of Skye, Scotland -
Virtual Tour of South Skye
Kyleakin, Broadford, Strath and Sleat
On arrival on Skye we can stop off at the
Otter Haven and, if we are very quiet, we might be lucky enough to
see wild otters fishing in the sea or playing on the shore. The
steep, single-track road out of Kylerhea takes us over the moors to
the main road a few miles west of Kyleakin.
In the days before the Skye Bridge, Kyleakin
was the main entry-point to the island but now it enjoys a much more
peaceful and relaxing atmosphere which is appreciated by the
visitors who take the trouble to turn off the main road to take a
look at the ancient Norse stronghold of Castle Moil, near the White Heather Hotel.
If we take a boat trip to view the castle from the sea we can
also get a closer look at the seals which fish among the many rocks
and islands dotted about between Kyleakin and the mainland.
The busiest ferry crossing to Skye is in the
south of the island, on the Sleat peninsula, which is a long tongue
of low-lying hills and knolls, patterned with numerous lochs and
burns. The road follows the coast from the Aird of Sleat all the way
to Kinloch where it cuts northwards towards Broadford.
its length the Sleat road is a delight with its peppering of houses
surrounded by a surprising variety of woodland, hedgerow, and green
fields. The views across to the mainland hills of Knoydart are truly
The ferry from Mallaig arrives on Skye at
Armadale spilling its cargo of cars and buses,
of which are hardly into top gear before they stop at the Armadale
Castle Gardens and Museum of the Isles, home of the MacDonald clan,
and of the most beautiful woodland garden. Armadale, and the nearby
village of Ardvasar offer an impressive selection of shops and
services including designer knitwear at Ragamuffin and the world
famous Skye Batiks. The Ardvasar
Hotel is a good place to stop for refreshments or a longer stay
in the area.
A little further up the road there is a lot of
coming and going from Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye's further education
college which teaches courses in our native Gaelic language
and provides a focus for much of the cultural activity in the south
of the island.
detour around by Tarskavaig and Ord is well worth the effort,
despite the tortuous road. The views across the sea to the Cuillin
Mountains are superb and a visit to the ruined castle of Dunsgiath
takes us back beyond mediaeval times into the realms of myth when
the warrior queen, Sgathach, had it as her stronghold.
On rejoining the main Sleat road we continue
north to Knock Bay where another ruined castle will be found, as
well as the more modern comforts of the Toravaig Hotel. A little
further on we take the turning for Isle Ornsay which
presents one of the prettiest pictures of all the villages in the
area. Here Praban na Linne nearby gives you the chance to sample and
purchase a special selection of whiskies, and not far afield, the Eilean
Iarmain Hotel offers spectacular views & kind hospitality.
Further up the road we come across two more of Skye's
The Duisdale Hotel enjoys spectacular
views over the sound of Sleat to the hills of Knoydart while the Kinloch
Lodge has its own very special setting by the shore.
Continuing across the moor to the north we come
to the end of the single-track road and join the main artery through
the island a couple of miles east of Broadford which has most of
the shops and services you might need, including a bank and a Tourist
Information Centre. On the way into Broadford we can stop off at
one of several excellent restaurants for a bite to eat. There is plenty to see and do in Broadford with
a wide variety of craft shops, galleries, and other attractions
such as the World of Wood and the Skye Serpentarium.
Heading west from Broadford we find ourselves
on another single-track road which leads eventually to the township
of Elgol. Along the broad strath, around the skirts of Beinn na
Cailleach, and we are confronted by the awesome majesty of Bla
Bheinn, described by a 19th century visitor as "the King of
mountains". Walkers and climbers come from all over the world
to ascend this famous peak which rises to a height of over 1000 metres
from the shores of Loch Slapin.
After passing through the village of Torrin we
travel around the shore of Loch Slapin, under the crags of Bla
Bheinn, towards Elgol.
Elgol we find a thriving community perched on the edge of the sea,
in view of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery imaginable.
From the pier at the foot of the village we can take a boat trip to
Loch Coruisk which lies in the heart of the Cuillin mountains. The
MV 'Bella Jane' plies across the sea to take us into this wild and
wonderful place where seals bask on the rocks and eagles soar above
The hotels in this area include: