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Skye and Lochalsh
Skye and Lochalsh

Skye and Lochalsh

An ideal holiday destination on the West Coast offering stunning scenery, beautiful coastline, places of interest and things to see and do nearby. A great location for outdoor activities with the spectacular rocky mountain range of the Cuillin Hills.

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Skye is the most northerly and largest of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland covering some 1,656 km2 (639 square miles), and the second largest island in Scotland after Lewis with Harris. The island is 50 miles long with hundreds of miles of coastline.

Marys Cottages, Isle of Skye

The Gaelic name for the island is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach meaning ‘winged isle’ because of its shape. Perhaps more apt is the Norse name which means ‘isle of the mist’ or ‘misty isle’.

Skye is a magical island, with a diversity of landscapes that is quite remarkable for such a relatively small area. It is hardly surprising it is the haunt of geologists, photographers, mountaineers, walkers, canoeists, the list goes on. Skye is quite simply a wonderful place for anyone who wants to escape from it all. But it is not just the landscape that makes Skye so special, it is steeped in history, very often violent history. It has a legacy of clan warfare, and deeper into history the Vikings settled on Skye, further back still the remains of ancient fortresses can still be sound such as at Dunringil just off the road to Elgol.

Featured video: by Achachleat Holiday Cottage, Elgol, Isle of Skye 

Skye is linked to the mainland by the Skye bridge, which opened in 1995. However, it is still possible to travel to Skye by ferry, the main one being from Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale on the Sleat peninsula of Skye. A small ferry also runs the short from Glenelg on the mainland to Kylerhea, and for those wishing to take an ‘off the beaten track’ scenic route although it should be noted that this does not operate through the winter months.

Island hopping can be achieved by reaching the Outer Hebrides from the north end of Skye a ferry runs from Uig to Tarbert on Harris, and Lochmaddy in North Uist. There is also a ferry which runs from Sconser on the eastern side of Skye to the island of Raasay.

Isle of Skye Landscape:
 
The crowning glory of Skye are the Cuillin, a stunning and dramatic group of mountains providing some of the most challenging terrain in the United Kingdom for walkers and climbers. There are two Cuillin ranges; the Red Cuillin and the Black Cuillin. The Red Cuillin get their name from the redish tinge in the granite.
 
The Red Cuillin are lower, less rocky, have fewer scrambles or climbs, but are still superb for hill walkers. Despite being overshadowed by the mighty Black Cuillin to the west, the views from the Red Cuillin are quite outstanding, not just of the Black Cuillin, but there is a fantastic panorama to the east of the mainland mountains, some 60 miles of mountain skyline.
 
The more rugged and higher of the ranges is the Black Cuillin made up of basalt and gabbro, the latter being a very dark rock, giving rise to the ‘black’, and provide outstanding friction and grip making it ideal for mountaineers. The Black Cuillin are quite outstanding mountains in terms of their rugged beauty, and their geographical proximity to the sea makes for some stunning atmospheric effects as the air rises off the Atlantic straight up the very steep mountain sides that rise straight from the waves to 993 metres (3,257 feet) in attitude.

Some of our favourite Skye and Lochalsh...

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