Tag Archives: Portree Skye

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye, Scotland

September 2017

Driving down from Plock Viewpoint, we proceeded to cross the Skye Bridge. Since October 1995, ferry services from Kyle of Lochalsh (on the mainland) to Kyleakin (on the Isle) ceased. The Isle of Skye is then connected to the mainland by a road bridge. Traffic instead began to use the new Skye Bridge which forms part of the A87. The bridge is a faster and convenient way to cross the narrow strait. Ferry services to Skye are still available from Mallaig to Armadale and Glenelg to Kylerhea.

Kyleakin, Isle of Skye

Skye Bridge seen from Kyleakin.

After crossing the Skye Bridge, take the first left at the first roundabout to head to the village of Kyleakin for a quick drive through. It would not take you more than 10 minutes to do so. Kyleakin was once the gateway to Skye until the opening of the Skye Bridge. It has a small charming harbour overlooking Caisteal Maol, a ruined fortress. Not much is left of the fortress today as parts of the ruin collapsed in 1949 and then again in 1989. There are hotels, hostels and restaurants in Kyleakin.

Kyleakin, Isle of Skye

Caisteal Maol in the background standing protectively over the harbour.

Kyleakin, Isle of Skye

Resident’s dwelling across the harbour/town.

After a 25 mile, 40 minutes drive on the main road heading to Portree from Kyleakin, you’ll drive across the ‘new’ Sligachan bridge. You’ll be able to see the ‘old’ bridge besides it. Nothing historical about these two bridges, except photographing them is spectacular. On a good day like we’ve had, the Black Cullins hills will be clear to see in the background. There is a walking path from the old bridge running alongside River Sligachan.

Sligachan, Isle of Skye

Sligachan Old Bridge in the foreground with the new in the background.

Sligachan, Isle of Skye

Sligachan new bridge that’s currently in use.

Sligachan, Isle of Skye

River Sligachan with beautiful views of the Cullins hills. The walking path is on the other side of the river bank.

About 10 miles from the bridge, a slow 20 minutes drive, takes us to Grenitote B&B in Portree where we will be staying for two nights. Accommodations are difficult to get if you do not book in advance and are rather expansive in Portree town vicinity. Our B&B is a 2-storey semi-detached bungalow. Rooms are located on the first floor and are moderate in size. Free strong and stable wi-fi is provided. The town centre is a 10 minutes walk away and a co-op run grocery store will be the first you’ll encounter.

Grenitote B&B, Portree

Grenitote B&B, Portree. Located just off the town centre in a quiet residential area.

Grenitote B&B, Portree

The lobby of Grenitote.

Grenitote B&B, Portree

Our bedroom with a splash of pink motifs.

Grenitote B&B, Portree

Flat CTV and free wi-fi provided.

Grenitote B&B, Portree

The neighbourhood through the window. Large heater in the room.

Grenitote B&B, Portree

Small, cozy breakfast room. Will serve early if you notify in advance.

With an hour of daylight to spare, we headed to Portree Sailing Club for a view of Portree town. We are sure not many visitors ended up at this spot where you’ll see a different perspective to the town. Thereafter, we proceeded into town and spend sometime strolling around the harbour front and eventually up to Bosville Terrace for that classic shot of Portree town before heading back to our B&B for the night.

Portree, Isle of Skye

Portree harbour int he distance viewed from Portree Sailing Club.

Portree, Isle of Skye

The colorful buildings of Portree from a rarely photographed spot.

Portree, Isle of Skye

Hotels and restaurants lining up the habour front on Quay street.

Isle of Skye

Portree harbour looking upwards to Bosville Terrace.

Portree, Isle of Skye

That classic photo of  Portree harbour from Bosville Terrace.

For the start of a fresh day in Skye, we were greeted in the morning with low hanging dark clouds threatening to ruin our day out. Weather forecast rain only in the late afternoon. Having no choice, we set out to explore the island as we will be returning to Edinburgh the next day.

Isle of Skye

The sun breaking through the low overhanging dark clouds.

Our first stop is Old Man of Storr. It is a large pinnacle of rock that stands high on the Trotternish ridge and can be seen for miles around. Old Man of Storr is a favorite hiking destination. A car park is located at the foot of the ridge right by the main road 7 miles from Portree.

Old Man of Stor, Isle of Skye

Old Man of Storr in the distance. It’s that group of pinnacles to the right albeit it looks small in the distance.

Driving onward from Old Man of Storr for another 8 miles with an unexpected clearing of the weather, our next stop will be at Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls Viewpoint. You’ll find a large car park nearby the waterfall. The Kilt Rock is a 90 meter rock formation, which looks similar to a pleated kilt. The other point of interest is the Mealt waterfall, which is fed from the nearby freshwater lake, Mealt Loch, which then free-fall off the cliff for 55 metres into the Sound of Raasay below.

Isle of Skye

Spot along the route from Old Man of Storr to Mealt Fall viewpoint.

Isle of Skye

Another spot along the same route.

Kilt Rock, Isle of Skye

Kilt Rock, more distinguished  in the background & Mealt Falls with a rainbow formation at the bottom seen from the viewpoint.

Kilt Road & Mealt Waterfall.

Aerial view of the Mealt Waterfall falling off from the Kilt Rock. Credit : theskyeguide.com

Next on our list is a visit to Garrafad 3½ miles away. This is another location visitors rarely visits due to it being off the main road and isn’t promoted. In-fact, if you google for it, you are unlikely to get much information. However, the views of the beach is picture postcard and the cliffs at Garrafad is something to adore.

Garrafad, Isle of Skye

Garrafad beach, overlooking the Quiraing in the distance.

Garrafad, Isle of Syke.

The cliffs of Garrafad.

Garrafad, Isle of Skye

The rocky side of Garrafad beach. In the distance, you’ll be looking towards the Atlantic Ocean.

From the coast, we now start an uphill drive to the Quiraing mountains. This will be a short 3½ mile drive for which we consider has the best stunning views for all of Skye. There is a large parking area just after the end of your uphill drive. From this location, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the mountains as well as towards the sea. So beautiful are the scenery, we spend quite a while here before driving away with a heavy heart.

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The start of the uphill drive towards Quiraing.

Quiraing

Mountain sheep by the roadside.

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The road leading up to Quiraing. Not a difficult drive but the road tends to be narrow at some points.

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The majestic mountains that surrounds and dwarfs you. It is an easy gradual walk for you to explore the mountain. Your sport shoes will suffice.

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Tranquility of the Quiraing. Visitors roaming around the plateau.

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Soaking in the tranquility of the environment.

The last attraction for the day is a visit to Fairy Glen in Uig. It is located in the hills above the town of Uig and is a lesser-known attraction on the Isle of Skye. The drive of 8½ miles from Quiraing entails driving from the East to the West side of the Isle of Skye. It will take about 30 minutes and most of the road is on single track just like the one going into Glen Etive, Glencoe. Here too, you’ll find plenty of passing places to allow overtaking or on-coming vehicle to pass or to take photographs. You will start your descend towards the town of Uig before proceeding to Fairy Glen.

Uig, Isle of Skye

View towards Uig town from uphill.

Please be aware the road leading to Fairy Glen prohibits buses from entering as it is narrow and winding on some parts. Thus, you will never have a chance to get to Fairy Glen except if you drive or get on a tour that uses smaller vehicle like a coaster. This off the beaten path spot stands out from the surrounding farmland. You can hike up the hill or just take photos of the beautiful surroundings.

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

A pond nearby the hill.

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

The cone-shaped hill where you can hike up following a walking trail.

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

A bench for you to relax and admire the beauty of Fairy Glen.

We completed our visit to all our list of attractions by early afternoon and headed back to our B&B. A while later, true to the weather forecast, it rained till late evening. What else better to do than to cuddle up in bed with the heater running. Tomorrow we’ll return to Edinburgh.

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