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Isle of Skye Road Trip



Friday

We started our road trip up to Skye with a four hour trip to the outskirts of Glasgow. The journey is nearly eight hours in total from our house so we were relieved to have had the foresight to book a room for a night at MacDonald Crutherland House. We did this through booking.com which made it quite affordable. We also managed to get a cheeky breakfast included with the price. It cost us around £76 which seemed reasonable for a nice hotel. I’ve been to some Travelodges that can get close to that price! I was dead chuffed as it included a cooked breakfast and Rufus could stay too; win win.


Tip – I would book breakfast in advance or else they charge you £18 per person on arrival.




Saturday

After a painful (but beautiful) four hours we finally crossed the bridge into Skye. We were debating whether to get the ferry but with waiting times and delays it seemed to not make much more sense to get the ferry than to drive. We wouldn’t have saved much in the long run so we thought we would plough on.


We arrived at our croft for the week, Dark Skye Cottage. It is a small croft about 14 minutes from the bridge overlooking the sea and the impressive mountain range Scotland has to offer. Location wise most of the things that people like to see are at the top end of Skye. Most days we would drive an hour north to reach some of these things, but the scenery is so spectacular you don’t mind. We also quite liked being able to come away from the tourist epicentres and relax in a quieter location.


Note: There isn’t an abundance of supermarkets on Skye. If you plan well in advance you may be able to get an ASDA delivery there but other than that it is small shops and Co-ops. Luckily for us there is a large Co-op just a 3 minute drive from the cottage.


Sunday


Dunvegan castle - a bit of a must see amongst tourists but in all honesty it wasn’t my favourite castle. Don’t get me wrong it is really impressive, but I preferred the less touristy ones where they were standing on an island on their own looking a little eerie. Eileen Donan castle is interesting and looks enchanting with the mountainous backdrop. I’d pop that on my must see list for sure.


Coral Beach – this gets SUPER busy. You need to go early as parking is limited and the one way road down there gets quite hectic. The beach is as it seems on the photos. I could see it in the distance with it’s glowing white sands. Annoyingly we left it until the middle of the afternoon so didn’t get to step foot on there in person. We weren’t too disheartened as there was a quiet cove nearby where you could wild swim and eat your lunch – without the crowds!


Portree – The capital of Skye. There are a few bars and shops to explore. If you want a gift shop or a little more hustle and bustle this is your place but it is still a very quiet place (other than the tourists). I wanted us to buy a sheepskin rug from SkyeSkyns so that’s why we ventured in. There is also a nice ice cream shop which gives complimentary doggy ice creams. Rufus naturally loved it.



Monday


Fairy Pools – TOP TIP – Get there early. We were parked up and swimming in these beautiful pools by 8:30am. There were seven cars in the car park when we arrived and the car park was nearly full when we left at 11am. I wasn’t sure if there were going to be overly hyped and not as good as the pictures suggest but we weren’t disappointed. We both said if we had longer this is the place we would go to again. Be prepared to scramble down the rocky sides to enter the best spots in the water. We found two stunning waterfall pools all to ourselves. And yes…the water really is that blue.


Local walk – In Broadford, the village where we were staying, there is a nice local walk along a disused railway line. It’s called the Marble Line and is definitely worth an evening stroll. Be prepared though, it is littered in sheep so keep your dog on the lead.



Tuesday


Fairy Glen – This place was brilliant. It really felt like the Shire in The Lord of The Rings without any scary dragons. It clearly gets popular but isn’t inundated with people. It is a really interesting walk around velvety green hills and has some cracking photo spots.


An Corran walk and beach to see dinosaur footprints - we did a circular walk to the beach where we saw dinosaur footprints engraved in the beach rocks. It was quite surreal to stand on the same rock as a dinosaur. Worth a visit even if you aren’t a Jurassic Park fan but make sure you visit when it is low tide or else you’ll only be looking out to sea.


Local mountain bike ride – The Cnoc trail is a very short and midge infested trail that gives you beautiful views of Skye bridge and the munros which surround it. Despite the midges, it was good fun before an evening meal out.



Wednesday


Old Man of Storr – A very popular walk which needs to be done early on without the crowds as this does get VERY busy. Not only is it not overly pleasant walking with people either side of you, it ruins a good picture seeing someone’s bright yellow anorak in the background. Definitely a good walk up to see and the photos are fantastic. To be honest the camera doesn’t quite do it justice.


Enchanted Loch swim

I’m not going to disclose where this is as a local mentioned it to someone else. Half the fun is trying to find it yourself so give it a google and see if you can find what I did. Take your cossie and have a hunt. Be prepared for some very cold water swimming even though it’s alluring blue seduces you into the lochs icy grasp.



Thursday


Quiraing – Another cracking walk with views all around. It shows you Skye’s stunning green mountains and attractive countryside. Take your camera and have it fully charged. Word of warning, the car park does get very busy and if you park in the wrong spots then the ticket man is fast to fill out a form and lump you with a fine.


Evening local run – Marble Line again.



Friday


Drive south


Loch Lomond – paddleboarding. We wanted to break up our journey south so Loch Lomond seemed a good opportunity to stretch the legs and walk along its banks before pumping up the board and having a paddle. The water was a little choppy but totally worth it.

Top Tip – pack a wetsuit.



Saturday


Drive south to Ae Forest for mountain biking – Quite possibly one of my favourite forests for mountain biking. It is quite simply stunning. I started on the red route and then realised that 15 miles was too far for Rufus so came off it about a third in and carried along on the blue which was a chilled 8 miles. The forest isn’t overly busy and you feel like you can just enjoy the stunning scenery it offers of southern Scotland.


Drive home.


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