A place of extremes; plummeting sea cliffs and imposing headlands sit beside white coral beaches and black sandy shores; where lochs are as deep as mountains high. They say if you can’t make St Kilda, the North West of Skye comes very close.
On Minginish Peninsula peaty burns flood down through the mountains to Carbost, the home of Talisker distillery, and the oyster beds of Loch Harport. Heading north every turn unfolds the landscape of Loch Bracadale; crowded with headlands, islands, and caves, guarded at the northwest by pinnacles that are Macleod’s Maidens. Passing above, a coastal hike from Orbost to Neist Point discovers shepherds bothies, majestic red deer, sea eagle, secret beaches, lost glens and forgotten villages. Feel the echoing silence of history in this place and know its story. Sense the call of the restless ocean as it rumbles the boulder shores as you gaze on an indigo horizon; these shores protected only by the low string of Hebridean islands from the wild Atlantic and America beyond. This really is a timeless getaway.
At Neist Point and Waternish, lighthouses rise out of rocky promontories to offer perfect onshore viewpoints, from which to spot whales, basking sharks, playful seals and the comical puffin if you’re lucky. The coastal drama continues underwater offering a perfect divers playground, shipwrecks from times past, and colourful marine life in exceptional clear water. Glendale also famous for its uprising at the time of the clearances became the first area where crofters owned their title deeds.
As you head eastwards back along the winding single track road, you’ll find unique museums, craft shops and world acclaimed restaurants, while also catching your first glimpse of the Coral Beaches.
Dunvegan at the heart of Northwest Skye witnesses panoramic views of the mighty Cuillin. Here rousing sunrises burst light onto the rugged, often snow clad ridge, plunged into bright blue skies. Starkly contrasting and in the same view, the immense flat top of Macleod’s Tables, so called after a Clan Macleod feast laid there in the snow.
Dunvegan Castle is the seat of the Clan Macleod located on the shores of Loch Dunvegan, and with its neighbours of MacDonald’s in Waternish, the north-west’s history is as compelling as its landscape and wildlife. Where legends and myth abound, and for intrigue and passion, historic feuds, bloody battles, and tales of island eccentricity, the North West of Skye simply has no equal. Trace the footsteps of historical visitors Boswell and Johnson, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Flora Macdonald and discover the heritage. Home also to the legendary and world acclaimed MacCrimmon pipers this area is steeped in culture.
At Fairy Bridge, the subject of much myth and legend and with close associations with the Clan MacLeod, turn north to Waternish, with its picturesque and historic British Fisheries Society village at Stein, and on to Trumpan Church, whose treacherous history is matched only by the famously passionate and fiery sunsets seen here.
Rich in heritage and with dynamic landscapes the North West is full of inspiration, where a long established group of art and crafts people have grown with their cottage industries to offer fabulous studio workshops. Exquisite restaurants, with well known local specialties are scattered throughout the region, adding to already perfect days.
Travelling east leads through Edinbane, Gaelic for ‘fair faced’, and named after its tall dancing daisy at the head of Loch Greshornish, before you head back toward Skeabost and on to the ferry in Uig.
Experience this North West corner, its compelling, intriguing, and simply... Unforgettable!