland: Isle of Sky Days 2-5 . . . .

In the next few remaining days I will be exploring the other regions of the Isle. First, I'll travel on the A850 heading toward the western part of the Isle. On my way, I will stop by a pretty village called Edinbane. I will take the B886 road which will branch off past the Old Fairy Bridge and head further north.

The peninsula is narrow, no more than a few miles separate east coast from west at its widest point, and it reaches less than 8 miles in length. Waternish consists of mostly rocky shoreline, with high ground down a central ridge of land. On that high ground are numerous reminders of the area’s rich heritage, with several hut circles and at least two Iron Age brochs.

"At the foot of the Waternish peninsula, where the B886 branches north from the A850, lies an abandoned bridge beside the modern road. This is the Fairy Bridge, and like many places on Skye, the Fairy Bridge has a story associated with it; in this case the bridge is said to mark the place where a fairy wife of a MacLeod chief said her final farewell to her husband before she left him to live amongst her own people. The story goes that the chief of the MacLeod’s wanted to marry a Fairie princess. The king of the Faeries, Oberon, agreed to the match, but only on condition that after a year and a day had lapsed the princess must return to her own people. So the marriage took place, and a son was born of the union, but after the allotted year and day was over, the princess had no choice but to return to the Land of Faerie. She parted from her husband and child at the Fairy Bridge. But the story does not end there; one day the infant son began to cry, as children do. The Faerie princess, upon hearing her child’s cry, returned from the Land of Faerie and comforted him, wrapping the child in a Faerie shawl. This shawl was preserved; it is the famed Faerie Flag of the MacLeod clan, which can be seen today at Dunvegan Castle." ~ British Express

Next I will travel south toward Dunvegan Castle, one of Skye's most famous building and most popular tourist attraction.

"Dunvegan Castle has been the home of the MacLeod clan for 800 years. The castle is built on a rocky spur of land overlooking Loch Dunvegan, where a colony of seals can frequently be found sunning themselves on the rocks. The earliest buildings here date to the 9th century, but much of the older parts of the castle are 12th century, making it the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland. The castle is set within an attractive formal garden area, originally laid out in the 18th century. The gardens now include a water garden and walled garden, with enjoyable wooded walks to the edge of the loch." ~ British Express

If time permits, also on my list are: views of MacLeod’s Tables, the Coral Beach, ruined church of Trumpan and Neist Point, where I will find an early 20th century lighthouse is now an unusual hotel with spectacular views to the Outer Hebrides.

Next Day of exploration I will head south to the region of Minginish. Here I will see the Cuillin Hills which is among the most spectacular peaks in Scotland. "There are two Cuillin ranges, each with a distinct character. The Red Cuillins are formed of red granite, and rounded and gentle in appearance. The Black Cuillins, by contrast, are jagged, dark peaks, composed of Tertiary volcanic rock." ~ British Express

First I'll travel south from Portee on the A87 then at the town of Slgachan I will take the A863, then take the small road to Glen Brittle Forest where I will get some great views of the Black Cullins. From Glen Brittle I will take the right fork to follow the course of Allt Coir a' Mhadaidh to the magical Fairy Pools.

"The Fairy Pools are a series of clear, cold pools and waterfalls formed as Allt Coir' a' Mhadaidh tumbles down from the foothills of the Black Cuillins into Glen Brittle. Park at the Forestry car park and follow the signposted path opposite the parking area. To reach the pools take the right fork on the path after a hundred yards or so, and follow the trail for about 10 minutes to where the ground rises in a small plateau. The location of the Pools beneath the looming bulk of the Cuillins is wonderful, and the drama of the waterfalls and the sinuous beauty of the rock formations carved by the falling water give the Fairy Pools a magical feel." ~ British Express

Next I will travel toward the town of Carbost where I will take a tour at the Talisker Distillery. I might need a shot of a sweet and smokey Scotch Whiskey right about now! :) After reading one of Sandra's comments (thanks so much Sandra) I did a bit of research and found this Distillery. I e-mailed them and they said that they are open Monday-Friday with tour times at 10.30am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm & 3.30pm. Maybe I shall be there in time for the last tour.

And for my final exploration day, I plan to head South again on the A87 toward Bradford and Sleat. Broadford is the second largest town on Skye and will offer great views of the Red Cullins. I will head further south toward the Strathaird Peninsula to a small fishing village called Elgol. From here I will have more spectacular views of the Cullin Hills.

And if time permits I will hopefully get to see Prince Charlie's Cave, where Bonnie Prince Charlie hid from the English, the ruined church at Cill Chriosd, the ruins of Castle Moll in Kyleakin harbour and maybe the Kylerhea Otter Sanctuary.

After 5 wonderful days of exploring this beautiful Island I will sadly leave Skye by way of the Skye Bridge from the Kyle of Lochanish. From there I will drive back to Fort William (stopping to see the Eilean Donan Castle) where I will catch a train the next morning to Edinburgh.

Next up, my plans in Glasgow (my first stop in Scotland) and a city some consider as one of the most beautiful in all of Europe, Edinburgh (and my final destination in Scotland). . .


  1. Kathy, this sounds like a wonderful plan! I hope you see a fairie (I do love the fairie myths!) and enjoy the distillery tour!

  2. I love the fairie princess story!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.