Our time in Scotland was full of great hikes, and this was especially true on Isle of Skye. We spent 3 nights at a B&B close to Portree, which gave us plenty of time to explore the island’s most interesting spots. Everyone had told us Skye was really nice, and it lived up to all the hype. Amanda found a bunch of nice hikes on the very useful and detailed site, Walk Highlands. Our first hike was to the Neist Point Lighthouse, located at the western-most spot on the island. The abandoned lighthouse was built in 1909 and once also served as a hotel. The real attractions here are the cliffs and coastline.
That night, we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Portree Hotel, and ate our first haggis, which contains sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs). Eating it in fried bon bon form is probably a gentler introduction than having it straight, as is traditional.
The next morning, we hiked the Quiraing circuit, which is supposed to be a 4.5 mile loop (if you don’t get lost). This was probably the most epic hike we did on Skye, due to its dramatic cliffs and peaks. Wife wasn’t too amused when I suggested we take the steep, long trail back to the car, which we soon lost track of and had to slog through the bog (ha!) to find our way. I usually don’t think a hike is fun unless I spend a portion of it wondering if I’ll make it out alive, so this was fine by me. You can’t really get lost on Skye with all the roads and farms, and we were able to follow a fence line down to the trail.
That night, we ate some surprising good pizza in Portree at a place called L’incontro, which reminded us of our many yummy meals in Italy back in February/March.
On our third day, we hiked out to Coral Beach, an easy 2-mile round trip with beautiful views of Loch Dunvegan. We were lucky enough to spot some harbor seals in the water, though my zoom didn’t really capture them.
This short hike left us with some time to see the Fairy Glen with its grassy, cone-shaped hills. No fairies to report, unfortunately. On the drive over there we did spot some highland cattle (or Heilan Coo in Scottish Gaelic).
After checking out of our B&B the next morning, we squeezed in our final hike on Skye at the Fairy Pools and Coire na Creiche. This 5-mile triangular hike passes by the popular pools and falls, as well as the place where the last battle between MacDonalds and the Macleods was fought.
Supposedly there was snow in Skye and around Scotland 2 weeks before we arrived, which given the weather we had was unbelievable. Everyone we spoke to kept telling us how abnormally awesome and warm the weather was, which we definitely took advantage of on Skye with 4 days of great hiking. Next up, we travel to Inverness and Cairngorms National Park!