Several things were noteworthy about the Isle of Skye:
- It was hillier and more scenic than I expected.
- The number of foreign tourists in rented cars and motorhomes was surprisingly high.
- The condition of many of the roads was the worst I have ever driven on, anywhere in Western Europe.
- Despite it being peak tourist season (mid-July), most businesses were still closed on Sundays. In the main town, Portree, almost everything was closed. This was despite the large numbers of visitors who were milling around the town, looking in shop windows and trying locked cafe doors (really). These people were just itching to be allowed to spend some money. The one cafe that was open was packed. Surely the residents of Skye aren’t all such devout Christians that no one can be found to open up on a Sunday and make some money?
That aside, here are a few memorable highlights of our exploration of the island.
Like something from a children’s book, Fairy Glen is made up of miniature pointed hills, rocky outcrops and even a tiny lake. Access is by a narrow winding single-track road and isn’t recommended for larger motorhomes but if you aren’t too large, then definitely take a look:
Continue driving down the minor road beyond Dunvegan Castle and you will (eventually) come to the parking area for the Coral Beaches. From the car park it’s about a mile’s walk to two beaches made up entirely of dead coral – or “bleached exo-skeletons of coralline algae known as maerl”, as Lonely Planet describes it.
The beaches are a strange anomaly – all the others nearby are bog-standard shingle – and really are made up of dead coral, not sand or stone:
Well worth a trip – although access and parking isn’t ideal for larger motorhomes.
Visiting The Outer Hebrides – Or Not!
The next stage of our trip was going to be a series of ferries to the Outer Hebrides, starting from the Skye port of Uig.
Up until this point, our strategy of not booking a single ferry in advance had worked well for us. However, on Skye, our luck ran out! A combination of one broken-down ferry, cancellations due to gales the previous week and the mid-July tourist season meant that we would have had to wait four days for the next ferry. This was time we didn’t have, so we abandoned the Outer Hebrides and will return to visit them at some point in the future.