The Misty Isle

It wasn’t long into my trip to the Isle of Skye that I understood why the island had received its atmospheric epithet. The mist clung to the various hills and peaks for the entirety of my visit. Its presence added an ominous, brooding and sometimes mystical quality to the Isle and my time there. The locals further enhanced this mystical element by informing us about the various legends and myths that are preserved by place names such as; the Fairy Pools, the Fairy Glens, the Fairy Bridge and of course Old Man Storr.

The Fairy Glens were particularly memorable, resembling a miniature mountain range, that’s peaks looked out on waterfalls, clusters of trees and crumbling ruins engrained with history and mystery in equal measure. To achieve these views required much scrambling and camera juggling which no doubt provided other travellers with much entertainment in addition to the mystical views and scenery.

The traditional Scottish weather prevented a long stay at the Fairy Pools and culminated in a group of Asian tourists getting an amusing view of me trying to wrestle off my soaking clothes and replace them with dry ones at the start of the trail. However, the rainy spells did subside which allowed us to explore some of the most impressive natural scenery in Britain. The Needles and Old Man Storr are hugely impressive places. The rock face rears up on your left as you navigate the narrow path to the summit of Old Man Storr. Upon looking over your right shoulder, you are greeted with epic views coming out of the shadow of the mountain. A winding road cuts through the green landscape, a temptation for any keen cyclist or car enthusiast. Eventually, after crossing waterfalls and navigating boulders I rounded a corner in the path and the famous needle rock formations were revealed, looming up into the ever-present mist. It was certainly one of the most impressive sights I have come across; full of animosity and foreboding.

4X3A7712.jpg

After the descent, we tracked along the coast past Kilt Rock towards Portree until we came across an alluring path leading towards the sea. Intrigued, we jumped out the car and followed the path that led us down through grazing fields for sheep and a singular farmhouse. After half a mile or so we reached the gently writhing sea, lapping the weathered rocks. A steep cliff jutted out into the sea to our right creating a hidden cove. Unlike the ominous nature of the Storr, the beach felt tranquil and peaceful, devoid of mist and imminent rain. We felt fortunate to have stumbled across the small cove and it is definitely worth a visit if you’re passing. It’s called Brother’s Point and can be found a few miles past Kilt Rock on the way to Portree.

On the final day of the trip we started travelling back to the mainland. We hitched a ride on the Glenelg Ferry, which in itself turned out to be another unexpected highlight. A father and daughter team who clearly knew every inch of the water between the two peers expertly manned the tiny, rickety ferry as they navigated a strong current to take us across to the mainland. The ferry delivered us at the far bank next to one of the most idyllic cottages I have ever seen. I assumed it was where the two lived and provided a comforting insight into one family’s life on the Isle.  

After the ferry crossing we passed a small community of people who had dedicated themselves to living off the land without the use of modern technology. They were situated in the base of a valley, secluded by vast pine forests on all sides. As the mist descended we journeyed back north with the howling highland winds at our backs; it had been a great trip and one that I am sure to repeat. We journeyed back north with the howling highland winds at our backs; it had been a great trip and one that I am sure to repeat.