People speak of an unearthly force that draws them back to Skye again and again, be it in person or in memory – and once you have been on this Isle you will understand.
It is not just the ever-changing landscape that takes your breath away but also the mysticism of the island – it is said that there is not a rock or mountain that does not have a legend attached to it – and if you can find out these stories your time on Skye will be far more vivid and colourful.
Saying that – it does have a way of speaking for itself – even if you did not hear of the faeries, kelpies, Celtic warriors, selkies you would still get a feeling that there is magic in the air.
Skye comes the Norse for cloud (sk) and Island (ye). In Gaelic it is similar, Eilean A Cheo meaning Island of mist, another very apt name! With over 350 miles of coast, the island of Skye stretches out like wings of a bird (another popular nickname being the wing-ed isle).
Without giving away too many of its surprises Skye has a portfolio of differing landscapes; the Cuillin mountains both red and black are dramatic and rugged and just scream out to be walked in. The awe-inspring Quiraing (meaning – split and uplifted land) is a must – with glorious views out to sea (and on a clear day over to the mainland of Scotland) there are again lovely walks to be done on either side of this plateau.
Water is another feature of Skye – as an island there is hardly any points on the island when you can not see the sea but it also comes in the forms of stunning water falls (lealt falls, Kilt Rock), pools (the faeries pools) and beaches (coral).
Striking rock formations are also around many corners – with all the land change that the island has been through ( the juristic, volcanic and ice ages) the land has literally been ripped apart, pushed together, lifted and dropped again – and the products of this are stunning – the old man of storr for example will leave you speechless.
The MacDonald’s and MaCleods dominated the island in history and there is also evidience of their existence in the castles – Dunvegan and the ruins of Duntulm.
Once the walking and folklore chasing has been done the other character of Skye can be found – the local culture. There is lots of local beers to be tried – Red Cullin, Black Cullin and Hebridean Gold, Blaven, MacNab’s and Young Pretender to name a few, and of course the Talisker and Isle of Skye whisky should of courses be sampled (oh go on then!).
Then there is the music; Skye gave birth to modern bands such as the Peatbog Faeries giving a new twist to folk music. Also the home of Donnie Munro, the ex lead singer of Run Rig.
Festivals include Edinbane Music Festival, where local and not so local bands play creating a lively atmosphere in a small village. It’s a non profit event which aims to bring music, fun and a focal point for the local community. The Skye Festival, Feis an Eilein, involves ceilidhs, workshops, theatre and films. Both festivals are held annually within the month of July.
Skye is also one of the main departure points for the Outer Hebrides with ferries# leaving from Uig for Tarbet on Harris and Loch Maddy on North Uist.
Skye is also home to Scotlands only Gaelic college. Situated in Sleat, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, offers courses in Gaelic helping to enrich as well as maintain a Gaelic community.
Hi I’m Alvin Tucker. As a born and bred Scott, and a "has been" tourist businessman since my business went bust, I have a lot to offer my readers in life. So please check out my posts...Click to read on