A couple of years ago I decided it was time I saw a bit more of the islands around here. We have hundreds of them. I’ve visited very few.
Trouble is, living on the east coast they aren’t so accessible.
Quite a few were crossed off the list when I had a week in Orkney 5 years ago. The Orkney mainland, Burray, South Ronaldsay & Lamb Holm, to be precise.
I visited the Shetland mainland on business many years ago, and Lewis (in the Outer Hebrides) as well.
This summer I was back in An t-Eilean Sgitheanach (Skye) briefly – after a gap of many decades. Two nights staying in Àird a’ Bhàsair right in the south of the island.
It is a spectacular landscape, which seems to change everytime you drive around a corner. Many cultural nuances too – single track road etiquette, crofting, Gaelic, the Free Church of Scotland, the Clearances and the West Highland weather.
Two nights wasn’t really enough, but going back to the accessibility point, the 218 miles via the Skye Bridge took 5 hours to drive.
It was a lovely trip – in spite of some real Scottish weather. 8ºc one afternoon, in Port Rìgh in mid August. Lucky we found a cosy wee restaurant.
If you enjoy eating fish/seafood, put An t-Eilean Sgitheanach on your itinerary.
Do it anyway!
© iain taylor 2014