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[[Image:OM_Storr_2004.jpg|thumb|300px|The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye]]'''Skye''' (Scottish Gaelic ''An t-Eilean Sgitheanach''), often referred to as the '''Isle of Skye''', represents the largest of the [[Inner Hebrides]] located off the west coast of [[Scotland]]. The capital and largest town on the island is the picturesque port of [[Portree]].
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[[Image:OM_Storr_2004.jpg|thumb|upright=1.3|The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye]]
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'''Skye''' (Scottish Gaelic ''An t-Eilean Sgitheanach''), often referred to as the '''Isle of Skye''', is the largest of the [[Inner Hebrides|Inner Hebridean]] islands located off the west coast of [[Scotland]]. The capital and largest town on the island is the picturesque port of [[Portree]].
  
Occupied since the Mesolithic era, there are currently about 9,200 people living on the island, although the transient population of tourists swells during the busy summer months. Skye's popularity with tourists is largely due to its remarkable landscape and easy accessibility from the mainland, both by car over the Skye Bridge or by ferry; and by bus and train through adjacent mainland towns.
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==Villages==
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*[[Armadale]] - linked to Mallaig on the mainland by ferry.
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*[[Broadford]] - a village spread around a large bay looking onto the Inner Sound & across to the mainland, about 8 miles from the Skye Bridge.
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*[[Carbost]] - home to the Talisker distillery and a very good beach.
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*[[Elgol]] - small village with a boat service to [[Loch Coruisk]] and a walk to the fine beach at Camasunary.
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*[[Glenbrittle]] - a good walking and climbing base.
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*[[Isleornsay]] - a small village between [[Broadford]] and [[Armadale]]. It's a natural harbour with a hotel, a pub and an art gallery. Very quiet.
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*[[Kyleakin]] - the original ferry [http://www.kyleakin.com/ landing from Kyle] before the Skye Bridge was built, now a picturesque and peaceful fishing village with views of the harbour/loch/mountains & Castle Moil.
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*[[Portnalong]] - end of the Minginish peninsular. Great craft fair weekly in the summer. Friendly pub with good food Good base for walking, climbing and photography.
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*[[Portree]] - the attractive capital of the island.
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*[[Sconser]] - location of the Isle of Skye Golf Club & ferry link to the Isle of Raasay, great views.
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*[[Staffin]] - a district in the north-east and uninhabited offshore island.
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*[[Uig]] - ferry link to the Outer Hebrides, great brewery, the Fairy Glen and close to the Skye Museum of Island Life.
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==Other destinations==
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[[File:Quiraing Isle of Skye Pano.jpg|thumb|View from Quiraing in the Cuillin towards Staffin bay]]
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* The '''Cuillin''' (Scottish Gaelic: ''An Cuilthionn'' or ''An Cuiltheann''), Skye's best known mountain range ascending to 3,255 ft (992 m) at ''Sgùrr Alasdair''. The Black Cuillin is perhaps the only range in the British Isles to approach in sheer, jagged rawness the mountain experience of such ranges as the Alps or Rockies.
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==Understand==
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Occupied since the Mesolithic era, there are currently about 10,000 people living on the island, although the transient population of tourists swells during the busy summer months. Skye's popularity with tourists is largely due to its remarkable landscape and easy accessibility from the mainland, both by car over the Skye Bridge or by ferry; and by bus and train through adjacent mainland towns.
  
Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area and is now linked to the mainland by a road bridge. The island is renowned for its spectacular scenery, vibrant culture and heritage, and its abundant wildlife including the Golden Eagle, Red Deer and Salmon. It is also one of the most accessible regions in which to hear Gaelic being spoken, with about thirty percent of the local population being fluent and a sizeable Gaelic college in Sleat.
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Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area and is now linked to the mainland by a road bridge. The island is renowned for its spectacular scenery, vibrant culture and heritage, and its abundant wildlife including the Golden Eagle, Red Deer and Salmon. It is also one of the most accessible regions in which to hear Gaelic being spoken, with about thirty percent of the local population being fluent and a sizeable Gaelic college in [[Sleat]].
  
== Regions ==
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===Regions===
 
Skye may be understood as a number of distinct peninsulas that extend out from the Cuillin, the mountainous centre of the island. A largely missable central plateau north of the Cuillin separates [[Portree]] on the east coast and Dunvegan in the west.
 
Skye may be understood as a number of distinct peninsulas that extend out from the Cuillin, the mountainous centre of the island. A largely missable central plateau north of the Cuillin separates [[Portree]] on the east coast and Dunvegan in the west.
  
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** '''Duirnish Peninsula''' includes Glendale, Colbost and the scenic lighthouse at Neist Point.
 
** '''Duirnish Peninsula''' includes Glendale, Colbost and the scenic lighthouse at Neist Point.
 
** '''Waternish Peninsula''' has some pretty villages, but is otherwise often overlooked by tourists.
 
** '''Waternish Peninsula''' has some pretty villages, but is otherwise often overlooked by tourists.
** '''Trotternish Peninsula''' is the largest and most frequently visited, thanks in no small part to the stunning rock formations of the '''Old Man of Storr''' and the '''Quirang'''. The A855 road (and 57A / 57C bus routes) circumnavigate this beautiful part of Skye, with plentiful options for walking and climbing, as well as numerous attractive small settlements for overnight stops or holidays bases.
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** '''Trotternish Peninsula''' is the largest and most frequently visited, thanks in no small part to the stunning rock formations of the '''Old Man of Storr''' and '''the [[Quiraing]]'''. The A855 road (and 57A / 57C bus routes) circumnavigate this beautiful part of Skye, with plentiful options for walking and climbing, as well as numerous attractive small settlements for overnight stops or holiday bases.
 
* In the west:
 
* In the west:
 
** '''Minginish Peninsula''' offers amazing (but cloud dependent!) views south-east towards the Cuillin, as well as a scenic coastline. The Talisker Distillery (see 'Drink' below) is on the tranquil shore of Loch Harport in Colbost.
 
** '''Minginish Peninsula''' offers amazing (but cloud dependent!) views south-east towards the Cuillin, as well as a scenic coastline. The Talisker Distillery (see 'Drink' below) is on the tranquil shore of Loch Harport in Colbost.
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** '''Sleat''' is the gently rolling landscape that includes the southernmost tip of Skye and the pier at [[Armadale]] for the ferry to and from [[Mallaig]].
 
** '''Sleat''' is the gently rolling landscape that includes the southernmost tip of Skye and the pier at [[Armadale]] for the ferry to and from [[Mallaig]].
  
== Villages==
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==Get in==
*[[Armadale]] - linked to Mallaig on the mainland by ferry.
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*[[Broadford]] - a village spread around a large bay looking onto the Inner Sound & across to the mainland, about 8 miles from the Skye Bridge.
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*[[Carbost]] - a clue - think of Talisker - also a very good beach.
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*[[Elgol]] - small village with a boat service to [[Loch Coruisk]] and a walk to the fine beach at Camasunary.
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*[[Glenbrittle]] - a good walking and climbing base for the '''Cuillin''', Skye's best known mountains.
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*[[Kyleakin]] [http://www.kyleakin.com/] - original ferry landing from Kyle (before the Bridge), now a picturesque and peaceful fishing village with views of the harbour/loch/mountains & Castle Moil.
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*[[Sconser]] - location of the Isle of Skye Golf Club & ferry link to the Isle of Raasay, great views.
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*[[Portree]] - the attractive capital of the island.
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*[[Uig]] - ferry link to the Outer Hebrides, great brewery, the Fairy Glen and close to the Skye Museum of Island Life.
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== Get in ==
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[[Image:Skye bridge.jpg|thumb|300px|The Skye Bridge - linking back to the mainland]]
 
[[Image:Skye bridge.jpg|thumb|300px|The Skye Bridge - linking back to the mainland]]
  
=== By road ===
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===By road===
There are two main roads to Skye. The A87 travels west from the A82 [[Glasgow]] - [[Fort William]] - [[Inverness]] road at Invergarry (the A887 provides another connection to the A87 further north towards Inverness) to [[Uig]], and reaches Skye over the bridge from the [[Kyle of Lochalsh]] on the mainland to [[Kyleakin]] on Skye.
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There are two main roads to Skye. The A87 travels west from the A82 ([[Glasgow]] - [[Fort William]] - [[Inverness]]) road at Invergarry (the A887 provides another connection to the A87 further north towards Inverness) to [[Uig]], and reaches Skye over the bridge from [[Kyle of Lochalsh]] on the mainland to [[Kyleakin]] on Skye.
  
The lesser used but equally scenic route is by the A830 "Road to the Isles" from [[Fort William]] to [[Mallaig]] and thence by ferry to [[Armadale]] (see below).
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The lesser used but equally scenic route is by the A830, the "Road to the Isles", from [[Fort William]] to [[Mallaig]] and thence by ferry to [[Armadale]] (see below).
  
=== By ferry ===
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===By ferry===
 
Now that the Skye Bridge is open (and free of charge since 2004), it is no longer essential to travel to Skye by boat, but it is still an enjoyable ride. The main route to the mainland is on the Caledonian MacBrayne (also known as "CalMac") [http://www.calmac.co.uk] ferry between [[Mallaig]] and [[Armadale]].
 
Now that the Skye Bridge is open (and free of charge since 2004), it is no longer essential to travel to Skye by boat, but it is still an enjoyable ride. The main route to the mainland is on the Caledonian MacBrayne (also known as "CalMac") [http://www.calmac.co.uk] ferry between [[Mallaig]] and [[Armadale]].
  
Line 45: Line 54:
 
A CalMac ferry also operates from [[Sconser]] on Skye to Inverarish on [[Raasay]].
 
A CalMac ferry also operates from [[Sconser]] on Skye to Inverarish on [[Raasay]].
  
=== By train ===
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===By train===
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There are two railway stations that serve Skye from the mainland, with the terminus of the [[West Highland Railway]] in [[Mallaig]] and the Kyle of Lochalsh Line terminating in its eponymous destination.
 
There are two railway stations that serve Skye from the mainland, with the terminus of the [[West Highland Railway]] in [[Mallaig]] and the Kyle of Lochalsh Line terminating in its eponymous destination.
  
==== From Glasgow and Fort William ====
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====From Glasgow and Fort William====
Trains travel about three times a day along the [[West Highland Railway]] between [[Fort William]] and [[Mallaig]], with convenient connections to the CalMac ferry to [[Armadale]]. At least one train a day continues to/from [[Glasgow]]. During the summer months, a restored vintage steam train hauls a rake of restored carriages on a daily round trip between [[Fort William]] and [[Mallaig]]. Fares are slightly higher than regular [[ScotRail]] services, but offer an additional connection.
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==== From Inverness ====
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ScotRail [http://www.scotrail.co.uk] trains travel along the [[West Highland Railway]] between [[Glasgow]], [[Fort William]] and [[Mallaig]], with convenient connections to the CalMac ferry to [[Armadale]]. Through tickets to Armadale can be bought at the ticket office, or on the train if boarding at an unmanned station.  
Four or five trains operate daily between [[Inverness]] and [[Kyle of Lochalsh]], with onward bus connections to Skye.
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====From London and the south ====
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Between May and October, a restored vintage steam train hauls a rake of restored carriages on a daily return trip between [[Fort William]] and [[Mallaig]]. A second trip also operates between June and August. Fares are slightly higher than regular ScotRail services, but offer an additional connection. Tickets for this service can only be bought online from the West Coast Railways website [http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/] or from the guard on the train.
Connections with overnight sleeper trains to/from [[London]] Euston are possible six nights a week in [[Glasgow]], [[Fort William]] and [[Inverness]]. There is also a daily 'Highland Chieftan' intercity train from [[Inverness]] to [[London]] King's Cross. For train times and fares contact ScotRail [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/] or National Rail [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/].
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 +
====From Inverness====
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Four or five ScotRail trains operate daily between [[Inverness]] and [[Kyle of Lochalsh]], with onward bus connections to Skye.
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====From London and the south====
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Connections with overnight sleeper trains from [[London]] Euston are possible six nights a week in [[Glasgow]], [[Fort William]] and [[Inverness]]. There is also a daily 'Highland Chieftan' intercity train from London King's Cross to Inverness. For train times and fares contact ScotRail [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/] or National Rail [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/].
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
 
Scottish Citylink [http://www.citylink.co.uk/] operate two routes in and out of Skye:
 
Scottish Citylink [http://www.citylink.co.uk/] operate two routes in and out of Skye:
  
* Services 915 and 916 run from [[Glasgow]] to [[Portree]] and [[Uig]] via [[Loch Lomond]], [[Crianlarich]], [[Glencoe|Glen Coe]], [[Fort William]] and [[Kyle of Lochalsh]]. The journey takes up to 8 hours.
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* Services 915 and 916 run from [[Glasgow]] to [[Uig]] and/or [[Portree]] via [[Loch Lomond]], [[Crianlarich]], [[Tyndrum]], [[Glencoe|Glen Coe]], [[Fort William]] and [[Kyle of Lochalsh]]. The journey takes up to 8 hours.
  
 
* Service 917 runs from [[Inverness]] to Portree via [[Loch Ness]] and Kyle of Lochalsh, with the journey taking up to 3 hours 30 minutes.  
 
* Service 917 runs from [[Inverness]] to Portree via [[Loch Ness]] and Kyle of Lochalsh, with the journey taking up to 3 hours 30 minutes.  
  
Limited numbers of discounted advance purchase tickets are available online [http://www.citylink.co.uk/] - it is possible to obtain a ticket from Glasgow to Portree for £10 if booked in advance. It is advisable to book a ticket in advance during the summer or around holidays.
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If bought on the day, a ticket from Glasgow to Uig costs around £40 each way. Limited numbers of discounted advance purchase tickets are available online [http://www.citylink.co.uk/] - it is possible to obtain a ticket from Glasgow to Skye for £5 if booked in advance. It is advisable to book a ticket in advance during the summer or around holidays.
  
Local buses 51 & 52 connect [[Armadale]] pier (for the ferry to/from [[Mallaig]]) with [[Broadford]] and [[Portree]] several times a day (fewer in the winter). Buses 50 & 55 run every 30 minutes over the Skye Bridge between [[Kyleakin]] and [[Kyle of Lochalsh]].
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Local buses connect [[Armadale]] pier (for the ferry to/from [[Mallaig]]) with [[Broadford]] and [[Portree]] several times a day (fewer in the winter). Local buses also run over the Skye Bridge between [[Kyleakin]] and [[Kyle of Lochalsh]].
  
== Get around ==
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==Get around==
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 +
===By bus===
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Skye is served by rural network of local buses, mostly provided by Stagecoach Highlands [http://www.stagecoachbus.com/highlands/]. Routes include:
 +
* 51: Armadale - Broadford - Kyleakin - Kyle of Lochalsh (summer only)
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* 52: Portree - Broadford - Armadale (summer only)
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* 52A: Portree - Broadford - Kyleakin - Kyle of Lochalsh (summer only)
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* 54: Portree - Carbost (and the Talisker Distillery) - Fiscavaig
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* 55: Elgol - Broadford - Kyleakin - Kyle of Lochalsh
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* 56: Portree - Dunvegan - Glendale
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* 57C (clockwise) & 57A (anti-clockwise): Portree - Trotternish Peninsula (for [[Staffin]], the Old Man of Storr, the Quirang and [[Uig]])
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* 58: Portree Town Service
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* 59: Portree - Peinchorran
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* 60X (Open Top Bus): Portree - Dunvegan - Portree - Trotternish Peninsula (summer only)
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* 152: Portree - Broadford - Ardvasar
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* 155: Portree - Broadford - Torrin
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* 158: Portree School Service
  
=== By bus ===
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Fares rise by distance travelled, with a half-hour journey usually costing around £3. The only remaining special ticket of interest to tourists is the £8 Day Rider, which will normally make sense if you are using more than two buses in one day (although drivers will normally advise you if it is cheaper to buy that or singles).
A rural network of local buses is provided by Stagecoach Highlands [http://www.stagecoachbus.com/highlands/]. Routes include:
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* 49, 49B Portree / Elgol
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Although they are listed alongside local buses in journey planners and at bus stops, passengers should avoid taking Scottish Citylink coaches for local journeys within Skye or across the bridge to [[Kyle of Lochalsh]]; fares are substantially cheaper on local services and the Day Rider is not valid on the Citylink buses. That being said, Citylink buses operate the most direct service from north to south and vice versa. As a guide, a return ticket from Kyle of Lochalsh to Sconser costs £6 as of 2013.
* 50, 55 Portree / Kyle of Lochalsh (for coach and train connections to [[Inverness]], and coach connections to [[Fort William]] and [[Glasgow]]),
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* 52, 52C Portree / Broadford / Armadale (for ferry connections to/from [[Mallaig]] and trains to [[Fort William]] and [[Glasgow]])
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* 53, 54 Portree / Carbost (and the Talisker Distillery) / Fiscavaig
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* 56A, 56B Portree / Struan / Dunvegan
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* 56 Portree / Dunvegan / Glendale
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* 57C (clockwise) & 57A (anti-clockwise) Portree / Flodigarry Peninsula (for Old Man of Storr, the Quirang and Uig)
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* 59 Portree / Peinchorran
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Fares rise by distance travelled, with a half-hour journey usually costing around £3. In early 2009 a number of fares were increased and the useful three day Rover ticket was discontinued. The only remaining special ticket of interest to tourists is the £6 One Day Rover, which will normally make sense if you are using more than two buses in one day (although drivers will normally advise you if it is cheaper to buy that or singles).
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An area guide for Skye and Lochalsh lists all bus times, and is issued twice annually for winter and summer seasons. It can be downloaded in pdf format from [http://www.stagecoachbus.com/highlands/ Stagecoach Highlands] by clicking on 'Timetables' and then scrolling down to 'Skye and Lochalsh' or picked up in paper form from buses and tourist information centres.  
  
Although they are listed alongside local buses in journey planners and at bus stops, passengers should avoid taking Scottish Citylink coaches for journeys wholly within Skye or across the bridge to [[Kyle of Lochalsh]] since fares are substantially cheaper on local services. That being said, they are the only public transport option on Sundays outside of summer.
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It is strongly recommended to check times in advance, paying special attention to any timetable notes relating to days when the bus runs or does not. Many buses listed above only run on schooldays; in addition none of the local buses operate on Sundays outwith the summer season. The Citylink services, on the other hand, operate on Sundays year-round.
  
An area guide for Skye and Lochalsh lists all bus times, and is issued twice annually for winter and summer seasons. It can be downloaded in pdf format from Stagecoach Highlands [http://www.stagecoachbus.com/highlands/] by clicking on 'Timetables' and then scrolling down to 'Skye and Lochalsh' or picked up in paper form from buses and tourist information centres. It is strongly recommended to check times in advance, paying special attention to any timetable notes relating to days when the bus runs or does not.
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In addition to Stagecoach services on the island, '''Uig Taxis''' operates a taxibus service between Portree and the Trotternish Peninsula - this service connects with the 1500 Citylink service from Glasgow. Timetables for the taxibus can be found on the Citylink website in the Glasgow - Fort William - Skye timetable.
  
=== By car ===
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===By car===
 
Although substantial European and Scottish funding has been made available to improve and widen certain key routes (most recently the southern section of the Armadale to Broadford road), major roads are still quite narrow and can get congested in high season. However in low season driving in Skye is a delight with only the occasional sheep wandering onto the tarmac to concern you. On narrow single track rural roads pay attention to passing places and drive courteously, being ready to pull over to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass.
 
Although substantial European and Scottish funding has been made available to improve and widen certain key routes (most recently the southern section of the Armadale to Broadford road), major roads are still quite narrow and can get congested in high season. However in low season driving in Skye is a delight with only the occasional sheep wandering onto the tarmac to concern you. On narrow single track rural roads pay attention to passing places and drive courteously, being ready to pull over to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass.
  
 
Car hire is available in Portree and Kyle of Lochalsh, but can be expensive. When travelling to the island in the high season, call ahead for availability.
 
Car hire is available in Portree and Kyle of Lochalsh, but can be expensive. When travelling to the island in the high season, call ahead for availability.
  
=== By bicycle ===
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===By bicycle===
 
Many of the roads in Skye make for good cycling, although traffic can be a problem in late summer.  If you're cycling, make sure you have good raingear; Skye is wet even by the drizzly standards of Scotland.  The ferry from [[Mallaig]] accepts bicycles, and the ride from [[Armadale]] north to the bridge is pleasant.
 
Many of the roads in Skye make for good cycling, although traffic can be a problem in late summer.  If you're cycling, make sure you have good raingear; Skye is wet even by the drizzly standards of Scotland.  The ferry from [[Mallaig]] accepts bicycles, and the ride from [[Armadale]] north to the bridge is pleasant.
  
=== Hitching ===
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===By thumb===
 
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Hitching is never one hundred percent safe, but residents of Skye are generally very open to giving rides in remoter areas (especially if you've missed the last bus of the day or it's raining).
 
Hitching is never one hundred percent safe, but residents of Skye are generally very open to giving rides in remoter areas (especially if you've missed the last bus of the day or it's raining).
  
== See ==
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==See==
 
[[Image:Kyleakin castle moil.jpg|thumb|300px|Castle Moil, Kyleakin]]
 
[[Image:Kyleakin castle moil.jpg|thumb|300px|Castle Moil, Kyleakin]]
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* '''Trotternish Peninsula''', including '''The Old Man of Storr''' and '''The Quirang''' has a beautiful coastline with numerous viewpoints and the many interesting rock formations of the Trotternish Ridge. A minor road follows its coast from Staffin to Uig and offers some of the best scenery on Skye.
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**'''Old Man of Storr''' - one of the famous sights. Expect a 2-3 hour walk, from the car park to the Old man and back down.
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**'''The Quirang''' is an area of dramatic rock towers and ridges. You get great views even from the car park but to fully explore it set aside 3-4 hours.
  
* '''Old Man of Storr''' - one of the famous sights. Expect a 2-3 Houer hour walk, from the carpark to the Old man and back down.
 
 
* '''Dunvegan Castle & Gardens''', [http://www.dunvegancastle.com] is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. Experience an extraordinary castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, take an exhilarating boat trip to see the seal colony, enjoy a meal at the MacLeods Table Cafe or browse in one of its four shops.   
 
* '''Dunvegan Castle & Gardens''', [http://www.dunvegancastle.com] is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. Experience an extraordinary castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, take an exhilarating boat trip to see the seal colony, enjoy a meal at the MacLeods Table Cafe or browse in one of its four shops.   
 +
 
* The '''Clan Donald Centre''' [http://www.clandonald.com/] at [[Armadale]] is set on a large estate and preserves the ancestral home of the MacDonalds at Armadale Castle.  Facilities open to the visitor include the castle grounds (attractive gardens), several hiking trails, and a new museum, the '''Museum of the Isles''', covering the history of the area (extending back as much as 1500 years).  The grounds and museum are open during the summer 7 days, 9:30-5:30; the grounds are open for outdoor visits year-round, while hours at the museum during the fall are Wednesdays only, 11-3, and it is apparently closed during the winter months.  Admission £4.90 for adults, £14.00 for families; admission covers both grounds and museum.
 
* The '''Clan Donald Centre''' [http://www.clandonald.com/] at [[Armadale]] is set on a large estate and preserves the ancestral home of the MacDonalds at Armadale Castle.  Facilities open to the visitor include the castle grounds (attractive gardens), several hiking trails, and a new museum, the '''Museum of the Isles''', covering the history of the area (extending back as much as 1500 years).  The grounds and museum are open during the summer 7 days, 9:30-5:30; the grounds are open for outdoor visits year-round, while hours at the museum during the fall are Wednesdays only, 11-3, and it is apparently closed during the winter months.  Admission £4.90 for adults, £14.00 for families; admission covers both grounds and museum.
 +
 
* There are other castles on the island that are in a state of disrepair, if not outright ruins, but still scenic:
 
* There are other castles on the island that are in a state of disrepair, if not outright ruins, but still scenic:
 
**'''Castle Moil (Caisteal Maol)''' near [[Kyleakin]]
 
**'''Castle Moil (Caisteal Maol)''' near [[Kyleakin]]
 
**'''Dunscaith Castle''' on the wild west coast of the Trotternish Peninsula
 
**'''Dunscaith Castle''' on the wild west coast of the Trotternish Peninsula
**'''Duntulm Castle''' north of [[Portree]]; Duntulm Castle Hotel (see under "Sleep") is nearby
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**'''Duntulm Castle''' north of [[Uig]]; Duntulm Castle Hotel (see under "Sleep") is nearby
*'''Kilt Rock and Waterfall'''
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 +
[[File:Kilt Rock Skye.jpeg|thumb|Kilt Rock]]
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 +
*'''Kilt Rock and Waterfall''' On the A855, about 2 miles south of Staffin, you can see a cliff that bears an amazing resemblance to a kilt, complete with tartan-like pattern. There is a good parking place and you can photograph both Kilt Rock and a small stream from Loch Mealt falling off the cliff into the sea.
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* '''An Corran''' near [[Staffin]] is known for its [http://www.scottishgeology.com/outandabout/classic_sites/locations/ancorran.html fossilized footprints of dinosaurs] living there 160 million years ago. They can be seen at low tide.
 +
 
 
*'''Loch Coruisk''' to many people the very finest loch in Scotland - surrounded by shapely peaks. Accessible by boat from the village of Elgol or by walks from Sligachan (long but not hard) or from Elgol via Camasunary (but this involves a 'bad step')
 
*'''Loch Coruisk''' to many people the very finest loch in Scotland - surrounded by shapely peaks. Accessible by boat from the village of Elgol or by walks from Sligachan (long but not hard) or from Elgol via Camasunary (but this involves a 'bad step')
 +
 
*'''MacLeod's Maidens''' - Skye's magnificent coast off the Dunvegan road is often forgotten in the allure of the Cuillin. The UK's highest cliffs are to be found here. The 'Maidens' are very striking sea stacks and give a target for a walk.
 
*'''MacLeod's Maidens''' - Skye's magnificent coast off the Dunvegan road is often forgotten in the allure of the Cuillin. The UK's highest cliffs are to be found here. The 'Maidens' are very striking sea stacks and give a target for a walk.
  
== Do ==
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*'''Neist Point Lighthouse''' marks the westernmost point of Skye. It is located on top of a stack of cliffs and offers wonderful views across the Minch over to the Outer Hebrides and is also a good place for spotting whales, dolphins and other wildlife. To get there head south from Dunvegan and turn west onto B884 towards Colbost and Glendale. The drive should take about 45minutes and it is then a short (but steep) walk to the lighthouse.[[Image:Neist pl.jpg|thumb|Neist Point Lighthouse]]
  
* Learn Scottish Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye's famous Gaelic college. Attend one of their short courses or do a full degree. Visit Sabhal Mor Ostaig [http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/beurla/].
+
*'''Fairy Glen''' is a hidden but absolutely lovely small valley of cone-shaped hills with ambience that truly lives up to its name. It is on a very minor road branching off A87 just south of Uig and well worth the short detour. Please note it is not signposted so check directions before you go and watch out for the sharp uphill turn.  
* Go walking in the '''Cuillin''', Skye's most famous group of mountains, or enjoy the coastal treks elsewhere on the island. Visit Isle of Skye walks [http://www.skyewalk.co.uk/], a free and independent guide to walks on the island.
+
* Walk/climb the Quiraing.
+
* For the less adventurous, there are boat tours [http://www.mistyisleboattrips.co.uk/] of the Cullins during the summer months leaving from the remote village of [[Elgol]]. The views are stunning and you'll get to see some seals too.
+
* The '''Isle of Skye Music Festival''' [http://www.skyemusicfestival.co.uk/] is a mid-June event featuring popular music with both regional and international entries. This year's edition is on June 16-17 at a semi-abandoned airfield site near Broadford.
+
  
== Buy ==
+
*'''Flora & Fauna''' - The fauna of Skye knows a great diversity as birds of prey like golden eagles, buzzards and hen harriers. On the coastline you will find rare sea eagles, shags and cormorants. The magnificent red deer and a great diversity of smaller animals like roe deer, the red fox or the weasel. Even smaller the rarely seen adder but also toads, frogs, lizards and insects as dragonflies, butterflies, slugs & caterpillars. Grey or common seals and otters can be seen on the shores and you may be lucky to observe porpoises, dolphins or even whales offshore.
 +
*Visit [http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/ Isle of Skye walks], a free and independent on-line guide to walks on the island.
 +
 
 +
==Do==
 +
* The [http://www.skyemusicfestival.co.uk/ '''Isle of Skye Music Festival'''] is a mid-June event featuring popular music with both regional and international entries.
 +
 
 +
*Enjoy '''coastal treks'''.
 +
 
 +
[[Image:Quiraing_walk_01.jpeg|thumb|upright=2|View from the Quiraing]]
 +
* Go walking in the '''Cuillins''', Skye's most famous group of mountains. Be warned that there are no natural sources of water on the ridge (except for winter snows and melt water): all water must be carried by the visitor.
 +
 
 +
**Walk/climb the '''[[Quiraing]]''' a landslip on the eastern face of ''Meall na Suiramach'', the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Ridge. You can walk around the Quiraing following a quite easy path, 4 miles (7 km) in about 4 hours. Quiraing (Scotish Gaelic: ''Cuith-Raing'') comes from Old Norse ''Kvi Rand'', which means Round Fold.
 +
*For the less adventurous, there are [http://www.mistyisleboattrips.co.uk/ boat tours] of the Cullins during the summer months leaving from the remote village of [[Elgol]]. The views are stunning and you'll get to see some seals too.
 +
 
 +
==Learn==
 +
* Learn Scottish Gaelic at [http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/beurla/ Sabhal Mòr Ostaig], Skye's famous Gaelic college. Attend one of their short courses or do a full degree.
 +
 
 +
==Buy==
 
* Go to the Skye Silver shop in the north.
 
* Go to the Skye Silver shop in the north.
* Woollen goods are a noted product of Skye. Look for them at the gift shop at the Clan Donald Centre (above) or in Portree or Armadale.
+
* Woollen goods are a noted product of Skye. Look for them at the gift shop at the Clan Donald Centre (above) or in Portree or Armadale.
 +
*<buy name="Isle of Skye Bakery" alt="" address="The Old Woolen Mill, Dunvegan Rd, Portree IV51 9HG" directions="turn near the petrol station" phone="01478612669" url="isleofskyebakingco.co.uk" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A delightful little bakery, selling great bread, scones, cakes and condiments. Upstairs they have a gallery where you can buy local arts and crafts.</buy>
  
== Eat ==
+
 
 +
==Eat==
  
 
=== Budget ===
 
=== Budget ===
Line 133: Line 181:
 
** '''Portree Butchers''' Wentworth Street, tel: 01478 612551.
 
** '''Portree Butchers''' Wentworth Street, tel: 01478 612551.
  
=== Mid-range ===
+
===Mid-range===
 
+
 
* '''The Waverley Restaurant''' opposite the Kyle Hotel, Kyle of Lochalsh, tel:01599 534337 [http://www.waverleykyle.co.uk/], specialises in home cooked highland fare. A favourite with the locals!
 
* '''The Waverley Restaurant''' opposite the Kyle Hotel, Kyle of Lochalsh, tel:01599 534337 [http://www.waverleykyle.co.uk/], specialises in home cooked highland fare. A favourite with the locals!
 
* '''The Waterside Restaurant''' train station platform, Kyle of Lochalsh, tel:01599 524813, specialises in simple, fresh seafood.
 
* '''The Waterside Restaurant''' train station platform, Kyle of Lochalsh, tel:01599 524813, specialises in simple, fresh seafood.
Line 144: Line 191:
 
* '''Lower Deck Restaurant''' on the harbour in [[Portree]], tel:01478-613611 specialises in simple, fresh seafood dishes, e.g. fish and chips £7.50.
 
* '''Lower Deck Restaurant''' on the harbour in [[Portree]], tel:01478-613611 specialises in simple, fresh seafood dishes, e.g. fish and chips £7.50.
 
* '''The Old Inn''' Carbost. tel 01478 640205. [http://www.carbost.f9.co.uk/] Adjacent to the bunkhouse and B&B of the same name, take caution from guidebooks that report superb meals and snacks: the professional chef is only employed during the summer season so expect pretty average pub grub between autumn and Easter.
 
* '''The Old Inn''' Carbost. tel 01478 640205. [http://www.carbost.f9.co.uk/] Adjacent to the bunkhouse and B&B of the same name, take caution from guidebooks that report superb meals and snacks: the professional chef is only employed during the summer season so expect pretty average pub grub between autumn and Easter.
 +
* '''The Uig Hotel''' Uig. tel 01470 542206 http://uighotel.com Specializes in local sourced cuisine at an average price. Menu consists of lots of fresh seafood. Lovely view of Uig harbour. A must visit!
 +
* ''' Munros Bar - Taigh Ailean Hotel''' Locally sourced food in a super friendly pub - watch out for the barman's very dry sense of humour! The bar is open 6-11 in Spring and Summer but look on the website to make sure (www.taighailean.scot) at other times. Winter menu is more bar food (fish and chips, scampi and chips etc). Takeaway is available all year, useful if you're staying in the bunkhouses or camping.
  
=== Splurge ===
+
===Splurge===
 
+
 
* '''Flodigarry Country House Hotel''' tel:01470-552203 [http://www.flodigarry.co.uk/food.htm] was apparently once very good, but now past it: food is unimaginative, overcooked, and poor value at &pound;36/head for three courses and coffee.
 
* '''Flodigarry Country House Hotel''' tel:01470-552203 [http://www.flodigarry.co.uk/food.htm] was apparently once very good, but now past it: food is unimaginative, overcooked, and poor value at &pound;36/head for three courses and coffee.
  
Line 164: Line 212:
 
Note that '''Isle of Skye''' [http://www.ianmacleod.com/brands/?id=14] is a blended whisky produced near Edinburgh, with no extant connection to the island.
 
Note that '''Isle of Skye''' [http://www.ianmacleod.com/brands/?id=14] is a blended whisky produced near Edinburgh, with no extant connection to the island.
  
=== Pubs ===
+
===Pubs===
 
* '''Basement Bar''' beneath the Dunvegan Hotel, Dunvegan. tel: 01470 521497 [http://www.hoteldunvegan.co.uk/] A spacious pub with several pool tables and views across the water to Macleod's Tables, usually quite spectacular at sunset. Note also the more refined surroundings of the lounge bar in the hotel upstairs.
 
* '''Basement Bar''' beneath the Dunvegan Hotel, Dunvegan. tel: 01470 521497 [http://www.hoteldunvegan.co.uk/] A spacious pub with several pool tables and views across the water to Macleod's Tables, usually quite spectacular at sunset. Note also the more refined surroundings of the lounge bar in the hotel upstairs.
 
* '''The Old Inn''' Carbost. tel 01478 640205. [http://www.carbost.f9.co.uk/] Note the words of caution with regard to the menu above, but this is a friendly and cosy pub that - while busy with tourists during the summer - is a charming local during the winter with a stunning view along Loch Harport from the patio.
 
* '''The Old Inn''' Carbost. tel 01478 640205. [http://www.carbost.f9.co.uk/] Note the words of caution with regard to the menu above, but this is a friendly and cosy pub that - while busy with tourists during the summer - is a charming local during the winter with a stunning view along Loch Harport from the patio.
 
* '''Pier Hotel''' Portree Harbour 01478 612094‎. A haven from the tourist crowds, the tiny bar of the Pier Hotel is predominantly frequented by locals. Visitors should expect to be part of the conversation the moment they enter the bar.
 
* '''Pier Hotel''' Portree Harbour 01478 612094‎. A haven from the tourist crowds, the tiny bar of the Pier Hotel is predominantly frequented by locals. Visitors should expect to be part of the conversation the moment they enter the bar.
  
== Sleep ==
 
Skye's busiest tourist season is from Easter until the end of September, when accommodation usually requires reservations and when some prices rise. Some places close during the winter.
 
  
 +
==Sleep==
 +
Skye's busiest tourist season is from Easter until the end of September, when accommodation usually requires reservations and when some prices rise. Some places close during the winter.
 
===Budget===
 
===Budget===
* '''Portree Independent Hostel''', 01478 613737 [http://www.hostelskye.co.uk] is where you're most likely to end up staying if on a budget in Portree. Formerly the town's post office, the unmissable bright yellow building is just off the town's main square (where all local and long distance buses stop). Small lounge, drying room and large well equipped kitchen / dining room. £12.50 - £14 per person per night.
+
 
* '''Sabhal Mor Ostaig Halls of Residence''', 01471 888000 near Armadale in Sleat. Stay at Skye's famous Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig. Bed and breakfast; individual en-suite rooms and good breakfast. Book the penthouse in the tower for the most spectacular views. Evening meals available too (check serving times) Visit Sabhal Mor Ostaig [http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/beurla/].
+
====Hostels and bunkhouses====
 +
* '''Portree Independent Hostel''', +44 1478 613737 [http://www.hostelskye.co.uk] is where you're most likely to end up staying if on a budget in Portree. Formerly the town's post office, the unmissable bright yellow building is just off the town's main square (where all local and long distance buses stop). Small lounge, drying room and large well equipped kitchen / dining room. £17 per person per night.
 +
* '''Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Halls of Residence''', 01471 888000 near Armadale in Sleat. Stay at Skye's famous Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Bed and breakfast; individual en-suite rooms and good breakfast. Book the penthouse in the tower for the most spectacular views. Evening meals available too (check serving times) Visit Sabhal Mòr Ostaig [http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/beurla/].
 
* '''Scottish Youth Hostels Association''' have three hostels on Skye and one on Raasay. They are a cheap alternative to expensive hotels or B&B's. They are very busy during the summer and some can be closed or only available to groups during the winter. Call ahead or check online for details. They are:
 
* '''Scottish Youth Hostels Association''' have three hostels on Skye and one on Raasay. They are a cheap alternative to expensive hotels or B&B's. They are very busy during the summer and some can be closed or only available to groups during the winter. Call ahead or check online for details. They are:
 
** '''Broadford Hostel''' 01471 822442 or 08701 553255. Perhaps Skye's least attractive hostel, but conveniently located in this practical town, an ideal base for exploring.
 
** '''Broadford Hostel''' 01471 822442 or 08701 553255. Perhaps Skye's least attractive hostel, but conveniently located in this practical town, an ideal base for exploring.
 
** '''Glenbrittle Hostel''' 01478 640278 or 08701 553255. The remotest of Skye's hostels, some distance from the nearest bus but accessible on foot, bicycle or by car.
 
** '''Glenbrittle Hostel''' 01478 640278 or 08701 553255. The remotest of Skye's hostels, some distance from the nearest bus but accessible on foot, bicycle or by car.
** '''Uig Hostel''' 01478 542746 or 08701 553255. Convenient not only for the north of Skye but also ferries to the Outer Hebredes. The daily [[Glasgow]] - [[Uig]] bus stops near-by.
+
** '''Uig Hostel''' 01478 542746 or 08701 553255. Convenient not only for the north of Skye but also ferries to the Outer Hebrides. The daily [[Glasgow]] - [[Uig]] bus stops near-by.
 
** '''Raasay Hostel''' 01478 660240 or 08701 553255. Open from May to September.
 
** '''Raasay Hostel''' 01478 660240 or 08701 553255. Open from May to September.
* '''Camping''' is very popular with visitors to Skye, and there are numerous campsites dotted around the island, some in extremely picturesque settings.
 
 
* '''Dunvegan Hotel Bunkhouse''', 01470 521497 [http://www.hoteldunvegan.co.uk/] Two small rooms with bunks adjacent to the Dunvegan Hotel (see below). Linen provided, small bathroom but no kitchen facilities. £12.50 per person per night.
 
* '''Dunvegan Hotel Bunkhouse''', 01470 521497 [http://www.hoteldunvegan.co.uk/] Two small rooms with bunks adjacent to the Dunvegan Hotel (see below). Linen provided, small bathroom but no kitchen facilities. £12.50 per person per night.
 
* '''The Old Inn Carbost''', 01478 640205 [http://www.carbost.f9.co.uk/] Five multiple occupancy bunk rooms in this excellent hostel, recently built overlooking Loch Harport in the small town that is also home to the Talisker Distillery. Large kitchen / lounge upstairs with balcony and views up and down the loch. Adjacent to the Old Inn for food and drinks. £14 / £16 en suite. Bed & breakfast accommodation (£37 / £42) and self catering family chalet (£110 per night) also available.
 
* '''The Old Inn Carbost''', 01478 640205 [http://www.carbost.f9.co.uk/] Five multiple occupancy bunk rooms in this excellent hostel, recently built overlooking Loch Harport in the small town that is also home to the Talisker Distillery. Large kitchen / lounge upstairs with balcony and views up and down the loch. Adjacent to the Old Inn for food and drinks. £14 / £16 en suite. Bed & breakfast accommodation (£37 / £42) and self catering family chalet (£110 per night) also available.
 
* '''Flora Macdonald Hostel''' 01471 844272 [http://www.skye-hostel.co.uk/] Located a couple of miles from the pier at Armadale (with a free pick-up from the ferry available with advance notice) this modest hostel has a number of self catering rooms in its main building and newer lodge. Tranquil setting but with no local amenities accessible on foot, so bring supplies. £15 per person per night.
 
* '''Flora Macdonald Hostel''' 01471 844272 [http://www.skye-hostel.co.uk/] Located a couple of miles from the pier at Armadale (with a free pick-up from the ferry available with advance notice) this modest hostel has a number of self catering rooms in its main building and newer lodge. Tranquil setting but with no local amenities accessible on foot, so bring supplies. £15 per person per night.
 +
 +
====Camping====
 +
Very popular with visitors to Skye, and there are numerous camp sites dotted around the island, some in extremely picturesque settings.
 +
 +
There will no be a better place to camp than on the Quiraing itself. Imagine wild camping there, sitting in your tent with a nice hot brew and admiring this magical landscape at sunset, or even better, waking up at sunrise!
 +
 +
For the ones who wants just a little more comfort then you can have a pitch at
 +
 +
*[http://www.portreecampsite.co.uk/ '''Torvaig Campsite'''], Portree, IV51 9HU ☎ +44 1478 611849 - This camp site within walking distance of Portree is well maintained and very clean.
 +
 
===Mid-range===
 
===Mid-range===
 +
 +
====[[Bed & Breakfast]]s====
 +
Most B&Bs are run by the owners and are often a more economical option to hotel accommodation.
 +
 +
*'''Quiraing View''', Mrs Donna Macdonald, 5 Digg, Staffin ☎ +44 1470 562388
 +
*<sleep name="Conusg Bed &amp; Breakfast" alt="" address="Coolin Hills Gardens, Portree, IV51 9NB" directions="" phone="01478611873" url="www.conusg.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="From £40, book well in advance, gets full" lat="" long="">Beautiful 4-room B&B owned by a charming lady that takes care of everything. The place if looking for peace and quiet while being at a nice 10 minutes away walk from Portree center through Portree Harbour (3 blocks are dark at night but harmless nonetheless). Huge continental breakfast, you'll easily make it through the whole day. Ask the landlord for her homemade Porridge with honey, best ever!</sleep>
 +
 +
====Hotels and self-catering====
 
* '''White Heather Hotel''', 01599 534577 [http://www.whiteheatherhotel.co.uk] Small & friendly, family run hotel, B&B £37 pppn. Views onto Loch Alsh, Kyleakin harbour & Castle Moil.
 
* '''White Heather Hotel''', 01599 534577 [http://www.whiteheatherhotel.co.uk] Small & friendly, family run hotel, B&B £37 pppn. Views onto Loch Alsh, Kyleakin harbour & Castle Moil.
 
* '''Kinloch Lodge''' Located at Sleat, tel: 01471 833214 [http://www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk] cozy, seven room lodge for when you need to get away from it all.
 
* '''Kinloch Lodge''' Located at Sleat, tel: 01471 833214 [http://www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk] cozy, seven room lodge for when you need to get away from it all.
 
* '''Clan Donald Centre''' includes a limited number of cottages; see link above under "See".
 
* '''Clan Donald Centre''' includes a limited number of cottages; see link above under "See".
* '''Self Catering Cottages''' are available at various locations over the island - e.g. Staffin Bay Cottages [http://www.staffinbaycottages.co.uk].
+
* '''Self Catering Cottages''' are available at various locations over the island - e.g. Staffin Bay Cottages [http://www.staffinbaycottages.co.uk]. Skye Stays [http://www.skyeluxurycottage.com]
 
* '''Glenview Hotel''', 01470 562248 [http://www.glenviewskye.co.uk/] offers comfortable accommodation just ten minutes from the Old Man of Storr.
 
* '''Glenview Hotel''', 01470 562248 [http://www.glenviewskye.co.uk/] offers comfortable accommodation just ten minutes from the Old Man of Storr.
 
* '''Dunvegan Hotel''', 01470 521497 [http://www.hoteldunvegan.co.uk/] Small family run hotel in the quiet town of Dunvegan. Lounge bar and restaurant and pub downstairs. Stunning views (especially at sunset) west towards the Macleod Tables. £80 / £90 a night (more expensive with a view).
 
* '''Dunvegan Hotel''', 01470 521497 [http://www.hoteldunvegan.co.uk/] Small family run hotel in the quiet town of Dunvegan. Lounge bar and restaurant and pub downstairs. Stunning views (especially at sunset) west towards the Macleod Tables. £80 / £90 a night (more expensive with a view).
Line 195: Line 262:
 
* '''Sligachan Hotel''', 01478 650204 [http://www.sligachan.co.uk/] is a famous gathering place for climbers and walkers.  Pricey (£90 and up for twin room with breakfast, at least during peak season), but you can't beat the location.  There is also a bunkhouse.
 
* '''Sligachan Hotel''', 01478 650204 [http://www.sligachan.co.uk/] is a famous gathering place for climbers and walkers.  Pricey (£90 and up for twin room with breakfast, at least during peak season), but you can't beat the location.  There is also a bunkhouse.
 
* '''Duntulm Castle Hotel''', 01470 552213 [http://www.duntulmcastle.co.uk/] is near the ruins of Castle Duntulm north of Portree.  A 19th-century shooting lodge in an attractive setting.
 
* '''Duntulm Castle Hotel''', 01470 552213 [http://www.duntulmcastle.co.uk/] is near the ruins of Castle Duntulm north of Portree.  A 19th-century shooting lodge in an attractive setting.
 +
* <sleep name="Hotel Eilean Iarmain" alt="Isle Ornsay Hotel" address="Sleat, Isle of Skye, Scotland IV43 8QR" directions="Between the villages of Broadford and Armadale" phone="+44 1471 833332" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="hotel@eileaniarmain.co.uk" fax="+44 1471 833275" url="http://www.eileaniarmain.co.uk" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Small hotel on the pier of the village's harbour and overseeing the island of Ornsay (where you can see the lighthouse). The hotel is well-known for its cuisine. Next to the hotel there's a pub (same chef as the restaurant, but price is cheaper), an art gallery and a distillery. </sleep>
 +
 +
==Stay safe==
 +
Walking the '''Quiraing''' is not that tough but be sure to wear good walking shoes and proper rain clothes. When preparing for this walk, [http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/quiraing.shtml Walkhighlands] will be a great help.
 +
 +
==Cope==
 +
Some may think that the greatest annoyance, especially from the beginning of June until the end of September, is the ferocious "'''Midge'''". This site [http://www.midgeforecast.co.uk/home maps] midge levels across Scotland.
  
 
== Get out ==
 
== Get out ==
Line 200: Line 274:
 
* A great deal of beautiful and historic country is on the Scottish "mainland" side of the Skye Bridge, beyond [[Kyle of Lochalsh]].
 
* A great deal of beautiful and historic country is on the Scottish "mainland" side of the Skye Bridge, beyond [[Kyle of Lochalsh]].
 
* [[Dornie#See|'''Eilean Donan Castle''']] is near the tiny village of [[Dornie]], not far beyond Kyle of Lochalsh, and is well worth a visit.
 
* [[Dornie#See|'''Eilean Donan Castle''']] is near the tiny village of [[Dornie]], not far beyond Kyle of Lochalsh, and is well worth a visit.
* CalMac [http://www.calmac.co.uk/] ferries connect Skye to [[Lochmaddy]] on [[North Uist]] and Tarbert on [[Harris]] (via [[Uig]]).
+
* CalMac [http://www.calmac.co.uk/] ferries connect [[Uig]] to [[Lochmaddy]] on [[North Uist]] and Tarbert on [[Harris]].
  
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[[WikiPedia:Isle of Skye]]
 
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[[Dmoz:Europe/United_Kingdom/Scotland/Highland/Skye_and_Lochalsh/]]
 
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Latest revision as of 17:24, 2 December 2014

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

Skye (Scottish Gaelic An t-Eilean Sgitheanach), often referred to as the Isle of Skye, is the largest of the Inner Hebridean islands located off the west coast of Scotland. The capital and largest town on the island is the picturesque port of Portree.

Villages[edit]

  • Armadale - linked to Mallaig on the mainland by ferry.
  • Broadford - a village spread around a large bay looking onto the Inner Sound & across to the mainland, about 8 miles from the Skye Bridge.
  • Carbost - home to the Talisker distillery and a very good beach.
  • Elgol - small village with a boat service to Loch Coruisk and a walk to the fine beach at Camasunary.
  • Glenbrittle - a good walking and climbing base.
  • Isleornsay - a small village between Broadford and Armadale. It's a natural harbour with a hotel, a pub and an art gallery. Very quiet.
  • Kyleakin - the original ferry landing from Kyle before the Skye Bridge was built, now a picturesque and peaceful fishing village with views of the harbour/loch/mountains & Castle Moil.
  • Portnalong - end of the Minginish peninsular. Great craft fair weekly in the summer. Friendly pub with good food Good base for walking, climbing and photography.
  • Portree - the attractive capital of the island.
  • Sconser - location of the Isle of Skye Golf Club & ferry link to the Isle of Raasay, great views.
  • Staffin - a district in the north-east and uninhabited offshore island.
  • Uig - ferry link to the Outer Hebrides, great brewery, the Fairy Glen and close to the Skye Museum of Island Life.

Other destinations[edit]

View from Quiraing in the Cuillin towards Staffin bay
  • The Cuillin (Scottish Gaelic: An Cuilthionn or An Cuiltheann), Skye's best known mountain range ascending to 3,255 ft (992 m) at Sgùrr Alasdair. The Black Cuillin is perhaps the only range in the British Isles to approach in sheer, jagged rawness the mountain experience of such ranges as the Alps or Rockies.

Understand[edit]

Occupied since the Mesolithic era, there are currently about 10,000 people living on the island, although the transient population of tourists swells during the busy summer months. Skye's popularity with tourists is largely due to its remarkable landscape and easy accessibility from the mainland, both by car over the Skye Bridge or by ferry; and by bus and train through adjacent mainland towns.

Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area and is now linked to the mainland by a road bridge. The island is renowned for its spectacular scenery, vibrant culture and heritage, and its abundant wildlife including the Golden Eagle, Red Deer and Salmon. It is also one of the most accessible regions in which to hear Gaelic being spoken, with about thirty percent of the local population being fluent and a sizeable Gaelic college in Sleat.

Regions[edit]

Skye may be understood as a number of distinct peninsulas that extend out from the Cuillin, the mountainous centre of the island. A largely missable central plateau north of the Cuillin separates Portree on the east coast and Dunvegan in the west.

  • In the north (from west to east):
    • Duirnish Peninsula includes Glendale, Colbost and the scenic lighthouse at Neist Point.
    • Waternish Peninsula has some pretty villages, but is otherwise often overlooked by tourists.
    • Trotternish Peninsula is the largest and most frequently visited, thanks in no small part to the stunning rock formations of the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing. The A855 road (and 57A / 57C bus routes) circumnavigate this beautiful part of Skye, with plentiful options for walking and climbing, as well as numerous attractive small settlements for overnight stops or holiday bases.
  • In the west:
    • Minginish Peninsula offers amazing (but cloud dependent!) views south-east towards the Cuillin, as well as a scenic coastline. The Talisker Distillery (see 'Drink' below) is on the tranquil shore of Loch Harport in Colbost.
  • In the south:
    • Sleat is the gently rolling landscape that includes the southernmost tip of Skye and the pier at Armadale for the ferry to and from Mallaig.

Get in[edit]

The Skye Bridge - linking back to the mainland

By road[edit]

There are two main roads to Skye. The A87 travels west from the A82 (Glasgow - Fort William - Inverness) road at Invergarry (the A887 provides another connection to the A87 further north towards Inverness) to Uig, and reaches Skye over the bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland to Kyleakin on Skye.

The lesser used but equally scenic route is by the A830, the "Road to the Isles", from Fort William to Mallaig and thence by ferry to Armadale (see below).

By ferry[edit]

Now that the Skye Bridge is open (and free of charge since 2004), it is no longer essential to travel to Skye by boat, but it is still an enjoyable ride. The main route to the mainland is on the Caledonian MacBrayne (also known as "CalMac") [1] ferry between Mallaig and Armadale.

The community owned Skye Ferry [2] also operates between Easter and mid-October seven days a week 10:00-18:00. Sailings are every twenty minutes or as required between Glenelg and Kylerhea, accessible from the A87 on both the mainland and Skye via minor roads.

From the Outer Hebrides, CalMac run to Uig in the north of Skye from Tarbert on Harris and Lochmaddy on North Uist. Many travellers bound for the Outer Hebrides will travel through Skye en route to Uig, usually on board the multiple daily Citylink [3] buses from Inverness, Fort William and Glasgow.

A CalMac ferry also operates from Sconser on Skye to Inverarish on Raasay.

By train[edit]

There are two railway stations that serve Skye from the mainland, with the terminus of the West Highland Railway in Mallaig and the Kyle of Lochalsh Line terminating in its eponymous destination.

From Glasgow and Fort William[edit]

ScotRail [4] trains travel along the West Highland Railway between Glasgow, Fort William and Mallaig, with convenient connections to the CalMac ferry to Armadale. Through tickets to Armadale can be bought at the ticket office, or on the train if boarding at an unmanned station.

Between May and October, a restored vintage steam train hauls a rake of restored carriages on a daily return trip between Fort William and Mallaig. A second trip also operates between June and August. Fares are slightly higher than regular ScotRail services, but offer an additional connection. Tickets for this service can only be bought online from the West Coast Railways website [5] or from the guard on the train.

From Inverness[edit]

Four or five ScotRail trains operate daily between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh, with onward bus connections to Skye.

From London and the south[edit]

Connections with overnight sleeper trains from London Euston are possible six nights a week in Glasgow, Fort William and Inverness. There is also a daily 'Highland Chieftan' intercity train from London King's Cross to Inverness. For train times and fares contact ScotRail [6] or National Rail [7].

By bus[edit]

Scottish Citylink [8] operate two routes in and out of Skye:

  • Service 917 runs from Inverness to Portree via Loch Ness and Kyle of Lochalsh, with the journey taking up to 3 hours 30 minutes.

If bought on the day, a ticket from Glasgow to Uig costs around £40 each way. Limited numbers of discounted advance purchase tickets are available online [9] - it is possible to obtain a ticket from Glasgow to Skye for £5 if booked in advance. It is advisable to book a ticket in advance during the summer or around holidays.

Local buses connect Armadale pier (for the ferry to/from Mallaig) with Broadford and Portree several times a day (fewer in the winter). Local buses also run over the Skye Bridge between Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

Skye is served by rural network of local buses, mostly provided by Stagecoach Highlands [10]. Routes include:

  • 51: Armadale - Broadford - Kyleakin - Kyle of Lochalsh (summer only)
  • 52: Portree - Broadford - Armadale (summer only)
  • 52A: Portree - Broadford - Kyleakin - Kyle of Lochalsh (summer only)
  • 54: Portree - Carbost (and the Talisker Distillery) - Fiscavaig
  • 55: Elgol - Broadford - Kyleakin - Kyle of Lochalsh
  • 56: Portree - Dunvegan - Glendale
  • 57C (clockwise) & 57A (anti-clockwise): Portree - Trotternish Peninsula (for Staffin, the Old Man of Storr, the Quirang and Uig)
  • 58: Portree Town Service
  • 59: Portree - Peinchorran
  • 60X (Open Top Bus): Portree - Dunvegan - Portree - Trotternish Peninsula (summer only)
  • 152: Portree - Broadford - Ardvasar
  • 155: Portree - Broadford - Torrin
  • 158: Portree School Service

Fares rise by distance travelled, with a half-hour journey usually costing around £3. The only remaining special ticket of interest to tourists is the £8 Day Rider, which will normally make sense if you are using more than two buses in one day (although drivers will normally advise you if it is cheaper to buy that or singles).

Although they are listed alongside local buses in journey planners and at bus stops, passengers should avoid taking Scottish Citylink coaches for local journeys within Skye or across the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh; fares are substantially cheaper on local services and the Day Rider is not valid on the Citylink buses. That being said, Citylink buses operate the most direct service from north to south and vice versa. As a guide, a return ticket from Kyle of Lochalsh to Sconser costs £6 as of 2013.

An area guide for Skye and Lochalsh lists all bus times, and is issued twice annually for winter and summer seasons. It can be downloaded in pdf format from Stagecoach Highlands by clicking on 'Timetables' and then scrolling down to 'Skye and Lochalsh' or picked up in paper form from buses and tourist information centres.

It is strongly recommended to check times in advance, paying special attention to any timetable notes relating to days when the bus runs or does not. Many buses listed above only run on schooldays; in addition none of the local buses operate on Sundays outwith the summer season. The Citylink services, on the other hand, operate on Sundays year-round.

In addition to Stagecoach services on the island, Uig Taxis operates a taxibus service between Portree and the Trotternish Peninsula - this service connects with the 1500 Citylink service from Glasgow. Timetables for the taxibus can be found on the Citylink website in the Glasgow - Fort William - Skye timetable.

By car[edit]

Although substantial European and Scottish funding has been made available to improve and widen certain key routes (most recently the southern section of the Armadale to Broadford road), major roads are still quite narrow and can get congested in high season. However in low season driving in Skye is a delight with only the occasional sheep wandering onto the tarmac to concern you. On narrow single track rural roads pay attention to passing places and drive courteously, being ready to pull over to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass.

Car hire is available in Portree and Kyle of Lochalsh, but can be expensive. When travelling to the island in the high season, call ahead for availability.

By bicycle[edit]

Many of the roads in Skye make for good cycling, although traffic can be a problem in late summer. If you're cycling, make sure you have good raingear; Skye is wet even by the drizzly standards of Scotland. The ferry from Mallaig accepts bicycles, and the ride from Armadale north to the bridge is pleasant.

By thumb[edit]

Hitching is never one hundred percent safe, but residents of Skye are generally very open to giving rides in remoter areas (especially if you've missed the last bus of the day or it's raining).

See[edit][add listing]

Castle Moil, Kyleakin
  • Trotternish Peninsula, including The Old Man of Storr and The Quirang has a beautiful coastline with numerous viewpoints and the many interesting rock formations of the Trotternish Ridge. A minor road follows its coast from Staffin to Uig and offers some of the best scenery on Skye.
    • Old Man of Storr - one of the famous sights. Expect a 2-3 hour walk, from the car park to the Old man and back down.
    • The Quirang is an area of dramatic rock towers and ridges. You get great views even from the car park but to fully explore it set aside 3-4 hours.
  • Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, [11] is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. Experience an extraordinary castle and Highland estate steeped in history and clan legend, delight in the beauty of its formal gardens, take an exhilarating boat trip to see the seal colony, enjoy a meal at the MacLeods Table Cafe or browse in one of its four shops.
  • The Clan Donald Centre [12] at Armadale is set on a large estate and preserves the ancestral home of the MacDonalds at Armadale Castle. Facilities open to the visitor include the castle grounds (attractive gardens), several hiking trails, and a new museum, the Museum of the Isles, covering the history of the area (extending back as much as 1500 years). The grounds and museum are open during the summer 7 days, 9:30-5:30; the grounds are open for outdoor visits year-round, while hours at the museum during the fall are Wednesdays only, 11-3, and it is apparently closed during the winter months. Admission £4.90 for adults, £14.00 for families; admission covers both grounds and museum.
  • There are other castles on the island that are in a state of disrepair, if not outright ruins, but still scenic:
    • Castle Moil (Caisteal Maol) near Kyleakin
    • Dunscaith Castle on the wild west coast of the Trotternish Peninsula
    • Duntulm Castle north of Uig; Duntulm Castle Hotel (see under "Sleep") is nearby
Kilt Rock
  • Kilt Rock and Waterfall On the A855, about 2 miles south of Staffin, you can see a cliff that bears an amazing resemblance to a kilt, complete with tartan-like pattern. There is a good parking place and you can photograph both Kilt Rock and a small stream from Loch Mealt falling off the cliff into the sea.
  • Loch Coruisk to many people the very finest loch in Scotland - surrounded by shapely peaks. Accessible by boat from the village of Elgol or by walks from Sligachan (long but not hard) or from Elgol via Camasunary (but this involves a 'bad step')
  • MacLeod's Maidens - Skye's magnificent coast off the Dunvegan road is often forgotten in the allure of the Cuillin. The UK's highest cliffs are to be found here. The 'Maidens' are very striking sea stacks and give a target for a walk.
  • Neist Point Lighthouse marks the westernmost point of Skye. It is located on top of a stack of cliffs and offers wonderful views across the Minch over to the Outer Hebrides and is also a good place for spotting whales, dolphins and other wildlife. To get there head south from Dunvegan and turn west onto B884 towards Colbost and Glendale. The drive should take about 45minutes and it is then a short (but steep) walk to the lighthouse.
    Neist Point Lighthouse
  • Fairy Glen is a hidden but absolutely lovely small valley of cone-shaped hills with ambience that truly lives up to its name. It is on a very minor road branching off A87 just south of Uig and well worth the short detour. Please note it is not signposted so check directions before you go and watch out for the sharp uphill turn.
  • Flora & Fauna - The fauna of Skye knows a great diversity as birds of prey like golden eagles, buzzards and hen harriers. On the coastline you will find rare sea eagles, shags and cormorants. The magnificent red deer and a great diversity of smaller animals like roe deer, the red fox or the weasel. Even smaller the rarely seen adder but also toads, frogs, lizards and insects as dragonflies, butterflies, slugs & caterpillars. Grey or common seals and otters can be seen on the shores and you may be lucky to observe porpoises, dolphins or even whales offshore.
  • Visit Isle of Skye walks, a free and independent on-line guide to walks on the island.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Enjoy coastal treks.
View from the Quiraing
  • Go walking in the Cuillins, Skye's most famous group of mountains. Be warned that there are no natural sources of water on the ridge (except for winter snows and melt water): all water must be carried by the visitor.
    • Walk/climb the Quiraing a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Ridge. You can walk around the Quiraing following a quite easy path, 4 miles (7 km) in about 4 hours. Quiraing (Scotish Gaelic: Cuith-Raing) comes from Old Norse Kvi Rand, which means Round Fold.
  • For the less adventurous, there are boat tours of the Cullins during the summer months leaving from the remote village of Elgol. The views are stunning and you'll get to see some seals too.

Learn[edit]

  • Learn Scottish Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye's famous Gaelic college. Attend one of their short courses or do a full degree.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Go to the Skye Silver shop in the north.
  • Woollen goods are a noted product of Skye. Look for them at the gift shop at the Clan Donald Centre (above) or in Portree or Armadale.
  • Isle of Skye Bakery, The Old Woolen Mill, Dunvegan Rd, Portree IV51 9HG (turn near the petrol station), 01478612669, [13]. A delightful little bakery, selling great bread, scones, cakes and condiments. Upstairs they have a gallery where you can buy local arts and crafts.  edit


Eat[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Self catering Most of the larger villages on Skye have some kind of small shop, but don't expect a broad range or supermarket prices. If basing yourself in Portree you will have a choice of local shops and supermarkets, including:
    • Co-Operative Woodlands Road (on the A87 out of Skye towards Uig) tel: 01478 612483. Portree's only large supermarket is - luckily - one of this large chain with a wide range, including excellent organic, fairtrade and ethically sourced produce. There is also a Co-op in Broadford, with a 'Gulf' petrol station attatched to it.
    • Portree Butchers Wentworth Street, tel: 01478 612551.

Mid-range[edit]

  • The Waverley Restaurant opposite the Kyle Hotel, Kyle of Lochalsh, tel:01599 534337 [14], specialises in home cooked highland fare. A favourite with the locals!
  • The Waterside Restaurant train station platform, Kyle of Lochalsh, tel:01599 524813, specialises in simple, fresh seafood.
  • The Taste of India Kyleakin, tel:01599 534134, traditional Indian cuisine. Very popular with the locals.
  • Red Skye Restaurant Breakish, near Broadford, tel:01471 822180 [15], specialises in home cooked highland fare. A favourite with locals!
  • Creelers Seafood Restaurant Broadford, tel:01471 822281 [16], French country dishes alongside Cajun style seafood.
  • Shores Restaurant Plockton, tel:01599 544263 [17], a favourite with locals!
  • Café Arriba Quay Brae, Portree (overlooking the harbour). Tel: 01478 611830 [18] A must for any visit to Portree. Broad and constantly changing menu of Mediterranean style snacks and meals, with good coffee and plentiful vegetarian choices. Also the perfect spot to sit out a rain shower, with views over the harbour.
  • Lower Deck Restaurant on the harbour in Portree, tel:01478-613611 specialises in simple, fresh seafood dishes, e.g. fish and chips £7.50.
  • The Old Inn Carbost. tel 01478 640205. [19] Adjacent to the bunkhouse and B&B of the same name, take caution from guidebooks that report superb meals and snacks: the professional chef is only employed during the summer season so expect pretty average pub grub between autumn and Easter.
  • The Uig Hotel Uig. tel 01470 542206 http://uighotel.com Specializes in local sourced cuisine at an average price. Menu consists of lots of fresh seafood. Lovely view of Uig harbour. A must visit!
  • Munros Bar - Taigh Ailean Hotel Locally sourced food in a super friendly pub - watch out for the barman's very dry sense of humour! The bar is open 6-11 in Spring and Summer but look on the website to make sure (www.taighailean.scot) at other times. Winter menu is more bar food (fish and chips, scampi and chips etc). Takeaway is available all year, useful if you're staying in the bunkhouses or camping.

Splurge[edit]

  • Flodigarry Country House Hotel tel:01470-552203 [20] was apparently once very good, but now past it: food is unimaginative, overcooked, and poor value at £36/head for three courses and coffee.
  • Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant Stein (at the end of the loch front road in the village) tel.01470-592235 [21]
  • The Old School House Dunvegan, tel. 01470 521421. Perhaps the greatest surprise to be found in Dunvegan: behind a modest facade sits one of Skye's finest restaurants, with a small but confident and ever changing menu of superb dishes. Much of the meat and fish is locally sourced, although vegetarians should expect no more than one or two main courses to choose from. Mains from £9 - £20.
  • The Three Chimneys Colbost, Dunvegan, tel: 01470 511258 fax: 01470 511358 email:eatandstay@threechimneys.co.uk [22] was voted one of the 50 Top World Restaurants by "Restaurant" magazine. Book well ahead!

Drink[edit][add listing]

Breweries and distillery[edit]

  • Cuillin Brewery tel: 01478 650204 [23] Easily found adjacent to the Sligachan Hotel & Restaurant, at the junction of the A87 Broadford - Portree Road and the A863 to Dunvegan. Micro-brewery that also offers tours.
  • Isle of Skye Brewing Company in Uig tel: 01470 542477 [24] Brewery tours and a shop open from Easter to mid-October. The breweries most popular bottled beers Black Cuillin (a dark porter), Red Cuillin (an amber) and Hebridean Gold (a golden ale) are available in most pubs throughout the island.
  • Talisker Distillery tel: 01478 614300‎ [25] On the shores of Loch Harport in Carbost, on the west coast of Skye (and not in the village of Talisker itself) Talisker is Skye's only distillery. Producing a hefty, aromatic and distinctly peaty whisky that is similar to those from Islay. Tours of the distillery are offered at intervals throughout the day by friendly and informative guides. Reservations recommended, especially during the summer. Tickets £5 with including a £3 discount in the shop at the end of the tour.

Note that Isle of Skye [26] is a blended whisky produced near Edinburgh, with no extant connection to the island.

Pubs[edit]

  • Basement Bar beneath the Dunvegan Hotel, Dunvegan. tel: 01470 521497 [27] A spacious pub with several pool tables and views across the water to Macleod's Tables, usually quite spectacular at sunset. Note also the more refined surroundings of the lounge bar in the hotel upstairs.
  • The Old Inn Carbost. tel 01478 640205. [28] Note the words of caution with regard to the menu above, but this is a friendly and cosy pub that - while busy with tourists during the summer - is a charming local during the winter with a stunning view along Loch Harport from the patio.
  • Pier Hotel Portree Harbour 01478 612094‎. A haven from the tourist crowds, the tiny bar of the Pier Hotel is predominantly frequented by locals. Visitors should expect to be part of the conversation the moment they enter the bar.


Sleep[edit][add listing]

Skye's busiest tourist season is from Easter until the end of September, when accommodation usually requires reservations and when some prices rise. Some places close during the winter.

Budget[edit]

Hostels and bunkhouses[edit]

  • Portree Independent Hostel, +44 1478 613737 [29] is where you're most likely to end up staying if on a budget in Portree. Formerly the town's post office, the unmissable bright yellow building is just off the town's main square (where all local and long distance buses stop). Small lounge, drying room and large well equipped kitchen / dining room. £17 per person per night.
  • Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Halls of Residence, 01471 888000 near Armadale in Sleat. Stay at Skye's famous Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Bed and breakfast; individual en-suite rooms and good breakfast. Book the penthouse in the tower for the most spectacular views. Evening meals available too (check serving times) Visit Sabhal Mòr Ostaig [30].
  • Scottish Youth Hostels Association have three hostels on Skye and one on Raasay. They are a cheap alternative to expensive hotels or B&B's. They are very busy during the summer and some can be closed or only available to groups during the winter. Call ahead or check online for details. They are:
    • Broadford Hostel 01471 822442 or 08701 553255. Perhaps Skye's least attractive hostel, but conveniently located in this practical town, an ideal base for exploring.
    • Glenbrittle Hostel 01478 640278 or 08701 553255. The remotest of Skye's hostels, some distance from the nearest bus but accessible on foot, bicycle or by car.
    • Uig Hostel 01478 542746 or 08701 553255. Convenient not only for the north of Skye but also ferries to the Outer Hebrides. The daily Glasgow - Uig bus stops near-by.
    • Raasay Hostel 01478 660240 or 08701 553255. Open from May to September.
  • Dunvegan Hotel Bunkhouse, 01470 521497 [31] Two small rooms with bunks adjacent to the Dunvegan Hotel (see below). Linen provided, small bathroom but no kitchen facilities. £12.50 per person per night.
  • The Old Inn Carbost, 01478 640205 [32] Five multiple occupancy bunk rooms in this excellent hostel, recently built overlooking Loch Harport in the small town that is also home to the Talisker Distillery. Large kitchen / lounge upstairs with balcony and views up and down the loch. Adjacent to the Old Inn for food and drinks. £14 / £16 en suite. Bed & breakfast accommodation (£37 / £42) and self catering family chalet (£110 per night) also available.
  • Flora Macdonald Hostel 01471 844272 [33] Located a couple of miles from the pier at Armadale (with a free pick-up from the ferry available with advance notice) this modest hostel has a number of self catering rooms in its main building and newer lodge. Tranquil setting but with no local amenities accessible on foot, so bring supplies. £15 per person per night.

Camping[edit]

Very popular with visitors to Skye, and there are numerous camp sites dotted around the island, some in extremely picturesque settings.

There will no be a better place to camp than on the Quiraing itself. Imagine wild camping there, sitting in your tent with a nice hot brew and admiring this magical landscape at sunset, or even better, waking up at sunrise!

For the ones who wants just a little more comfort then you can have a pitch at

  • Torvaig Campsite, Portree, IV51 9HU ☎ +44 1478 611849 - This camp site within walking distance of Portree is well maintained and very clean.

Mid-range[edit]

Bed & Breakfasts[edit]

Most B&Bs are run by the owners and are often a more economical option to hotel accommodation.

  • Quiraing View, Mrs Donna Macdonald, 5 Digg, Staffin ☎ +44 1470 562388
  • Conusg Bed & Breakfast, Coolin Hills Gardens, Portree, IV51 9NB, 01478611873, [34]. Beautiful 4-room B&B owned by a charming lady that takes care of everything. The place if looking for peace and quiet while being at a nice 10 minutes away walk from Portree center through Portree Harbour (3 blocks are dark at night but harmless nonetheless). Huge continental breakfast, you'll easily make it through the whole day. Ask the landlord for her homemade Porridge with honey, best ever! From £40, book well in advance, gets full.  edit

Hotels and self-catering[edit]

  • White Heather Hotel, 01599 534577 [35] Small & friendly, family run hotel, B&B £37 pppn. Views onto Loch Alsh, Kyleakin harbour & Castle Moil.
  • Kinloch Lodge Located at Sleat, tel: 01471 833214 [36] cozy, seven room lodge for when you need to get away from it all.
  • Clan Donald Centre includes a limited number of cottages; see link above under "See".
  • Self Catering Cottages are available at various locations over the island - e.g. Staffin Bay Cottages [37]. Skye Stays [38]
  • Glenview Hotel, 01470 562248 [39] offers comfortable accommodation just ten minutes from the Old Man of Storr.
  • Dunvegan Hotel, 01470 521497 [40] Small family run hotel in the quiet town of Dunvegan. Lounge bar and restaurant and pub downstairs. Stunning views (especially at sunset) west towards the Macleod Tables. £80 / £90 a night (more expensive with a view).

Splurge[edit]

  • Sligachan Hotel, 01478 650204 [41] is a famous gathering place for climbers and walkers. Pricey (£90 and up for twin room with breakfast, at least during peak season), but you can't beat the location. There is also a bunkhouse.
  • Duntulm Castle Hotel, 01470 552213 [42] is near the ruins of Castle Duntulm north of Portree. A 19th-century shooting lodge in an attractive setting.
  • Hotel Eilean Iarmain (Isle Ornsay Hotel), Sleat, Isle of Skye, Scotland IV43 8QR (Between the villages of Broadford and Armadale), +44 1471 833332 (, fax: +44 1471 833275), [43]. Small hotel on the pier of the village's harbour and overseeing the island of Ornsay (where you can see the lighthouse). The hotel is well-known for its cuisine. Next to the hotel there's a pub (same chef as the restaurant, but price is cheaper), an art gallery and a distillery.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Walking the Quiraing is not that tough but be sure to wear good walking shoes and proper rain clothes. When preparing for this walk, Walkhighlands will be a great help.

Cope[edit]

Some may think that the greatest annoyance, especially from the beginning of June until the end of September, is the ferocious "Midge". This site maps midge levels across Scotland.

Get out[edit]

  • The four Small Isles of Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna are accessible by CalMac [44] ferry from Mallaig on the mainland, although note that during the winter service is limited and that throughout the year the daily timetable changes, so overnight trips are often necessary.
  • A great deal of beautiful and historic country is on the Scottish "mainland" side of the Skye Bridge, beyond Kyle of Lochalsh.
  • Eilean Donan Castle is near the tiny village of Dornie, not far beyond Kyle of Lochalsh, and is well worth a visit.
  • CalMac [45] ferries connect Uig to Lochmaddy on North Uist and Tarbert on Harris.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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