Along with all of the other Scottish Islands, Skye was on my list as I'd always dreamt of exploring more of what's on my doorstep rather than jumping on a plane every month or so. After all, there's an amazing array of scenery within a few hours drive of Glasgow, so what better way to explore the motherland than in short weekend bursts. That's the way to do it I think.
And there's also part of me that thinks when you've seen one hill you've seen them all but I should really refrain from saying that...
On the back of completing the NC500 I decided to take a detour to Skye instead of heading home. As I was already in the area after leaving Applecross, I checked the maps app on my phone and lo and behold, it was less that 90 mins away. A perfect excuse if ever there was one. Another reason is my baby niece is called Skye and I wanted to send her a postcard "To Skye, From Skye". I send her a postcard from everywhere I go...so she's building a fair collection these days.
Heading to Skye I spotted signs to the Eilean Donan Castle. Another site to see that's always been on my list. A short detour and there we were. Parked up and bought a ticket to go around inside the castle and explore all the nooks and crannys.
It really is just like the iconic postcard and online images I've seen. It's pretty magical and rather grand standing out there on the water where three sea lochs meet. If you're in the area it's well worth a visit.
Staying in Skye
As always, I'm never one for planning or booking much in advance and this time was no different. Heading to Skye I looked online to see what hotel options were available and came across The Bosville Hotel. A contemporary, boutique style hotel with views over Portree Harbour and most importantly, a really nice bar and bistro attached. You know how I like my food. And comfort. It was nice to have a bit of luxury after the limited choices on the NC500. There wasn't a lot of luxury on the way round.
The rooms were spacious, really comfortable and decorated with really nice handmade pieces from local Scottish craft makers. The throws and cushions are from Skye Weavers and the coffee cups from Lenz Ceramics. All available to buy so you can go seek out the makers and take some home with you. Any excuse eh?
Dulce & Brose...
...means seaweed and oatcakes, and is the name of the restaurant attached to the hotel. The most important part (after bed size and comfort) for me is the food. It was delicious! Hand dived scallops on the menu makes it seem like they just went out and captured them while you waited. The seaweed butter for the bread was really tasty, the duck even tastier and now my mouth's watering at the thought...and make sure you don't miss out on breakfast! It's a travesty if you do.
What To See
Having arrived mid afternoon and when you don't have long in a place you need to choose wisely. I like to take in a wander around the town, check out the local shops and discover true gems...like being unable to resist buying a ukulele for my baby niece. I know she's not yet one but I'm that pushy aunt and buy all things musical for her. The piano can wait. For now.
Before leaving the next day we decided to go check out the Old Man of Storr. Only a 20 minute drive from the hotel, we planned to climb it and take in the most famous walk on Skye, but the weather made short of that. The old Man of Storr will be conquered another day. Preferably a non rainy one. So, after admiring it from afar, at a few angles in the car, we headed in search of the Fairy Pools.
I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed by them and they were nothing like the postcards. However it was a nice drive and walk to get to them and I'm told it's best to go after it's been raining. There's more water in the falls and this makes it more magical. Apparently. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear as the tourists we came across had heels on. I'm not sure what they were expecting either.
Had I been expecting to see actual fairies? Who knows...maybe a little sparkle of something would have made my day. I'll be back in Skye to sample some more of the island, climb up the old man and dip my toes in amongst the fairies.
And I hear there's some even lovelier food on there. Any recommendations? You know just to send me them.