The Skye Guide is an independent and personal view of the Isle of Skye. It is written mainly with visitors to the island in mind, but I hope it is useful to residents and potential residents as well.
I love Skye, and have chosen to make my home on the island, so my views are not dispassionate - but neither are they uncritical. Places are included in the guide because I like them - and because I think you might too. If something is not included, it may be because I would not recommend it to you, but it may be simply that I have not yet experienced it. I am happy with that ambiguity...
Spar Cave is an astonishing, cathedral-like structure, some 50m long, with a marble-like flowstone staircase and huge columns formed from the centuries of water dripping through the limestone. In places the roof of the cave has been discoloured by the candles and torches of visiting Victorians, who also removed as souvenirs many of the stalagmites and stalactites. They didn't manage to destroy the magic though.
The cave was visited by Sir Walter Scott in 1814. He later described it in “The Lord of the Isles” as:
The mermaid’s alabaster grot, who bathes her limbs in sunken well, deep in Strathaird’s enchanted cell.
You'll find Spar Cave near Elgol, at Glasnakille on the western shore of Loch Slapin - NG538128. Park just south of the road junction in Glasnakille by the old (uninhabited) house on your right.
Camas Daraich, at the far south of Skye, is one of the best places on the island to spend a warm, sunny day. It's a bit of a walk from the nearest road though....
Café Sia, Broadford
Café Sia is at the west end of Broadford, on the old road that runs beside the main A87. It is a quality enterprise, serving excellent pizzas baked in a tuscan wood-fired oven, lovely cakes and biscuits, good all day breakfast/brunch choices, great ice creams, snacks and what is easily the best coffee on Skye. The beans are roasted on site - you just can't beat it. For tea drinkers the choices are good too - and high quality.
Eilean Ban - Gavin Maxwell's Island
Gavin Maxwell, author of 'Ring of Bright Water", conservationist and shark hunter (how did those two work together?), secret agent, aristocrat and artist, lived in the cottage on Eilean Ban for the last two years of his life in the late 1960s. He had already owned the island for five years, having bought it from the lighthouse board in 1963. During his time here he converted the lighthouse keepers' cottages into one home, continued his writing and painting and established a small zoo of native scottish animals.
Trotternish - Rubha Hunish
This is an outstanding walk to the furthest north point of Skye. From the end of the point I have seen dolphins, whales and a basking shark, all at close range. The walk is around 6 kilometres return, with fairly easy going for most of the way. A steep section down an inland cliff looks more daunting than it is, but it will test those with no head for heights. Begin from the small car park just off the main road between Duntulm and Kilmaluag, at NG422742. A path runs pretty much due north from here, keeping to the high ground.