This is an article about the Isle of Skye that I did a while back for a magazine competition. Unfortunately I never got round to using it (I know, I’m a wasted talent) but I’m still proud of my effort. The Isle of Skye is truly an amazing place and I loved writing about it. We went countless times when I was a child (with my parents going regularly before that too) so I couldn’t wait to take Vanna there last year (our first walk is the topic here). I’ve already uploaded the photos from our time on Skye here on the blog. To save you trawling through the archives here are the links for you ( part one and part two). Don’t we look so young?
I hope you enjoy my article and if it tempts you to visit it yourselves then well, it was definitely worth posting here.
Oh and if anybody from the Scottish Tourist Board happens to read this, feel free to use it for your booklets, websites…whatever. Obviously a little contribution towards my funds would be welcome. Just as a suggestion.
The Isle of Skye is the most northerly and largest island in the Inner Hebrides. With spectacular, awe-inspiring scenery, Skye is popular for its challenging and engaging walks over the mountainous terrain. I have visited Eilean a’ Cheo many times with my family, and this summer I jumped at the chance to grab my walking boots once more. And with my girlfriend experiencing her first taste of the Highlands, our week stay in a traditional stone cottage would be extra special.
Our first walk together was to Waternish point, the place where Flora McDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived in 1746 as he attempted to flee government forces. The weather didn’t look too promising with a blanket of thick clouds threatening above. It would take more than rain to stop us however, and we decided to explore the start point -a small township called Trumpan- before beginning the walk.
The most prominent feature of Trumpan is a roofless church. The damage occurred at the time of a brutal massacre, part of the feud between two of Skye’s clans, the McDonalds and MacLeods. Known as the Battle of the Spoilt Dyke, the history is documented here and is worth reading. I felt contemplative as I wandered around the graveyard; the church a sombre reminder of Skye’s dark past.
Onto the walk and immediately I was in my element, walking across Skye’s rugged landscape with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face. Surprisingly the sky had cleared, the sun shining its welcoming warmth on our backs.
Despite not boasting the exciting and memorable scenery of other parts of Skye, Waternish has plenty of places to explore and we took every opportunity to detour to the various ruins that littered the landscape. The most noticeable is a cairn located atop a small but steep mound. My girlfriend and I ascended the slope, taking the opportunity to appreciate the pleasing views overlooking the Atlantic.
Afterwards, the track inclined steadily, disappearing into the horizon. By the time we reached the top I was out of breath, my recent laziness taking its toll. But it was worthwhile, our exertions rewarded with the scenery that awaited us. With the ruins of an abandoned house in the foreground and rolling hills leading to the unmanned lighthouse and the sea, we had a panoramic view of this lonely peninsula.
Eager to reach the point, we chose to go through the fields rather than the recommended coastal path to the left. After stepping repeatedly in bog, I had begun to regret the decision. However, once we had reached the lighthouse my wet feet had been completely forgotten.
With only the sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks, it felt like we were completely cut off from the world. It was remote and romantic. We sat there for hours, watching the sea. Then, when I thought the trip couldn’t get any better, we caught sight of a whale’s fin as it emerged from the surf. Perfect.
I only just realised after I’d posted this that I actually have another article on Skye in my files too! This other one covers walking on Skye in greater detail, describing the terrain you’d expect to face on the walk and the views that await those who’ve made the effort. These are my favourite walks on Skye so I can vouch for how great they are. Anyway, I’ll post that at some point in the future too (when I’ve got nothing else to write about *cough* like today *cough*). Those of you who work for the Scottish Tourist Board (I know there is at least one person…) keep checking the blog for that.