Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye in gaelic is Eileen a’ Cheò or island of the mist. Whilst this is a very romantic image it reflects the fact that being on the far north west of Scotland it is subject to high rainfall and a lot of wind which in the winter manifest itself into some fantastic storms. However it means that it is a green and dramatic island, with the Cuillin being the Scottish Alps, with many Munroes (mountains over 3000 feet) among them.
The island is really an outdoors island with so much spectacular scenery to visualise. Go down any little road off the main roads and you find something different! There are some hidden gems as well as the more well known sites:- the Quirraing, the Fairy Glen, the Fairy Pools, Neist Point, Kilt Rock, Old Man of Storr, Talisker Bay and many more. However be aware that parking is often an issue at these places particularly in the height of the summer. See Wildlife & Outdoors for information and links for outdoor activities on the island.
If the weather is not all that you would wish then it is time to visit the indoor attractions. Dunvegan Castle is the ancestral home of the clan MacLeod, so central to the history of Waternish. It offers tours of the ancestral home and gardens, and seal boat trips. Armadale Castle and Gardens in the Sleat area, has a museum and the ability to help trace family ancestry of MacDonalds and those connected to the clan, as well as some lovely grounds. At the other end of the island near Kilmuir is the Skye Museum of Island Life, which is a super little place made up of a few ‘black houses’ to house its gems of history. Near to it is also the grave of the designer Alexander MacQueen and of course the grave of Flora MacDonald.
At present the island has one distillery although as I write another one is under way on the south of the island. Talisker Distillery offers tours which during busy times (or wet days) you would be advised to book as well as a shop for picking up an unusual bottle.
The Aros Centre in Portree presently has an exhibition about St Kilda as well as staging concerts and shows and a regular cinema. At the Gaelic College in Sleat, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig there are regular cultural events as well as participation in festivals and exhibitions.
At The Edinbane Inn there are regular traditional ceilidhs particularly on Sunday 4 – 6pm where local musicians get together to do their stuff.
Much has been written and photographed on or about the Isle of Skye. To assist you to plan you holiday to the Stein Inn, and to avoid duplicating the material already published, below are some useful links to other web resources that may prove useful. A vast amount of information on the area of Skye – and Stein itself – including places to go, crafts to buy and things to do, is available at the official ‘Skye and Lochalsh’ or ‘Highlands of Scotland’ websites:
Local info & businesses
Isle of Skye Walks – descriptions of walks on Skye
John Bathgate – contemporary Scottish paintings
Skye Ghillie – fly fishing and wilderness adventure.
Skye & Lochalsh Arts & Crafts Association – a guide to galleries and studio trails.
Skye Salmon – trout and Salmon fishing on the River Snizort
Skye, the Island & Lochalsh – official site for the Isle of Skye
Staffin Ecomuseum – Walk in the footsteps of time!
Visit Waternish – guide to local businesses
Welcome to Scotland – things to do on Skye