Before creating the InstaBritain Instagram account, there were many hidden gems in the country I did not know about. I mean, I knew the Isle of Skye existed, but I had no idea of the beauty that was sitting in the Inner Hebrides over 500 miles away.
I am pretty sure I had seen photos of the Isle of Skye before, I just had no idea it was in Scotland, or Britain even, I couldn’t comprehend a place so magical was there in my country. But it is, and a journey to Scotland would not be the same without included this magnificent island.
The Isle of Skye is the largest island in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, the landscape is dominated by dramatic mountain scenery, including the rugged Cuillin Mountains, up to the strange yet wonderful sight of the Quiraing in the north. The island itself has a long and interesting history dating back to the 7th Millennium BC, where it was home to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.
We were pretty lucky with the weather. The west coast of Scotland tends to be hit by rainy weather systems quite frequently, that’s what happens when you lay next to a huge body of water with not much in the way for thousands of miles! We checked into the Dunollie Hotel in southern Skye, a great stop to explore the island from, and headed straight out towards Portree to look for some dinner. Whilst the journey should only take thirty minutes, it took us well over an hour as the scenery is not to be missed. We stopped along the way (the island is very generous with it’s stopping points!) and snapped some photos, and generally just soaked up the beauty.
In Scotland, pictures speak 1,000 words, so instead of boring you with words, I thought it would be better to just show you how beautiful this part of the world is…
The next day we got up early and headed straight out, we knew we had a lot of ground to cover.
Our first stop was Fairy Pools, a stunning set of waterfalls at the foot of the Cuillin Mountains. What makes these waterfalls more special than others? The water is crystal clear and turquoise, even on a cloudy day. Imagine the Indian Ocean channelled into a stream and sent gushing down rock pools. Oh, it’s a bit colder too, so don’t fall in!
From here we drove to Neist Point, the most westerly part of Skye, it’s a slow and bumpy journey. This was probably my favourite view in Scotland, it was quiet, the views were breathtaking, and I felt I could have sat on the hillside for hours. If you are lucky you can spot whales, dolphins, porpoises, and even sharks!
We then made our way back to the main road, drove for a little while, and decided to take the back road up to the Quiraing. The Quiraing transports you into what is more like an alien world. This odd landscape was caused by a landslip many moons ago, and it is actually still moving today…
It might not look like a lot of driving but it was actually dinner time by the time we had finished. We headed down the road, past the famous Old Man of Storr, and off into Portree for some dinner!
On our final day in Skye, we decided to tackle the Old Man of Storr. ‘It’s quite a climb’ Alex said to me. He knows how much I hate climbing, we had a traumatic experience once walking up the bell tower in Strasbourg, I need to improve my cardio. Anyway, ‘it’ll be fine’ I thought! Okay so I don’t think everyone finds it as hard as I did, there were children running, I was overtaken by a heavily pregnant woman, and I spotted a couple of OAPs heading up to the top with their brand new trainers on. I really don’t know what my problem is, as soon as a bit of incline is thrown into a walk, that’s it, I’m done for.
However, I soldiered on, I had to get my Instagram shot, right? Some parts were hard, some not so much, I nearly got blown over by the wind a few times though. The views were totally worth it, and I gained a new found admiration for all the Scottish Instagrammers who seem to master this walk every other weekend!
And that was mostly it for our time in Skye. Storr completely took it out of us, we struggled back down the hill, ate a bag of biscuits in the car (we convinced ourselves we were starving due to the strenuous climb…) and headed to find lunch. After lunch it was flop and relax, something we hadn’t done much of the whole time we were away!