With no less than 350 miles of coastline and Britain’s foremost mountain range, the Isle of Skye is a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Whether it’s hill-walking or cycling, canoeing or whale watching, Skye has it all.
The phrase ‘spoiled for choice’ comes to mind. Whether it be modest hill walking or serious mountaineering, woodland walks or coastal rambles, the Isle of Skye offers everything you could want.
The Cuillin boasts 12 Munros (mountains over 3,000ft) among its 24 peaks, while the more accessible though equally spectacular Trotternish Ridge can be tackled by the less adventurous.
The Cabin, Skye has copies of the many guides to those and other walks – as well as detailed maps – in the study.
The Cabin is situated on the shores of the natural harbour of Isle Ornsay with its moorings safe from the strong currents of the Sound of Sleat as well as the prevailing westerly winds. Guests are more than welcome to arrive under their own steam or canvas.
Landings by dinghy can be made either at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain pier or, indeed, on the shore right in front of The Cabin, Skye.
There are also plenty of opportunities for hiring boats or guided boat tours around Skye or to the mainland.
“The coastal waters around Skye, the Outer Hebrides and the North West of Scotland provide a range of cruising grounds with some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world”SailScotland
From the modern and energetic to more traditional and leisurely, the sporting opportunities on Skye are many and varied. Everything from kayaking and land speed sailing to pony trekking, fishing and golf is catered for.
Food and Drink
The Cabin is surrounded by opportunities for fine dining. The Hotel Eilean Iarmain with a choice of formal and informal dining and the award-winning restaurant at the Duisdale House Hotel are only short walks away. A five-minute drive in one direction and you are at Claire Macdonald’s world-famous Kinloch Lodge, while the same in the opposite direction takes you to the Toravaig House Hotel with one of the island’s most renowned kitchens. Further afield there is the equally famous Three Chimneys Restaurant, while Portree, the island’s capital, is fast becoming a so-called ‘foodie destination’ with excellent restaurants such as Dulse & Brose and Scorrybreac.
For those looking for a more relaxed dining experience, Skye abounds in restaurants serving fine local produce, among them the Stein Inn, Waternish and Red Skye at Breakish.
As for Scotland’s national drink, the island’s long-standing distillery at Talisker (maker of one of the finest single malts in the world – ‘the king o’ drinks’ according to Robert Louis Stevenson) has been joined by two others – one on Raasay and the other at Torabhaig just five mins drive from The Cabin. Fascinating tours, including tastings, are available at all of these.
A small sample of the many books on Skye’s rich history can be found in The Cabin’s study. Here you will find everything from fairy tales and myths to heart-breaking accounts of the infamous Clearances, from stories about the legendary Lord of the Isles and the battles between the clans MacDonald and MacLeod, to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape after Culloden and the celebrated journey of Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell in 1773.
Visit Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the Clan MacLeod, and Armadale Castle where the Clan Donald Centre can be found.
Skye is also an important centre in the efforts to revive and sustain Gaelic culture and language in Scotland. A ten-minute drive from The Cabin is the recently established Gaelic College, or Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, which regularly stages exhibitions and musical events.
Arts and Crafts
The landscapes, wildlife and quality of light on Skye have attracted artists for years. Today Skye is home to scores of talented painters, printers, weavers, potters, photographers and sculptors. Their galleries and workshops are scattered across the island, some in villages, some in remote corners, close to the elements that give them their inspiration.
Photo: Gallery An Talla Dearg