I had yet, another interesting trip to Skye with my family while they were here in Scotland! We rented a car, like the previous trip I had up to Skye, and we ambitiously decided to drive from Glasgow up to Skye in one day. We were on the road by around eleven and embarked on our adventure. The drive up to Skye which goes through the Lowlands, Loch Lomond, The Highlands, and Skye is magnificent. It is probably one of the most spectacular drives I have ever done, the driving goes by so quickly because you are constantly looking out the window at the enormous hills you are driving between, and driving past various waterfalls and lochs along the way. On the way up we pulled off at Loch Lomond, the Highlands and Glencoe to take photographs and admire the beautiful scenery. My Father was driving so stopping a lot meant he was able to focus on Scotland instead of driving on the left-hand side of the road. This was now my third time going through the highlands, in March I took a bus tour up when my best friend Claire was visiting, and obviously, the weekend before when I went camping with my friends in Skye. You could stop every two minutes if you wanted just to take photographs, it is that spectacular. The car we rented had a hugeeee sunroof so it was really neat being able to see the top of the hills through the roof of the vehicle.
We decided to stop in Fort Williams for lunch had a wee break there… which turned out to be a tad longer than expected. After we finished our lunch at a local pub, we were stopped at a roundabout with about ten cars in front of us, all of the sudden SMASH, we all flew forward and back, we had been rear-ended. Mom shouted out “we’ve been hit” (as if none of us was already aware of that.. but her comment turned into a joke for the rest of the holiday). The impact was pretty hard and my Mother, Grandmother and I were all rather sore for the remainder of the day. The impact didn’t bother my father.. but my Uncle Peter on the other hand… the impact broke the zipper on his vest and his vest split open when we were hit (which also became a joke for the rest of the holiday). Luckily enough the damage to the back of the car wasn’t terrible.. so after a few phone calls were made we were able to get back on the road to continue our trip.
We made it on to Skye by five and drove for a bit before getting to the ferry to take us to the Isle of Raasay. We were not actually spending the night on Skye we were staying at the beautiful manor on the Isle of Raasay just across from Skye. The ferry was a quick twenty minutes across the water. When my mom was trying to find a Bed & Breakfast or a hotel to stay in basically everything was booked… except one room at Raasay House on the Isle of Raasay, a quick twenty-minute ferry ride from Skye. However, the only room available was a family room… or as my uncle referred to it as “a hostel room.” All five of us were sleeping in one big room together, Dad and I on the bunk beds, Mom on the pullout couch, and my Grandmother and Uncle each in a twin end.
Staying at Raasay House turned out to be a fantastic decision. The house and the whole island were sooooooooooooo beautiful. We had a great dinner and drinks at the bistro in Raasay House that evening, and the following morning we had a delicious breakfast. At Raasay House, there are various outdoor adventures that you can sign up for and partake in, so if I ever make it back there I would definitely stay for a couple of days just to take part in their activities.
After we took the ferry from Raasay over to Skye, we headed straight to Portree, the largest town on the Isle of Skye. Portree is a little harbour city, with pretty coloured buildings along the waterfront (does that put you in mind of any Atlantic Canadian cities). There was a cruise ship in town that day so it was fairly busy with tourists. We just browsed some of the little shops and grabbed lunch a pub, before continuing around Skye.
From Portree we drove up the coast along the water, passing the Old Man of Stor, up to the Quiraing. It was raining on and off the entire time we were in Skye, and as we were driving up the dirt one lane roads we passed hundreds of sheep. As it started to get windier we passed a group of sheep that were all in a single line behind mounds of grass to block the wind. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen.
I had hiked the Quiraing the weekend previous… but there was no chance I could have hiked it with my Dad, as it was sooooo windy, you would be blown right off the cliff. However, there were two specific individuals and a photographer who was standing on one part of the cliff… a bride and a groom were getting their wedding photos taken! (In the second photo below you can spot the bride in the white dress)
The next stop on our route was the Fairy Glen, another location where I had been previously. It is an interesting drive up to Fairy Glen, as it strictly says no coaches allowed. It is a very narrow one lane road, that hardly has a shoulder for people to pull over in in order to pass. As we were driving in (and out) we had a few close calls, as people were evidently unfamiliar with this practice and were taking up the entire road instead of going into a passing pull off section.
Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived the rain really started to pour down, so we were not able to explore the whole thing. However, just driving into Fairy Glen and seeing the mounds and such is pretty neat, it would put you in mind of something like the Shire in Lord of the Rings.
We decided on the way that we would stop at the Drovers Inn for dinner. When I was trying to describe the Drovers Inn to my family I told them it was like something you would see in Scooby-do. The Inn was built in 1705… and you can certainly tell based off the old stone the inn is built with and the decor on the inside. Not only that, the Inn is filled with all sorts of interesting objects, including a full set of knights armour, an old grandfather clock, and taxidermy.. of all sorts of animals… normal and unique.. like a two-headed lamb. Basically, a location that the Mystery Gang accidentally wandered into. Despite the unique interior design, we had a lovely Scottish meal, I ordered Haggis Neaps and Tatties (a signature Scottish dish of Haggis, Turnips, Potatoes and a whisky sauce). Dad ordered this as well, his first Haggis experience! Dad loved it so much he even bought himself a shirt which says “Scottish Pub of the Year: 1705” on it.
We left the pub about half ten and started on the road (the main road) back to Glasgow which goes along Loch Lomond. About ten minutes into our drive we approached a sign that said “Road Closed” but with no information. At the time we did not have any service so we were unable to google or call to see what was happening. The sign was only covering the left lane of traffic so Dad decided to at least see how far he could go. Outside it was rainy and misty, and we’re slowly taking each turn in the road uncertain about what we were going to see. An accident? Road Construction? Water over the road from all the rain? We were basically in the Mystery Machine heading into the unknown. About ten minutes in (out of the 32 km road) I finally got service and was able to find out on Google the road was shut for maintenance overnight. This provided us with the answer as to why the road was closed but failed to provide us with a solution on how to get home. SO we turned around and headed back to the Drovers Inn. When we pulled into their parking lot I was able to get on the phone with traffic Scotland and they gave me new directions to get home… which meant back tracking and driving ALLLL the way to Stirling before going back to Glasgow, which meat the opposite way around Loch Lomond.. adding an extra couple hours to our trip. In the end, we made the drive and ended back to our Air BNB safe and sound. Mom was just happy she didn’t have to spend the night at the Drovers Inn!
Overall, we certainly had an entertaining trip to Skye, but ups, downs, and unexpected situations always make for the best stories to come out of a holiday! Like I said in my previous post about Skye, if you are visiting Scotland make sure you carve out a couple of days to take the journey up to Skye, you will not regret it!