The Skye Guide is an independent and personal view of the Isle of Skye. The things that are included in the guide are here 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 experienced it.
I am happy with that ambiguity...
Based at Elgol jetty, AquaXplore is part of the same excellent organisation as the Bella Jane. The differences are marked though! Trips with AquaXplore are on one of a pair of high-powered Humber RIBs. Each has 12 seats (you sit astride - a bit like a motorbike) and goes like the wind - about 30 knots actually. Exciting stuff. The guides/captains are great. They are skilled, safe, knowledgeable, personable, interesting and fun.
The restaurant at the Aros Centre on the southern edge of Portree is basic, but it deserves a recommendation. It has the look of a large self-service motorway type operation, but there is table service throughout. There is a standard, plastic encapsulated menu with breakfasts, filled rolls, burgers, toasted sandwiches and the like. There are also plenty of good things chalked up on the blackboards.
The macaroni cheese is particularly fine...with chips, of course.
Sleat - Leitir Fura
Leitir Fura is an abandoned village in a magnificent setting above the Sound of Sleat. The views from the village, and indeed from much of the walk, are excellent. This is a well waymarked circular route of about 7km. The paths are good and clear, but can be muddy in places. The starting point is a car park, about a mile along a forestry road in Kinloch Forest at NG704161. It is signed from the A851, four miles south of Broadford, almost opposite the Drumfearn road end. At the car park you will find information boards with a map and details of the walk.
Dunvegan Castle and Gardens
Dunvegan Castle is probably the oldest inhabited castle in the north of Scotland. It has been occupied continuously by the Chiefs of the Clan MacLeod for more than 750 years. The present - and 30th - clan chief is Hugh Magnus MacLeod.
The castle is in a wonderful setting on the shore of Loch Dunvegan at NG247491. There is plenty of space for parking, toilet facilities, a gift shop (nicely refurbished in 2010) and a decent coffee shop/snack bar called The MacLeods Table Restaurant. It’s basic, but fine for family lunch.
Although categorised here under 'natural wonders', this place is actually supernatural. It is also not well known - there are no roadsigns to point the way. Luckily, it isn't too difficult to find, just a short way off the main A87 south of Uig.
Leave the main road at NG397633, just by the Uig Hotel, climbing the hill on the wee road signed to Sheadar and Balnaknock. The fairies live about a mile up here. You'll certainly know when you have reached their special place.
Cuillin - Coir' a' Ghrunnda
The walk from Glen Brittle up to Coir' a' Ghrunnda is not really too big an undertaking. It's about 9 km return, with an ascent of 700m, but it rates as 'stretching' in this guide for two reasons. Firstly, the route-finding in the corrie itself can be tricky, especially in poor visibility. Secondly, a section of simple scrambling is unavoidable on the final approach to the upper corrie. But in good weather the large sandy shored lochan, surrounded by Cuillin peaks and held by a massive barrier of boiler-plate slabs, is easily reached by any competent hillwalker. For the non-climber, this is an excellent trip to a very worthwhile destination.
Camas Ban, Portree
Camas Ban is Portree's only sandy beach. You might think that would make it a busy place on a warm summer day, but it seldom is. Back in the early twentieth century small boats would ferry hoards of people back and forth across the bay from Portree Pier to Camas Ban. Today you either need your own small boat (a sea kayak is ideal) or you need to take a short pathless walk over some rough ground and down a steep slope to the sand. If you are reasonably fit it isn't too difficult - and you might even get the whole beach to yourselves.