Saturday 26th September 2020
“A place where time means nothing and beneath every footstep lies 500 million years of history”.
The Isle of Skye is still my favourite part of Scotland (or at least one of them). I think Skye (its my opinion) has some of the best scenery in all of Scotland, and it can rival Lord of the Rings anyday. From The Cullin Mountains which rise up dramatically in the middle of the Island, surrounded by heather-covered moors that lead down to sea cliffs and rugged beaches with hidden coves it offers everything.
Describing places as magical might be cliche, but there is no other adjective that better describes this place for me.
YES, we are heading to Skye, having a week long break on this very beautiful Scottish Island and doing something good for our country which will help support our local economy in this difficult current climate….our Country after all is one of the most beautiful so why not spend time here!
I already can begin to feel that feeling rising in my chest, that feeling I get when embarking on another new adventure, or returning to a place that sits fondly in my heart. For me it is both…we are returning to Skye
Skye is a very beautiful part of Scotland which has a wind-swept coastline and incredible landscapes. It’s a wild kind of beautiful that I hope is never tamed.
Our drive up was picturesque. Passing through Glen Garry a beautiful and rugged glen I admire more so than others as it’s more natural and less untouched which I prefer. Then there was the scenic Movrick and of course the famous Eilean Donan Castle, one of my favourite Scottish castles and today there was hardly a tourist…lucky for us!
The sun is shining and the landscape is mesmerising radiating some autumn colours.
As we drive it’s more noticeable how COVID has impacted on the outdoors. Lay-bys are visibly busier than before, more people are out walking and hiking on the hills. I guess a good thing if it has encouraged these people that would not normally partake in these activities to get out and get active as long as they are respecting the environment and being responsible, may I add however for us it’s slightly a negative as it means things in general are busier whilst trying to escape and it’s clearly visible! Nevertheless our choice of getaways at this stage are calculated and we are opting to head deeper into the mountains or choosing mountain ranges harder to reach or harder to hike with the hope of seeing less people.
We pass over the Sligachen Bridge, close to the Black Cullin Mountains.
There’s a legend that goes along with this bridge that says the mountain-fed waters beneath it are enchanted. It is said that if you hold your face in the waters for a full seven seconds you’ll be granted eternal beauty. Worth a try, right?
“Nowhere on the British Island are there any rock climbs to be compared with those in Skye.” Norman Collie
Just across from the Sligachen Bridge we notice a new sculpture has been erected of Norman Collie and John MacKenzie, the two-climbing pioneers who climbed and named these hills which we can see before us.
Collie and MacKenzie played a central role in creating a mountaineering destination in the Cullin.
Like many tourists, Norman Collie first visited Skye to go fishing in 1896. After seeing other climbers, he set out to try the sport. He met MacKenzie when – after several days – he admitted he needed some expert help. Over the years Collie and MacKenzie completed ten first attempts in the Cullin and opened a number of new routes. The skills that Collie learned on Skye enabled him to become one of the greatest British mountaineers ever.
Collie and MacKenzie would certainly be pleased that the Cullin still attract climbers today. And that ‘munro bagging’ is no longer a hobby for gentlemen but a sport for everyone!
The Black Cuillin are intoxicating and mesmerising. These are often referred to as Britian’s only real mountains, and are certainly worthy of any adrenaline-craving hiker, one of the reasons why we are here.
We are staying in a gorgeous traditional croft cottage, with lots of charm surrounded by idylic beautiful scenery including a gorgeous bay which is within walking distance and just a 10 minutes drive from Portree, the ‘capital’ of the Isle of Skye. It is a listed 19th Century stone cottage situated in the quiet township of Camustianavaig on the Braes peninsula.
On arriving at the cottage I am instantly in love with this place. Its the cutest place ever and everything I could possibly want.
We found this place by sheer luck and it will be a great base for hiking and climbing in the Cuillin aswell as visiting old haunts.
With a wood burning stove and enough kindling, coal and logs for any cold Autumn/Winter night I am in my element…and the views from here are breathtaking…maybe we don’t even need to venture outside afterall!