When visitors come to Skye, there are places they all wish to see. So travelling north there’s ‘Kilt Rock’, ‘The Old Man of Storr’ and ‘The Quiriang’. Going west there’s ‘Dunvegan Castle’, ‘The Fairy Pools’, Neist Point and ‘Talisker Bay’. They’re all on the list of ‘things to see on Skye’ and once seen, the regular tourist travels on to see the next attraction on their list. Whilst there is nothing wrong in that at all, after all everyone has a list of places to see and things to do, places to eat and spectacles to experience. But sometimes, going off the beaten track, not following the crowd as they pootle around the winding roads of Skye, enables the visitor to gain a slightly different perspective.
There are lots of places like this on Skye if you have the courage to explore. For example, there is a little place off the beaten track called ‘The Aird’. This sits on the coast between the townships Kilmalaug and Balmaquein. Looking out from the picnic area nestled into the cliffs, views across Kilmalaug Bay take your eye across The Minch towards North Erradale and Gairloch in Wester Ross on the mainland.
Walking back along the road then up a trackway, the jutting end of the Quirang dominates the view. Jagged cliffs, a dramatic backdrop to the scattered crofts below.
Here is the ruin of St Molougs Church – just a gable end now – that serves as a WW1 Memorial to the brave young men from the local townships who died at war.
Its peaceful here, just the sounds of Sandpipers and lowing of grazing cattle with their calves to break the silence.
This circular walk takes you through fields where Orchids grow wild beside Marsh Thistles up beyond the church and back towards the bay.
A place to take a deep breath, have a picnic on the bench and watch the weather as it marches across The Minch.
All in all, a great place to rest awhile and get a slightly different perspective of the rugged beauty that is North Skye.