HELEN SHELMERDINE

hshelmerdine1a@gmail.com

Tel: +44 (0) 1200 446722

+44 (0) 7733 010915

Sgurr nan Gillean & Sgurr a Bhasteir

Things to Do .... Wildlife

For anyone interested in wildlife, this is the place to be.  You may be lucky and spot a Golden Eagle or the magnificent Sea Eagle.  You will be able to go birdwatching and see Divers, Gannets, Guillemots, and any number of other sea and land birds such as the Hen Harrier, Greylag Goose, or Golden Plover. On the coast spot dolphins, porpoises and  even minke whales, as well as seals and otters. In autumn listen to the roar of the Red Deer stags in the rut. 

Things to Do..... Heritage

If castles are your thing, then visit Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and famous for its Fairy Flag.  Dunvegan is just 10 miles from the cottage. There is Armadale Castle in the south of the island with its Clan museum, and, at the gateway to Skye, the world famous Eilean Donan Castle.  There are the ruins of pre-Christian Brochs to visit.  There is all the history associated with Bonnie Prince Charlie, history of the clearances and crofting life,  Don't forget the wonderful gaelic culture, with songs, fiddlers, ceilidhs taking place throughout the island.

In many ways the Isle of Skye is defined by the Cuillin, the incredible range of mountains which dominate the central part of the island and which crop up in most views when travelling around the island.  The Black Cuillin is the UK's most famous and exciting mountain range. Stretching for nearly 7 miles the range contains 11 Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet), and 16 other challenging summits. To complete the Cuillin Ridge is a challenge many walkers and climbers aspire to, but it is strictly for those with experience and in most cases you should be accompanied by a guide. Ordinary mortals can still get a taste of the Cuillin by walking up to Coire Lagan from Glen Brittle, by visiting the Fairy Pools, or by taking the boat from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. There are also the Red Cuillin, which are an easier option and more suited to the casual hillwalker.  The views from any of the Cuillin, Black or Red, are outstanding, but please do take a map, be equipped, and if necessary employ a guide.

But there is much more to Skye than just the Cuillin. In the north of Skye you will find the incredible landscape of Trotternish, formed of massive ancient landslips, rock pinnacles, and grassy plateaus.  Its most notable features are the Old Man of Storr and The Quiraing.

Wherever you go on the island the coastal landscapes are beautiful.  Most notable is Coral Beach near Dunvegan in the north.  This dazzling white beach is formed of crushed coral and shells and the water becomes a tropical blue on a sunny day.  Also in the north is the dramatic Neist Point, near Glendale. Sometimes you can see whales and dolphins from this point, and even Orcas have been seen here.  In the south the tiny hamlet of Elgol has outstanding views to the Black Cuillin.

WIldlife is another top attraction, with the White Tailed Sea Eagle and Golden Eagle being popular sightings.  Both birds are seen regularly from the cottage windows and the cliff walk from the cottage leads you up into the area where these birds nest.  If you are very lucky you can actually look down onto a Golden Eagle nest from the cliff top.  Red Deer can also be found throughout the island, and are again regularly seen on the croft in front of the cottage. Otters can be seen all across the island in quiet coastal corners. Dolphins and whales are regular visitors and remarkably have been seen from our cottage windows.  I have myself seen Minke Whales and Dolphins in the bay below the cottage as I was looking out of the sitting room windows.

For those interested in history Skye has much to offer, from dinosaur footprints on the shore at Staffin, through 2000 year old Pictish Brochs, Castles which form part of Clan history, to crofting, highland clearances, and interesting churches.There is something for everyone here.

Things to Do .... Outdoor Activities

For walking, rambling, climbing or mountaineering, there is no finer place than the Isle of Skye. There are the world famous Black Cuillin mountains for those who like the challenge of the finest mountains in the UK, then there's the Trotternish Ridge, the Quirang....plus lots of delightful coastal walks along some of the highest sea cliffs in Britain. If you prefer cycling, the opportunities for mountain biking are endless, or there are miles of quiet roads to cycle along for something less strenuous. For seeing the island in other ways, why not try pony trekking, or take a boat trip around the coast to see some of the marvellous wildlife. Get even closer to the water by kayaking around the coast, or try some sea or fly fishing. For children there are lots of beaches and rock pools to explore.

Things to Do .... Star Gazing

All across Skye there is little or no light pollution. This means that it is easy to see a sky full of stars, and, in the winter, there can be amazing views of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).  The image of the Northern Lights below was taken from the door of Green Pastures Cottage by one of our guests.

Click on any image below for an enlarged view.

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All photography on the site is by Helen Shelmerdine and is subject to copyright.  Copyright © Malkin Photography 2019. All Rights Reserved