So, if someone had said to me a year ago that I would be going on holiday to Scotland, I would have laughed it off. I am very much a beach, palm tree, cocktails from coconuts and boat trips kinda person. I love travelling, and I do it as much as possible. If I ever go to somewhere not necessarily hot and beachy, it’s a city break. However, my boyfriend is really into this guy who rides a bike and does all these really cool tricks and stuff (not sure what the technical term is) and I watched one of the YouTube videos (you should too, it’s impressive).
Basically, I got completely obsessed by the scenery in the video and how amazing the place looked, and decided I needed to go. One group Facebook chat convo, an Air B&B search and meeting at the pub later, a trip to the Isle of Skye had been booked. Now, if you’re looking for a short break, somewhere you can get to fairly cheaply and just seriously chill out, eat food, look at scenery or go on walks, go here.
It is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I wish I was as good looking as Skye. Everything from the drive up through the highlands to the view from the house we stayed in was amazing. I can’t actually get over how many incredible views we took in. It’s the most Instagram-worthy trip I’ve been on, so if you’re into photography or just love spamming social media with ‘LOOK WHERE I AM’ photos, you will love Skye.
There are a few things to take into consideration, one being, if you are in the south, it is FAR. You can fly to Inverness, but it’ still 200 miles to Skye from the airport. You can also get a train, but ultimately you need a car. The drive from London is 11 hours. A lot of things can happen in 11 hours in a car, believe me. One of them being mass consumption of calories and a second is a serious leak of jalapenos making the car and all passengers smell like nachos. However, sitting still for so long and singing to patchy Radio 1 is worth it when you can pull over in Glencoe to views like this:
The other thing to remember is that in winter, nothing is really open. Most pubs only serve food after five apart from a Saturday, and a lot of tours and shops are closed. If you don’t mind the outdoors though, it just does’t matter. There is so much you can do. We went with a few ideas in our minds from looking on Trip Advisor, and ended up doing lots of walking and generally roaming around being intrepid and feeling like we were in Lord of the Rings. Oh and drinking whiskey and vodka and playing Cards Against Humanity, obviously.
The Fairy Pools- This involved a long walk, including jumping over rivers, climbing and getting stuck in bogs. All in the name of fun right? I did get a bit stuck getting across a river and had to have two friends help me, so I won’t quit my job and become a hobit just yet. The pools are seriously pretty. The waterfalls and pools are SO clear it’s like something from a fairy tale.
Old Man of Storr- I saw a lot of photos of this place from the summer looking generally magical and like Middle Earth, however we were treated to a snowy, misty, eerie view, which was actually pretty cool. It’s quite a full on incline walk but if you consider the good it’s doing to your bum, it’s not so bad. You get amazing views of lochs and hills the higher you get, and going in winter meant we were the only people around (apart from a hardy old couple who lectured me about life), making it seem really other-worldly.
Elgor- This was one of my favourite parts of the trip. After going on a long walk we ended up falling in a pub called The Old Inn, which sells bloody incredible burgers, and being instructed by the lovely owner to go check out sunset at Elgol. This involved actual, literal sunset chasing. We had forty minutes to race there before sundown, and it was totally worth it. The most gorgeous sunset followed by purple and pink skies with a backdrop of snowy mountains. Dreamy
Niest Point- This is as far north as Alaska, and the temperature confirms that. Freezing. Like, slap in the face, can’t breathe freezing. It was all made better by the fact it looked like Jurassic Park and there were just sheep EVERYWHERE. It was a sheep safari. Again, being low season, we didn’t lay eyes on anyone but a lone farmer herding about 100 sheep down a hillside.
I would actually recommend going to Skye in low season, basically November- Easter. There’s something really mystical about the whole place, and the lack of people make it seem even more remote. We heard that in summer the tourist spots get really busy, which would take away from the whole Middle Earth feel. There’s also the Talisker Whiskey Distillery to visit, which is open all year apart from the silent period, when they do maintenance for two weeks. It’s good for wildlife too, we saw an actual seal being all lethargic on a rock and an eagle, Dr Dolittle eat your heart out. As long as you don’t mind spending time outdoors and aren’t a wimp when it comes to weather, you’ll have a grand old time. For total relaxation, scenery porn, walking, fresh air and a break from the norm, you couldn’t pick a better location. Just stock up on good food, bring some walking boots, a waterproof coat and a sat-nav.
Oh and the house had a telescope so you could look out at the sea at the bottom of the garden, just FYI.