The Scottish island of Skye has a lot going for it, although you may think of it as a cold, forbidding pace, given its geography and the fact that it is on the same 57º North latitude as Hudson Bay and Moscow, this island in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides is warmed by the gulf stream. It was voted the fourth best island in the world by the National Geographic magazine and has also been voted one of Europe’s top island hotspots, beating Sicily and Hvar, Croatia in 2010. In 2013 it scooped an award in the Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards, so clearly the island of Skye has a lot going for it.
Travellers to Skye can follow in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s footsteps (or perhaps wake) and take the journey “over the sea to Skye” on a ferry from Mallaig. The island is steeped in history and pre-history as the “Misty Isle,” as Skye is also known as, has some dinosaurs’ footprints which were found at Valtos. There are fears that some have been illegally removed, so if you go to Valtos, take care not to damage any prehistoric evidence you find there. Fossils from the Middle Jurassic period have also been found on Skye.
One of the reasons for visiting Skye is the peace and tranquility you will find on the island. It is one of the places in Britain which is renowned for its Dark Skies. There are nine dark sky discovery sites around Skye and you can appreciate how much light pollution there is in your part of the country when you have a pollution-free view of the stars at night.
If you love seafood, then you can have it fresh while on Skye, caught that day, cooked and on your table at one of the restaurants and hotels on the island. The islanders also produce organically-grown vegetables and fruit, as well as cheeses. The lamb and beef on your plate will also, probably have been reared organically.
There is also the Talisker distillery at Carbost where some of the best single malt whiskys are produced. You can take a tour of the distillery but you should pre-book it. There is also the Skye brewery at Uig which brews award winning real ales such as Red Cuillin and Hebridean Gold. There are also tours at the brewery for those more interested in beer that scotch!
You can take a boat trip to see the seal colony on Loch Dunvegan and you have your money refunded if there are no seal sightings!
As souvenirs of your trip to Skye you can buy polished Skye marble, which was carried for centuries for it calming qualities. There are also the hand-dyed woollen yarns and sheep skins and products made from them to purchase as well as locally produced pottery items.
There are several museums on Skye, including a dinosaur museum for young visitors and cultural museums which demonstrate the life of crofters on the island in the past.
Parts of “Star Wars: Episode VII” are to be shot on location at Skye, and in other parts of the Scottish Highlands. There are music festivals on the island and there is always something to do or see whatever time of year. You will find something to interest all family members on the island.