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...
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.
Northwest Skye - Fiadhairt
Perhaps more an explorer's adventure than a walk, the Fiadhairt peninsula in Loch Dunvegan offers a lot in a small area. Although is is relatively accessible, it is isolated and seldom visited, so wildlife abounds. It is a particulary good place from which to watch the local seal colony. To walk there from the road, just north of Dunvegan, takes only 15 minutes or so, but you should allow a good couple of hours if you want to explore the area. A highlight of the trip is the well preserved broch of Dun Fiadhairt.
Begin from the gate at NG239508, on the left of the road running from Dunvegan to Claigan.
Cuillin - Bla Bheinn (Blaven)
Bla Bheinn (or Blaven) is a quite magnificent mountain by any Scottish standards. At 928m high, it is one of the few of Skye's Munros that is accessible to a competent hillwalker, requiring no mountaineering skills to get to the top by this route. It is not an easy walk though. The surfaces are rocky and in parts the climb needs hands on the rocks, so be prepared for that. The views as you climb are good, opening up from Loch Slapin and Torrin to include a vista of the Red Hills, Rum and a large part of the mainland NW Highlands. That would be enough in itself to make the climb worthwhile. But it is as nothing in comparison to what hits you as you crest the summit when the panorama of the Cuillin, Glen Sligachan, Marsco et al explodes into sight.
Loch Bay by Michael Smith, Stein
Loch Bay Restaurant
Michael Smith was Chef Director of the Three Chimneys when it earned its Michelin Star in 2015. Now he is doing amazing things in his own Loch Bay Restaurant in Stein, on the Waternish Peninsula.
Opened in 2016, the restaurant is small, welcoming and comfortable. It offers two menus - a five course seafood degustation, or a fixed price three course meal. The latter gives a choice of three starters (seafood, vegetarian or meat), three main courses (ditto) and a third couse of either cheese, a pudding or a selection of small desserts.
Described as "Contemporary Scottish with classic French influences", the food is, as you should expect from a renowned chef, the sort of stuff that makes you say "Mmmm" quietly with every forkfull. Great ingredients, perfect cooking and beautiful but unfussy presentation. There's nothing at all pretentious about what you get at Loch Bay. And everything is wonderful.
Northwest Skye - Neist Point
Designed and built by one of the "Lighthouse Stevensons" - in this case David A Stevenson, the light and its associated dwellings cost £4,350 when they were built in 1909. The station was converted to automatic operation in 1990 and the lightkeepers were withdrawn. The foghorn at the front left corner is no longer in use.
The walk is on a tarmacadamed path for most of the way, and there are no difficulties with navigation.