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...
Red Hills - Glamaig
Glamaig is the northernmost of Skye's Red Hills. It is the seemingly perfect cone of scree that towers 775m above Sligachan and finds its way into the pictures taken by thousands of cameras every year. No matter how wonderful the hill looks from below, it is nothing to what the world looks like when seen on a clear day from the summit. This is one of the great viewpoints of Skye.
Dinosaurs on Skye
Dinosaur footprint on Staffin beach, with a 10p coin for scale
Although the vast majority of Skye is composed of fossil-free basalt rocks, there are exposures of sedimentary beds in several places around the coasts. Many of these exposures are difficult to reach, and many of them are rich in fossils. For the casual fossil seeker, the most attractive of Skye's sites are the ones with evidence of dinosaurs. Luckily, two of the best places to find them - Staffin and Duntulm - are very easy to get to.
Dinosaur Prints at Staffin
On the beach at An Corran, Staffin, are some remarkable footprints. They were left by a family of dinosaurs that walked across the sand here some 165 million years ago. To put that in context, the gabbro rocks of the Cuillin were formed about 60 million years ago, and they were carved by the glaciers of the last ice age on Skye just 11,000 years ago. These are very, very old footprints. To be able to see and touch them in-situ is an amazing experience. There is a sense of connection with these beings from an unimaginable distance in time.
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....
Trumpan Church, Waternish
The ruins of Trumpan Church stand at the far north end of the Waternish Road, at NG225612. The site has a whole lot of stories to tell…
The Battle of the Spoiling of the Dyke
In 1578, Trumpan Church was the site of a revenge attack on the MacLeods by the MacDonalds of Uist. The MacDonalds crept up on the church, which was filled by a worshipping congregation. They barred the only door and set fire to the thatch, killing all the occupants save one young girl. She died of her injuries, but was instrumental in raising the alarm and thus securing the butchering of all the MacDonalds by the men of MacLeod of Dunvegan. The corpses of the MacDonalds were dragged back up the hill and then buried by collapsing a turf wall onto them – hence the conflict was named the "Battle of the Spoiling of the Dyke". It is said that human bones are turned up here to this day.
Hotel Eilean Iarmain, Sleat
I've never experienced dinner at Eilean Iarmain, but it's a favourite lunch stop when I'm in the area. The people there are nice, the service is good, the location is stunning, and eating in the restaurant is a treat. Not quite up to the standards of the very best on Skye, but pretty good nonetheless. You can eat less formally in the 'An Praban' bar, a particulary nice spot on a cold winter day when the open fire is blazing. A wee bit expensive for bar food perhaps, but decent enough value when you see the portion sizes!
Trotternish - The Quiraing
The Quiraing is awesome. It is supernatural. It is a place of wonder and amazement. It is outstanding by any measure. If you are fit enough to walk the narrow path and scramble up and down the steep slopes – you must do it. To visit Skye without experiencing the Quiraing seems unthinkable.
Go on a bright and clear day for views of the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland, framed by the pinnacles, cliffs and great buttresses. Go on a wet and windy day to feel your spine tingle as the clouds and mist swirl around you in this unreal and menacing landscape. Whatever the weather, you’ll not forget the experience.
Carn Liath is a 4m tall neolithic chambered cairn near Kensaleyre, beside the River Haultin at the head of Loch Eyre.
It is the largest of a cluster of cairns here, and is easy to see from a distance, because the stones from which it is constructed are covered with such white lichen that they appear to have been painted.