I had been warned against going to Skye in the winter. I had numerous people tell me not to bother because the weather would be awful, I wouldn’t see much of anything, it would be cold, it would be raining, it would be miserable and so forth and so forth. But I have wanted to go to Skye for a very long time, and I was determined to at least try and have an amazing time on this incredible Isle, because how often am I in Europe?
Well, this ended being an absolutely awesome decision. It was rainy and it was cold and my boots were total crap so my feet were freezingly wet the entire time, but it was so wonderful, and I saw so much that it was well worth any minor discomfort. Skye is actually deceptively big, but getting around isn’t hard. You can drive around yourself, or for those without motor vehicle access, there are intermittent bus services, hitch-hiking is pretty common and occasionally you might luck out and find a tour bus with an empty seat and a tour guide who is willing to give you a lift for free. I had no problems getting around while on Skye.
Despite the rain and the cold, I was so excited to get out and explore. My first stop was Kilt Rock, a cliff face that apparently looks like a Kilt. To be honest, I couldn’t see much of a resemblance, but that didn’t stop it from being absolutely gorgeous.
Not too far from Kilt Rock was this super cool grassy cliff face, it may have been a bit hidden due to the fog, but it was still a gorgeous sight.
From there it was on to the Quirang mountain ranges, and this was something I will remember for the rest of my life. I am not the most fit person in the world, and back home in Adelaide, exercise is something I avoid with the veracity that a Coeliac avoids gluten; however when in foreign lands and countries, hiking and exploring and running and exerting myself just feels natural. So it was with great fervour that I hiked and explored and ran around the mountain ranges. I slipped and fell on my ass a few times, which was arguably an inevitable occurrence; and due to my shitty, el cheapo (and no longer waterproof) boots, I literally spent all my time exploring with plastic bags around my feet (thank you Tesco). But none of this dulled my excitement and joy and happiness. Standing in sparsely populated and at the time – seemingly deserted – land, and just yelling and shrieking with happiness into the land below without a care in the world; now that is a feeling that you’d be hard pressed to beat.
Of course, I did eventually run into some other people, but this was good, as I could finally get some photos with me in them!
One thing that the cold weather did prevent me from seeing was the Old Man of Storr. I could make out the base of this famous landmark, but the fog did a pretty good job of hiding most of it from sight. I didn’t mind all that much though, it just means that I will have to go back some day.
Something the Isle of Skye is very famous for is it’s ‘Fairie Glen’ and ‘Fairie Pools’. I didn’t find any of the pools, but I did find the Glen, and it was lovely. In the summer months it is a really lush green colour, but the rich reds and browns and burgundy hues present during the winter were just as beautiful.
The highlight of my time on Skye were the numerous hours that I spent at Neist Point.
Climbing up to the top was actually a bit of a challenge, not because it is a particularly steep climb, but because of how slippery every single surface was! I slipped over numerous times, and I saw other people in the same predicament as I; but falling over and sliding in rabbit poo makes for a heck of a laugh, so nobody really minded.
I had been told not to expect much as far as views went, due to the weather, and also due to the fact that apparently even on days with great weather it is still uncommon to be able to see the Outer Hebrides from the top of Neist Point, however apparently I was in luck that day, and I could see clear across the ocean to the other Isles. I must have spent at least an hour at the top. It was certainly peaceful and one of my favourite places in the world. So much so that I have decided that when I do inevitably pass away, I want my ashes to be scattered at this spot.
So my time on Skye had been a truly amazing few days, I did not think anything else could make it better, but then it did! I had been saying the entire time how I wanted to find some Highland Cows and as I was leaving Skye, I found a bunch of them! Success!
Getting to Skye: Skye is the most popular isle in Scotland, so there are plenty of bus services available, and hitchhiking is also not uncommon
Portree Youth Hostel: This backpackers is the perfect location in Portree – right next to a bakery and pub! Click here to learn more
Camera: Images captured with an iPhone 4S
Remember: If you haven’t drunk a single malt Scottish whiskey while on Skye, you haven’t lived!