Europe Nature Travelling United Kingdom

Skye: Scotland’s Island Paradise

Our 3-day itinerary only afforded us one day on the Isle of Skye, so we had to make the best of it by getting up early and jumping into the car while hard frost still clung to the treetops.

Skye’s spectacular scenery is surely some of the best in the world?

The fairy pools in Glen Brittle was our first destination, and—despite its relatively close proximity to our hostel—it took us a few hours to get there due to the astounding scenery forcing a few photograph stops along the way. Of course, the narrow, one-car wide mountain tracks also contributed to our slow progress – but they were great fun to drive along in our little hired Peugeot.

Reaching the Fairy Pools is relatively straightforward once you reach Glen Brittle, and the pools are clearly marked from a small car park. We arrived just as the morning sun was encroaching along the top of the mountain ridge, that slowly filled the valley with gorgeous spring sunlight as we approached the pools.

The Fairy Pools were encrusted in ice

The pools are formed from small waterfalls that run down the mountainside. In summer they glow in shades of green, blue and purple, but apparently this is most common when the sky is more overcast. On the day of my visit the sky was the purest blue, causing the pools to reflect azure. The pools were lower than I have seen on many pictures, but this made it even easier for us to skip across the rocks and photograph the falls from both sides. Morning frost crystallised the edges of the pool, but the strengthening sun went to work at the ice quickly and we were treated to a gorgeous spring morning of Scottish sun. Surprisingly, it was even warm enough to take off our coats!

The magical fairy pools
Waterfall at the fairy pools

Our drive around the island then took us to the spectacular East coast and Kilt Rock, a protruding rock jutting out into the sea, with folds that are said to resemble the pleats of a kilt. Just in front of the rock the Mealt waterfall cascades freely from the cliff into the sea. As with the Fairy Pools, the water in the river was low so it was more a steady trickle, but pretty nevertheless. The road across the north of the island from Kilt Rock to Uig is also worth a drive along, if you have the time.

A waterfall cascades into the sea by Kilt Rock

The perfect way to end a day on Skye is to eat comforting British food in a homely Scottish pub – my choice for the day was classic ‘Bangers n Mash’, simple, yet delicious.

As the February sun began to wane, we headed to the bridge that connects the island to the mainland and walked across, cameras in hand. We were treated to a stunning sunset that flamed a violent orange against the rugged mountains of Scotland’s Island Paradise.

The Skye bridge at sunset
A perfect sunset on a perfect island

Have you visited Skye? Do you agree that Scotland has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world?

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  1. What hostel did you stay at? I know this trip was last year but I’d love your hostel recs. We’re planning a trip to Scotland (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Iverness) later this year.

    1. Hi. I stayed at Broadford Backpackers. It was cheap, colourful and the staff were friendly. There are probably nicer hostels to stay in, but I liked the vibe of this hostel. I would love to go back to Skye, it is so lovely there. Enjoy your trip!

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