On a rocky outcrop on the shore of Loch Dunvegan lies Dunvegan Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland. It is open to visitors daily from 10am until 5.30pm, and adult tickets to both the castle and its gardens are £11, students and seniors £9 and children £8. There are many pieces of fine art and clan treasures including the Fairy Flag which can be viewed around the castle. It is steeped in history and clan mystery so tours of Dunvegan Castle are a must for visitors to Skye. One of the best views of the Castle is from out to sea (imagine how imposing it looked to sailing invaders) so think about booking a boat tour of the area, you may even spot some seals.
A landslip on the eastern face of Meall Na Suiramach, the Quiraing is an enchanting and beautiful geological area where visitors can walk along a mix of steep heather slopes and good paths. The walk passes through some of the most spectacular landscapes in all of Scotland. There are fantastic geological formations such as the Prison and the Needle, as well as beautiful views over the islands of Raasay and Rona. The total distance of the walk is 6.8 kilometres and the average time is two hours, so walking boots over stilettos are greatly advised.
An Islet just off the coast of the Isle of Skye, Mingay is a special area of conservation due to it being a breeding ground for the common seal. To the south, it looks out at Beinn Bhreac, a mountain on Skye, and to the south-east is Sgeir nam Biast, a rocky beach where seals can be seen. This is a great place to go for nature lovers and those who enjoy seeing animals in their natural habitat.
Neist Point is located on the western coast of Skye. It is a viewpoint, and the lighthouse has been standing there since 1909. This is a great place for walkers, with rolling hills and the view of the sea over the cliff. Various sea creatures can be seen from the point, including dolphins, whales, basking sharks and porpoises. Different species of birds can also be seen, such as gannets, black guillemots, razorbills and European shags. The walk is classified as “short” taking only 45 minutes and “medium” in difficulty. The path takes you close to the cliff edge, so it is important to be aware of weather conditions before beginning your walk.
There are many fantastic boat trips available on the Isle of Skye catered to anything you might wish to view. From breath-taking scenery to wildlife such as whales, sea eagles or seals. Misty Isle Boat Trips is a favourite of these for tourists, with a five-star Tripadvisor rating. The crew are friendly and love to share information on the history of the island, as well as appreciating the beautiful wildlife. Bella Jane Boat Trips & AquaXplore is also very highly rated. Visitors on these boat trips are certain to have a fantastic time.
Misty Isle Boat Trips, Elgol 01471 866288
Bella Jane Boat Trips & AquaXplore, Elgol Pier 01471 866244
The Old Man of Storr
The Trotternish Peninsula is an area of breathtaking scenery, where visitors could easily spend half a day hiking and taking in the views as the longest walk through the peninsula is 28 kilometres long. The Storr is a rocky hill in the Trotternish peninsula on the Isle of Skye. Its steep, rocky eastern face overlooks the Sound of Raasay, and its western side is gently sloped and grassy. The area directly in front of the cliffs is called the Sanctuary and has a number of oddly shaped rocks as a result of ancient landslips. One of these rocks is the Old Man of Storr, a huge pinnacle of rock 46 metres high.
Isle of Skye’s Fairy Glen makes visitors feel like they have just stepped into a different world as the landscape drastically changes. It is a unique, beautiful landscape with rich green mosses and grasses covering almost everything. The landscape was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago as well as an early 19th-century design. The glen has sandstone outcrops, waterfalls and clear water pools. The Fairy Glen is one of the Isle of Skye’s lesser known landscapes, and so is a hidden treasure to visitors. Casting your eye over the sparkling, hidden pools and dozens of tiny hillocks caked in moss, it is easy to imagine you just missed a pair of tiny wings dash in-between mossy mounds.
Colbost Croft Museum
The main attraction being a small traditional croft house, Colbost Croft Museum explores the lives of 19th-century Skye-dwellers. The croft house has two main rooms, a living room/ kitchen and a bedroom, and visitors get the sense that the central hearth would keep the occupants warm even in the midst of winter. Visitors can also view a variety of agricultural implements which are scattered around the surrounding fields, as well as an outhouse containing an illegal still, which would have been used for distilling alcohol.
Skye Silver, The Old School 01470 521296
Claigan Coral Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches on Skye, Claigan Coral Beach’s white sands and clear blue waters create a really Mediterranean and relaxing atmosphere. Visitors can forage for algae pieces and different types of seaweed on the beach, and there are cows roaming free adjacent to the sands. It is best to visit the beach early in the morning (when rabbits can be seen playing in the sand) or in the evening to watch the sunset. This is when the beach is most peaceful and at the pinnacle of its beauty.
Staffin Museum and Dinosaur Prints at Staffin
On the beach at An Corran in Staffin, visitors can find footprints left by herbivorous dinosaurs around 165 million years ago, before the last ice age. The footprints are most easily found after heavy rain or during winter, as in summer or during high tide they can be covered by the sand or water. It is a great adventure to search for the footprints. Afterwards, why not visit the Staffin Museum, where visitors can find out more about the dinosaurs as well as viewing various other exhibitions. Entry is only £2 and all money funds the museum, which is run by Dugald Ross, the man who first found the footprints on the beach.
6 Ellishadder, Staffin 01470 562 321