Reflections on the Isle of Skye

Wild Camping
We found no problems whatsoever in finding places to park overnight whilst on the island. Some were nicer than others- but more often than not they had marvellous views. Most small car parks and laybys/viewpoints has at least one wheelie bin for your rubbish. Just make sure you follow the wild camping rules-
1) don’t overstay your welcome, most locals are happy for you to park for one or two nights.
2) leave no trace of your stay- don’t empty your waste water or loos and take away your litter unless there is a bin there
3) try to spend some money in the local community- most places are happy for you to stay as they thrive on income from tourists.
4) if there is a sign saying “no overnight parking” – don’t ignore it- it gives us a bad name!
5) try to avoid setting out excessive camping equipment when wild camping, especially if you’re near a community. Locals usually don’t want their area being made to look like a campsite- there are plenty of campsites dotted around if you want to set out chairs/awnings/BBQs etc

We found these spots:
1) small car park in Broadford

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Not the main town car park, but opposite the chip shop (yum yum)

2) Staffin Beach Car park

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Right next to Staffin Beach- a dead end road and very quiet. Fab views across to Applecross Bay. Dinosaur footprints can be seen on Staffin beach itself

3) layby 0.5 miles south of Sligachan Hotel and Bar on the A87 towards Broadford

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This layby was slightly set back off the main road and we had a very quiet night here. Possibly aided by the drinks we had at the bar 1/2 mile down the road – the Sligachan Hotel, which is also a micro brewery and has a fine selection of ales and whiskeys

Finding water and emptying waste water/loo
There were 3 public loos that we were able to use to empty our toilet cassette etc (make sure you don’t use the chemicals though)
Broadford
Uig
Dunvegan
At Broadford and Dunvegan there is also an outside tap so we were able to use our hose to refill the water tank quickly. When we did this, we made sure we spent money in the local shop as a thankyou.

Food and Drink
We enjoyed lots of good drinks in various establishments on the Isle although we never got round to eating out this time. We’ve eyed up two restaurants we’d like to eat at next time though. There are Coops at Portree and Broadford and local groceries shops at Dunvegan, Staffin and Uig.
Here’s where we drank:
1) Bakur Bar, Uig
Situated next to the Isle of Skye Brewery, the ale here travels the 30odd metres from brewery to bar. We tried the Red Cuillin, and the Black Cuillin on draught, and both were delicious. No dogs allowed.

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2) The Lodge Inn
This inn has a very warm welcome, both from the landlord and his wife, and the roaring fire in the bar. We enjoyed a couple of pints of their Lodge Ale, brewed specially for them by the Isle of Skye brewery. Dog friendly

3) The Old Inn, Carbost
This was by far our favourite inn we went visited. It had a cracking atmosphere, served ales brewed from nearby “The Cuillin microbrewery”, and was opposite the Tallisker distillery, so naturally we sampled a dram too! Food menu looked delicious, we nearly ate, but didn’t and regretted it. Very dog friendly.

4) The Sligachan Hotel
We purposely stayed local to this bar, as it’s home to the Cuillin microbrewery. The in house ale was wonderful especially washed down with a Tallisker in front of the fire. Mackenzie Bar- Dog friendly

Our favourite attractions
1) The Old Man of Storr

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A tough walk if you want to get right to the top, but options to shorten walk whilst still enjoying the views

2) The Quaring

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Again, a tough walk if you go right to the top, but a well trodden path leads you from the car park to the base where you can still enjoy the mysterious atmosphere

3) The Isle of a Skye Brewery

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Located on the pier at Uig, a great shop full of local beer, whiskey, tablet, and other local treats. We loved stocking up in here, and the Tallisker flavoured tablet was to die for.

4) Fairy Glen

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Another must to see- a miniature valley, where everything is green, and where legend has it that the fairies live! When you visit, you can easily see how this myth came about!

5) The Tallisker Distillery

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Located in the pretty village of Carbost, although we didn’t get to visit, we most certainly will return. You can smell the whiskey in the air, and there is a lovely pub to visit too. (See above- The Old Inn)

Weather
The weather on a Skye when we were there wasn’t brilliant- we tended to have one good day and one bad day. Most nights were stormy. We were told however that Skye has had the worst winter/spring in a long time and that it’s usually nowhere near a bad as this. We don’t go to Scotland expecting sunshine, and as we were told by a couple of locals: “There’s no such thing as bad weather here on Skye, just the wrong clothes!”

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