I was originally supposed to take this trip with my mom but she had an unforeseen move and the timing did not work out. When my sister said she and my niece were coming I knew Isle of Skye is where I wanted to take her. She is someone that would fully appreciate the history and the beauty. With only a months notice we had a very difficult time finding somewhere to stay on the island. I emailed and called every accommodation on Skye and we had no luck. August is the busiest month. If you plan to head there during this time frame plan far in advance. We had to stay off the island which took time away from the time we spent on it. Overall, everything worked out though and we got to see almost everything that was on my list.
Simply driving around the island is breathtaking. It is very underdeveloped and natural. I wonder if the life of a sheep farmer is for me because something about this place makes you want to leave everything you know behind and live a simpler life. Everywhere you turn there are highland cows, sheep, horses, rainbows and waterfalls.
The fairy pools are a bit out of the way compared to some of the other sites. To reach it you travel down a small single lane road and it is very secluded. As we drove up the weather started to turn and by the time we arrived it was pouring rain. This was my niece Emily’s number one must see attraction so there was no way were going to miss it. So we put on all the rain gear we had and set off hiking. The rain was coming in sideways and from all directions so everyone was soaked within minutes. I was wearing Carter in the Ergo and he amazingly slept the entire hike. Even at almost 3 years old the Ergo is his place of calm.
Due to the rain and fog we did not have a lot of visibility so my pictures don’t compare to anything you will see online. It is still beautiful and worth it. I only wish the sun had been out so the kids could enjoy it more. Poor Emily and Kellan were so wet it was hard for them to enjoy.
Probably my favorite thing we did on the Isle of Skye was the Fairy Glen. It really does have a magical feel about it. Green hills and valleys with sheep wandering about. We were fortunate enough that we avoided rain while hiking. We also got lucky with not many other visitors there. I had read it can get so busy you sometimes have to park and walk 30 minutes away but we had no problem finding parking.
We told the kids that we were searching for the fairies that live there. Emily said they live in flowers so Kellan was searching in every flower for a fairy. They really enjoyed running free and climbing on all the mounds. They wrote a note to the fairies and places them among the rocks for them to find. It was really fun having them use their imaginations and make the hike even more mystical.
Anyone coming onto Skye passes Sligachen and its brewery. This is a busy area and great place to stop to eat, let the kids play on the playground and do some light hiking. We did not eat here but did stop and walk around a bit for some pictures around the bridge. The scenery is stunning.
Up on the northern area are the remaining stones of Duntulm Castle. The remains itself aren’t much but the views on the walk there are spectacular. Built in the 14th century during feuding among two clans, it was the 17th century when it became the seat of clan MacDonald. The MacDonalds eventually took the stones from Duntulm and used it for another house nearby.
There is a more preserved castle on Skye called Dunvegan, seat to clan MacLeod, but we did not have enough time to visit.
Kilt Rock is probably the easiest site to visit on the island as it has its own car park just steps from the waterfall. We didn’t even get the kids out of the car as they were napping and just took turns going for a look. This makes it very crowded. In the past there were many deaths from people trying to look over the cliff’s edge but today there is a designated viewing point with fencing. We were pleasantly surprised by a man playing the bagpipes for the crowd of tourists.
Old Man of Storr
Due to the kids being exhausted and napping in the car we elected not to hike Old man of Storr. Next time!
Another area to hike is Quiraing on the northern side near Kilt Rock. We decided to give the kids a break from hiking and took pictures from the car.
This is another busy area of Skye due to its proximity to Portree and easy access. The gorge is close to the road so you must hike up a hill and look backwards in order to see it. When we stopped it was extremely windy and beginning to rain. There is no barrier on the cliff so take precautions with children in bad weather. I believe there is access to view from a road more eye level to the falls but I wasn’t sure how to get there and chose to leave the kids in the car. Again, we took turns on the short walk up.
Isle of Skye was the trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful we got to experience it. If it isn’t already on your bucket list…make it so. To the locals- don’t be surprised if you eventually see a foreign school counselor and physical therapist as your new neighbors.