Part Two of my travel adventures in 2014
August – The Isle of Skye & The Highlands of Scotland
Late August saw me travel to the Isle of Lewis again but only for a few days as my main reason for going was to get the ferry from the Isle of Harris to Uig in Skye to spend a few days in this area. I wanted to start at the top of Skye and work my way down to the mainland. This was one of my favourite travel adventures this year as we got some incredible late summer weather which really did show how beautiful Skye and this part of the world is.
Coming into Uig Skye on the MV Hebrides
The Uig Tower a 19th century folly overlooking the bay.
At Kilmuir Graveyard we found the grave of Flora MacDonald. This imposing monument overlooks the sea. Flora is of course famous for helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape from Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides over the sea to Skye after the Battle of Culloden.
The Skye Museum Of Island Life is also in Kilmuir. It is a fantastic preserved township of thatched cottages or black houses as they are known on the islands. They depict as closely as they possibly can how people lived on the island at the close of the nineteenth century. A hundred years or so ago thatched houses were very much a part of the Highlands and Islands, warm, sturdy and economical they suited the landscape and the climate.
This was so interesting and each cottage has a different theme one being the barn, the smithy etc . I loved looking at all the items they have inside the cottages on display, with some being very familiar to me having grown up on the islands.
Following the coastal road round you come to the ruins of Duntulm Castle. The castle was built in the 14th and 15th centuries. It stands on a rock above the sea and you can see the hills of Harris in the distance. Unfortunately the ruins are now in very poor condition but there are some amazing views from here.
No visit to Skye is complete without a visit to the The Quiraing which is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of Trotternish in Northern Skye. A fantastic drive on that bendy road this is a hill walkers paradise and on a day like this you can see why!
View from Quiraing to the Staffin Bay
Our next stop was Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, Dunvegan Castle is a mile and a half to the north of Dunvegan. It is the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, chief of the Clan MacLeod. Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the stronghold of the chiefs of the clan for 800 years.
On display inside are many family heirlooms, oil paintings and clan treasures but it was the gardens that really impressed me, I was not expecting them to be so beautiful. Dunvegan Castle has five acres of formal gardens.
A quick pit stop to Portree the largest town in Skye
Portree Harbour with its colourful houses.
It was now time to leave Skye, this is just a small snapshot as there is so much more to see and do. I simply did not have the time on this occasion. The drive down from Portree to Kyle was stunning.
The Skye Bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh