For so long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is clearly not possible for people to visit anywhere on holiday, not least our wonderful island. Everyone's health and security are much more important. In the meantime, please use this site to enjoy planning your next trip to Skye. Everyone here will be looking forward to welcoming you again just as soon as things get back to normal
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. Go south at the T-junction in Glasnakille and after 50m, opposite the first white house, you will see a stile on your left that will take you to the route down.
Dun Beag and Dun Mor, Struan
Sleat - Dalavil
This is a delightful hike of around 12km to Dalavil on the west coast of Sleat. The navigation is mostly straightforward and much of the route is on tracks or paths - but there are some sections that can be very boggy after rain. The route passes a beautiful, isolated loch, and some evocative settlements that have been deserted since the clearances of the nineteenth century. It takes you through Coille Dalavil, a mature mixed native woodland, before reaching the shore. From the coast, the views across the water to the Cuillin are magnificent. This is also a good walk for seeing wildlife of many kinds, including snakes, and otters that frequently play by the shore.
The Isle of Skye lies close to the north-west coast of the Scottish Highlands. It is the largest and the furthest north of the islands in the Inner Hebrides. The name ‘Skye’ is probably from the Norse words Ski (cloud) and Ey (island). In Gaelic it is normally referred to as An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, which translates as The Winged Isle - from the wing-like shape formed by the two northern peninsulas of Waternish and Trotternish. The island is marked on old Roman maps as "Scitis". In English it's sometimes referred to as the "Misty Isle" (Eilean a’ Cheo, in Gaelic). That one seems a wee bit too romantic for my taste. And there’s more…but that’s enough to confuse anyone already.
Skye is a romantic place though. The history, the legends, the scenery, the weather, the music and the poetry combine to produce something very special indeed. It is that peculiar magic that draws visitors to the island from all around the world, and makes it Scotland’s biggest tourist destination after Edinburgh. It has been said that Skye is conclusive proof that, sometimes, God was just showing off.
Beyond the lochs of the blood of the children of men,
beyond the frailty of the plain and the labour of the mountain,
beyond poverty, consumption, fever, agony,
beyond hardship, wrong, tyranny, distress,
beyond misery, despair, hatred, treachery,
beyond guilt and defilement; watchful,
heroic, the Cuillin is seen
rising on the other side of sorrow.