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Day 11: Skye

When I checked the forecast for today before going to bed last night, the weather today was supposed to be a mixture of clouds and light rain. But when we opened the curtains this morning, the world seemed to look a bit brighter than we had expected. Overnight, the weather forecast had changed so that it was now predicted to be dry and cloudy for the majority of the day, with rain only after 4pm.

After the past few days of rain, we wanted to make the most of any small improvement in the weather so we made a prompt start to the day after breakfast. We'd really enjoyed the views as we'd been walking along the small road outside the cottage last night, but as we started driving down the road again this morning we realised that yesterday we'd actually been missing a key part of the view.


We definitely couldn't see those mountains yesterday!


The cloud had really lifted this morning and everywhere we went the views were clearer than yesterday.


There wasn't a lot of wind for a change and the sea looked really calm too. It would probably have been a great day to take a ferry xD 


We were driving towards the Trotternish peninsula, which is the northernmost peninsula of the Isle of Skye.


This is where some of the island's most dramatic scenery is located, and it's the part of Skye which everyone wants to visit when they come here.


There's a main road which forms a loop around the peninsula and my impression is that a lot of people drive it in an anti-clockwise direction, which is probably the most natural way to go if you're starting from the island's capital Portree as several of the most popular sites are quite close to Portree on the eastern side of the peninsula. We decided to drive around it clockwise, which worked better from the direction we were coming from.


It also had the added bonus that we were more likely to be able to park at the first attraction on our list: The Fairy Glen. Everything I'd read about this online indicated that parking was severely limited here and the official Skye website recommended parking in the nearby town of Uig. That would have been a hilly walk of several miles though, so given that it was still quite early in the day we decided to try our luck with getting one of the closer parking spaces. Our luck was in and Tim just managed to squeeze us into a space :) 

As soon as we got out of the car, we could see that we were in an unusual landscape.


The glen, which is officially called Glen Uig, is full of these strange bumpy little hills.


I don't think there is a specific legend about fairies here. I think the location has just become known as "The Fairy Glen" because it looks so otherworldly.


It certainly doesn't look like anywhere we've ever been before.


A steep path led up from the road, taking us into the centre of the glen.


The great thing about being here comparatively early was that we didn't have to share the place with many other people.


From the centre of the glen, lots of little paths led upwards over the bumpy hills.


The glen is only a small place, but it's really beautiful.


The big rocky hill in the centre is known as Castle Ewan, which seems like a strange name. 


Some people climbed to the top of it, but we didn't fancy that!


Instead we admired the views and then, as it began to get a bit busier, walked back down to the car park.


There was actually a great view of a waterfall from the car park itself.


Leaving the glen behind, we drove back downhill towards Uig. This is the village that we'll be catching the ferry to the Outer Hebrides from tomorrow.


Our next destination required driving slightly north and then inland, following a road signposted towards the Quiraing.


The Quiraing is another of Skye's really unique landscapes.


The unusual shape of the countryside here was apparently formed by a series of landslips.


This is another place which is firmly on the tourist trail and the single track road we were following led to a huge parking area, full of cars and motorhomes. Once we started walking though, it was pretty easy to lose people :) 


There is a hike of several hours you can do which leads right up to and around the rocks here.


We didn't want to do the whole thing, but it was fun to follow the path for a while and enjoy the unusual views.


It wasn't just the views of the mountains which were impressive....


...the views out to sea were pretty good too :)  


We probably walked for 15 minutes or so, after which the path got increasingly steep and narrow so we decided to turn back.


The views walking back were just as good.


Driving back down the road to continue our route around the peninsula was very scenic too.


Our next stop was a place called Kilt Rock. This viewpoint is famous for having a rock which (apparently!) looks like a kilt, plus a waterfall called Mealt Falls which pours over the side of it.


The waterfall was pretty, but I'm struggling to see how the rock resembles a kilt xD 


Not to be confused with Mealt Falls, a little further down the road is a viewpoint called Lealt Falls.


There's a viewing platform here which sticks out over a gorge.


The waterfall was pretty and there were also some good sea views.


Our final planned stop for the day was a few miles further down the road: the Old Man of Storr.


There was a huge parking area here and construction work underway to make it even bigger. Storr is one of the most visited places on Skye because it's starred in various films.


As you can see from the photos, the clouds were starting to descend again at this point in preparation for the promised late afternoon rain. The views out to sea were still quite clear though.


There is a walk of several kilometres which leads all the way up to the famous rocks.


It led quite steeply uphill though and we decided not to follow it, because it looked probable that before we got to the top, all the rocks would be covered in mist anyway. Instead we followed a lower level path for a while which gave us some great views of the surrounding area...


...as well as up towards the rocks.


By the time we turned around to walk back to the car, they were indeed disappearing into the mist.

Itinerary for the day completed, we drove back towards Portree to pick up more supplies from the local Co-op. On the way back from there, we drove through the village of Sligachan again where yesterday we'd taken photos of the old bridge.


The low cloud hadn't reached here yet and the change in the view from yesterday was amazing. 


We could see lots more mountains which hadn't been visible at all yesterday :)


It was a nice end to what has been a really fun day on Skye. I'm so glad we got one day that wasn't completely wet :) 

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