Elsewhere on Skye

Below are some of the island's further away highlights.

Torrin, Elgol & Loch Coruisk

Elgol is a village on the shores of Loch Scavaig at the end of the Strathaird Peninsula. The B8083 from Broadford to Elgol is a spectacular drive. The road passes Cill Chriosd, a 16th century church & graveyard that is worthy of mention.

From the church there is a 10mile walk along the old 'Marble Line' railway, across the limestone pavement to the clearance villages of Boreraig & then Suisnish. On the way you pass interesting outcrops of weathered limestone & several waterfalls. The ruins are widespread & obvious. All the way the views over Loch Slapin are superb.

Boat trips operate from Elgol pier offering sea-life tours, daytrips & transportation to the Cuillin & Small Isles. A favourite is the half / full-day return trip on the 'Bella Jane' or 'Misty Isle' to Loch Coruisk, a glacial lake in the heart of the Cuillin.

Alternatively Loch Coruisk can also be accessed via a long walk from Sligachan, & from Kilmarie or Elgol via the notorious 'bad step' - a scramble over sloping rock slabs & not for the inexperienced! This magnificent, desolate loch lies at the very heart of the Cuillin, & is often described as the wildest in Britain. Whilst you are very likely to get wet feet from the boggy terrain, this is a small price to pay for the superlative mountain scenery along the way. If walking only one side of the loch, the south side has easier going & the best views.

Sligachan

Sligachan sits between the Red & Black Cuillin at the junction of the A87 & A863 for Dunvegan. The backdrop forms a great panorama & refreshments can be had in Seamus' Bar at the Sligachan Hotel. Try one of the 400 malt whiskies!

Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools are located along the single-track Carbost to Glenbrittle road. There is a small car-park, but it can get busy. A cascade of waterfalls, crystal clear pools & the winding beauty of the rock formations created by falling water, set against the jagged outline of the towering Black Cuillin, give the basins a special magical connotation.

MacLeod's Maidens

Close to Idrigill Point, at the southern tip of the Duirinish peninsula, stand three very impressive sea stacks in an appropriately dramatic setting. These are the famous MacLeod’s Maidens. The tallest stack - the mother - rises over 70m out of the sea. She is accompanied by her two daughters, standing just off the cliffs at Maidens’ Point (Rubha na Maighdeanan).

MacLeod's Tables

MacLeod's Tables are two curious flat-topped hills prominent in views from many parts of Skye. Healabhal Beag (488m) & Healabhal Mor (469m), rise in gentle contrast to the jagged peaks of the Black Cuillin. Their ascent gives a straightforward but exhilarating rough moorland walk. The views from the summit of Healabhal Beag are breath-taking. Although not high, these hills are distinctive because of their steep sides, yet perfectly flat tops & represent the remains of lava flows from the tertiary volcanoes which once erupted to form much of Skye. Steeped in folklore, the hills were said to have been used by MacLeod of Dunvegan to serve a grand feast to visitors.

Neist Point

Neist Point is the most westerly headland on Skye. Located on the Duirinish Peninsula, it is an iconic destination, with stunning cliff scenery, a fine lighthouse & an outlook to the Outer Hebrides. In the summer months this is the best spot on Skye to watch for minke whales, basking sharks, porpoises & dolphins, As the sun sets the air is alive with the cries of roosting gannets, guillemots, razorbills & shags.

Coral Beach

From the end of the minor road beyond the entrance to Dunvegan Castle, an easy 1mile walk leads to the Coral Beaches - a pair of blindingly white beaches composed of the bleached exoskeletons of coralline algae known as maerl.

Portree

Portree is Skye’s largest & liveliest settlement. There are no towns or cities on the island & Portree is known as a village. It has a pretty harbour lined with brightly painted houses, & there are great views of the surrounding hills. It's name in Gaelic is Port Righ which translated means King’s Harbour & commemorates James V, who came here in 1540 to pacify the local clans.

Fringed by high cliffs, Portree harbour continues to be used by fishing boats as well as pleasure craft. It has excellent leisure facilities including a swimming pool, pony-trekking & boat cruises plus plenty of shopping opportunities.

Portree is also the cultural hub for Skye & one of its main attractions, the award-winning Aros Centre, runs regular theatre, concert & film screenings.

The Isles Inn is an atmospheric pub & features live music several times a week. The Jacobean bar, with its flagstone floor & open fires, pulls in a lively mix of locals, backpackers & tourists.

A walk up to & around 'The Lump' is easily the best stroll in Portree village. The headland that hosts the Highland Games in August offers some great views of the harbour especially from the top of the 19th century folly known as Apothecary's Tower. A footpath circumnavigates the headland providing more fine views.

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Isle Of Skye

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Drawing courtesy of Sean Webb ©

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