12 Places on Skye You Really Should Visit

01 February 2018

loch coruisk (1000 x 667)

Loch Coruisk and the Cuillin ridge with nobody in sight by John Mcsporran via CC

CNN and subsequently Fox News, last week, ran a story about the 12 places travellers might want to avoid in 2018. Much to the surprise of anyone who has actually visited the Isle of Skye it was featured right at the top alongside such esteemed destinations as Machu Picchu and Barcelona. One of the main reasons given for Skye’s inclusion was the overcrowding of its well-known sites.

With fantastic attractions such as the Fairy Pools it’s no wonder that there are lots of visitors but what many people do not appreciate is that, outside the most famous places, there is a huge variety of things to see and do that are just as stunning and are rarely busy. This is our list of the 12 alternative places on Skye to get away from it all in 2018.

  1. The Cuillin Ridge is spectacular and the ease of access from Glenbrittle means that the vast majority of people approach the mountains from here. For those a bit more adventurous and willing to travel a bit further, the hills can be approached from the other side via a long hike or a spectacular boat trip from Elgol across Loch Coruisk. This is one of the wildest lochs in Scotland and is set in a beautiful natural amphitheatre flanked by imposing peaks.                                                                       
  2. For many years Talisker was the only distillery on the island, its global reputation meant it was a huge draw for whisky enthusiasts. 2017 however saw two new distilleries open up, Torbhaig , not far from Teangue and Raasay Distillery on the Isle of Raasay. Both will have shops, tastings and tours available this coming summer and there is also the Isle of Skye Brewery in Uig you can visit.                                                                                                                               
  3. Claigan Beach has long been one of the most iconic coastal spots on Skye. Its unique white coral sands drawing a steady stream of visitors. A more challenging, but nonetheless rewarding day out, would be to hike to Camas Daraich beach at the base of the Sleat Peninsula. It’s gloriously secluded, almost always quiet and the pristine white sand is reminiscent of the best of the Hebrides.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  4. New car parking facilities will help ease congestion at the Fairy Pools this year but for an even more stunning spot for a cheeky dip then a visit to Spar Cave, truly one of the unheralded wonders of Scotland, should be considered. If you time your visit to coincide with low tide then you can safely access this most magnificent of structures and take a dip in the glittering crystal clear pools formed by centuries of calciferous deposits that have also made swirling patterns on the ceilings, walls and floor.                                                                                    
  5. The lighthouse at Neist Point is easily accessible from the main road with a short paved walk, one of the main reasons for its popularity. If you are prepared to hike a bit further over uneven grassy and rocky terrain however you can instead visit the bothy at Rubha Hunish which used to be an old coastguard lookout hut where, with luck you can see pods of whales and dolphins.                                                                                                                                                                
  6. The Skye Bridge is how the vast majority of visitors reach the island. It has transformed tourism to the island with hugely shortened journey times. For those who yearn to sail ‘over the sea to Skye’ then the old fashioned ferry journey slowly bobbing across the sea, then fear not, the Glenelg Ferry to Kylerhea offers a window to the past and a truly memorable way to arrive on holiday. The Glenachulish is the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland and is so small that overcrowding will never be an issue.                                                                                                                                        
  7. The landscapes of the Quiraing and The Old Man of Storr have provided epic backdrops for film makers for decades and still inspire artists today. For a different kind of inspirational landscape, a trip to Raasay is a must. A short trip from Sconser followed by a journey down Calum’s road is an educational as well as a spirit lifting journey.                                                                                                               
  8. Fine dining on Skye has until recently been focussed on Kinloch Lodge and The Three Chimneys, both of which have previously been in possession of Michelin stars (and considerable waiting lists). This year, however, the only establishment on Skye to achieve that most coveted status was Loch Bay Restaurant in Stein, the only new Michelin star awarded in Scotland. With the emergence of Scorrybreac in Portree and a host of other top end eateries to choose from, bon viveurs will certainly not go hungry.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  9. The Black Cuillin is the name given to the imposing ridge containing the highest peaks on the island and almost impossible to avoid as you travel through the island. For a gentler and less challenging day out the often overlooked Red Cuillin, with summits such as Glamaig just behind the Sligachan Hotel, makes a brilliant and just as scenic alternative.                                                                                                                                                                                                
  10. The waterfall at Kilt Rock is one of the most photogenic locations on the island. Unknown to many is that one of the best places to take in the view is not from the adjacent car park but from the end of Rubha nam Brathairean (Brother’s Point).  It is one of Skye’s hidden treasures and a fascinating walk in itself.                                                                                                                                                   
  11. Portree has a number of pubs and hotels with summer weekends being especially vibrant. Carbost, by comparison, is only a tiny village but for a night out it is easily the best destination on Skye. Traditional live music, real local ales and an atmosphere welcoming to hikers and mountaineers make it hard to beat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  12. There is no escaping the fact that, because Skye has so much to offer, it will attract a lot of visitors. So, to make sure you get the best accommodation on the island, instead of waiting till the last minute and having to settle for unsatisfactory accommodation, visit LHH today to reserve your luxury holiday home – none of which will be overcrowded! There will be just you and the stunning views from all of them.