Visiting the Isle of Skye during the busiest months of the year can mean a bit of extra planning if you want to enjoy places without the addition of lots of people. So here are a few tips along with a couple of places that you might not have thought to visit that can give a “Wow!” for either the stunning views, or the way the light bathes your chosen attraction at a particular time of the day.
Touring the Trotternish! You only have one day, you want to get the most out of it but you hate crowds:
- Tour the peninsula in a clockwise direction – aiming for Uig first. The Faerie (Fairy) Glen is a spectacular attraction but sadly, not when its busy. It looses its magic amidst the abundance of people. So aim to get there before 11:00, that’s before the tour minibuses, or after 17:00 when most have left. If its a good weather day this glen will be truly magical late afternoon through to sunset.
- Want to see the Quiraing? – try avoiding the road that cuts across the peninsula as this gets crowded and the car park is inevitably full. Follow the road over the top of the peninsula taking in The Skye Museum of Island Life, The Aird (check out Harveys Map – Skye Storr & Trotternish 1:25 or Bing Maps) and Flodigarry. You can park easily just past Flodigarry on the right hand side at the bottom of a marked path that will lead you to The Table. The path gains height quickly, is easy to use and best of all there aren’t that many people. Once back in your car you will travel past the Quiraing and see from the other angle, The Needle and The Prison without having to negotiate your way around lots of other tourists.
Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and tide times. This way you can plan visits to various places such as An Corran Beach near Staffin to view the Dinosaur footprints and you will know if you are going to benefit from the fabulous views as you walk to The Table.
Visiting the Fairy Pools
Now there’s a destination everyone wants to see when visiting Skye. Why not time your visit to avoid the crowds? Try visiting late in the evening. Its not going to be totally visitor free but there will certainly be a lot less of them. Also the light is better in the late afternoon/evening as the pools are on the west side of the Cuillin. If it has been raining previous to your visit, expect to see them from a distance. Unless you want to get your feet wet, you may not be able to negotiate the two burns that cross the path.
What to do when it rains Cats and Dogs!
Always have a contingency plan for poor weather. Its no good having a list of places you want to see, only to find that the cloud layer is so low or the mist so thick, they are invisible – Skye is not called the “Misty Isle” for no good reason. I would also suggest that you don’t assume that just because it is raining on one part of the Island that it will be raining everywhere! The mountains create their own weather, places away from the mountains are often drier and sometimes sunny.
Occasionally though it does rain simply everywhere, and for those times Dunvegan Castle, The Talisker Distillery, The Oyster Shed and Portree are more likely candidates for a visit than Neist Point, The Old Man of Storr or The Quiraing.
If you like local crafts, why not plan to visit the local Artisan Markets, and craft shops on the Island. There are a host of Art Galleries, there’s two Potteries -Edinbane and Skye (at Uig), There’s Skye Weavers, Skye Skins and several places to buy locally grown, spun and hand dyed wool. Check out the Tourist Information centre in Portree or the Information folder in your room for leaflets.
So what are you waiting for? Here’s your itinerary for your visit to Skye if you hadn’t thought to create one. Courtesy of Yours Truly! ENJOY!