The Isle of Skye is truly enchanting and ever inspiring. Of all the places I’ve visited in my life thus far, the Isle of Skye wins for its expansive beauty – for every mile I traveled, I could barely keep my eyes on the road, because another area or another look, would grab my attention. I was more in awe, time and time again, through the three days that I toured the island, than I was in all of Ireland (and it’s maybe 1/10th of the size)!
I wanted to share my experience with you through my photography, because there really isn’t a better way without you visiting there yourself. So, without further ado, here’s my photo tour of Scotland’s Isle of Skye...
I left Glasgow and I toured the A82 through the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park regions, veering off in various directions to visit the likes of the Argyll Forest and the neat little town of Inveraray. For the night, I stopped in Oban, which is a fantastic little town and VERY worth a visit!
From Oban, I toured back east on the A85 to A82 north, which took me through the ‘official’ entrance of the Highlands, which yielded several gorgeous miles of raw, untouched landscape. As the A82 went forth, the landscape grew around me, becoming more and more moody and atmospheric, peaking as such in the region of Glencoe. Glencoe was by far one of the most (simply put) AWESOME places I’ve ever been. Somewhat nearly as awe-inspiring as the Alps, but in quite a different way – it felt eerie and oh, so moody to me.
After that I called it an early night, I crashed in Fort William, rising early, ready to take on a big day of driving and exploring. I continued on, via the A82 to A87 for miles and miles, where I found endlessly wonderful terrain – full of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, valleys, and rainbows.
The bridge from mainland Scotland to the island of Isle of Skye is a pretty amazing looking, as it arches into the sky, over the 500 or so meter gap above Loch Alsh. A little over 30 miles of the A87 sit between you and the most popular town (for tourists) on the island, Portree. It’s a nice stopping spot, sort of centralizing you on the island, as a lot of the main attractions are north of Portree and from the western and southern directions. It’s a nice little spot to stop, since it has all the necessities you might need – for hiking, camping, climbing, or for simple relaxation (as it’s loaded with B&Bs). The trip to Portree from the Skye Bridge is as pretty as can be, with various mountainous scenes, river and lake valleys, and other varied raw and wild landscapes.
In Portree the A87 splits, so I decided to take the eastern route around to The Storr, a mountainous region jutting high above sea level. Driving north on the A855, I stopped at the Old Man of Storr hiking point, where I climbed through some rain and waded through massive mud pits, until I reached the summit right when the weather cleared and a beautiful part misty, after-rain scene met my eyes – what a relief that was. After descending The Storr, I hopped back in my car and before I knew it, I was stopping at another natural tourist attraction, the Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls area. The air was chilly and the powerful mist coming off of the waterfall was like ice shards stinging my eyes and face.
Soon after the waterfalls, I was met with a sign bearing the words The Quiraing (pronounced Ker-rang), so I turned off and ended up finding one of the most amazing areas of the Isle of Skye. The Quiraing is a landslip region, raw and mountainous, and ever so beautiful. Following the backroads of the Quiraing for about five to six miles takes you out to the other side of the peninsula, near the town of Uig, where the sun was setting quite beautifully.
I ended my day there, as I was seriously exhausted from all of the driving and hiking. My B&B hosts guided me to a few regions that I ‘really should see,’ and so I did just that. I was off to the town of Dunevgan on the west side of the Isle of Skye, where I toured around, driving aimlessly around before deciding that it was time to check out the next point of interest that my host had mentioned, called Neist Point. It was a bit of a drive to get there, as it was one lane roads that wound around mountainous region most of the way. Neist Point is ultimately a large lighthouse, sat on the tip of a rocky little peninsula – but wow, the views are fantastic!
Heading south from Neist Point, I aimed to try and find the Cuillin mountain range, which ultimately ended up finding me, as they rose out of the ground, melding with the sky in quite the dramatic fashion. I drove around the region a bit, taking photos and simply marveling at the pure awesomeness of the scene. Near the Cuillin mountains, I found the famous Isle of Skye Fairy Pools. I pictured them to be set in an open glen, surrounded by a mysterious forest, that with a bit of a hike, you could reach, and be amazed by the ‘magic’ said to have been there. WELL, they do require a bit of a hike, down a hill, over some riverbeds and then up the side of a mountain, but they’re in a rather open area, and not as angelic as I imagined them to be. They’re gorgeous in parts, with caverns of clear blue water, but they were unfortunately, not as inspiring as I had hoped they would be – but that is travel, and that happens more often than not.
While there are many other areas worth visiting in the Isle of Skye and throughout the Highlands that I haven’t featured here, or have pictured, but didn’t name, the best thing to do when visiting these regions is to wander. Because nearly every area north of Glasgow is breathtaking and worth visiting!
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