of Scotland, Isle of Skye
Skye and its smaller neighbours
that make up the Inner Hebrides are known for their wild, beautiful
landscapes of deep lochs and jagged mountains, which provide a
challenge for the most experienced climbers. The islands have
a harsh history, with Norse invasions, fierce clan feuds and the
forcible eviction of much of the population during the Highland
Clearances of the last century.
Armadale Castle, built
in the 19th century, houses museum telling story of MacDonald
clan. Forty acres of woodland gardens, guided walks, nature trails.
Armadale is ferry link from Mallaig on mainland.
Red granite Beinn na
Caillich dominates this crofting village on bay. Bonnie Prince
Charlie took refuge with the MacKinnons after his 1746 defeat
at Culloden. He left them his secret recipe for what is now called
Fertile island, 5 miles
long, with small but thriving farming and fishing community. No
accommodation on island but campers can stay with permission from
the National Trust for Scotland. Deep-water harbour attracts many
Tomb found in a graveyard
on a small island in the Skeabost river. Notable for unusual effigy
of a warrior in armour.
Semicircular range of
bare, black, volcanic peaks, many over 3,000ft high. These peaks
are for experienced climbers only and provide some of Britain's
best and toughest climbing.
Iron Age broch, or fort,
2000 years old. Walls 12ft thick enclose an area 31ft in diameter.
Guard-rooms within walls on each side of the entrance.
Iron Age fort 12ft high
with walls lift thick surrounded by outer wall. Two wall chambers
and a stair lobby remain.
One of oldest fortified
headlands of the Hebrides, a home of Mac-Donald clan until the
late 16th century. Well preserved.
Iron Age dwellings of
this type, dry-stone towers with thick walls, are only found in
Scotland. This example's walls are 12ft thick and enclose an area
Ruin of 17th-century
castle perched on cliff which falls sharply on three sides. Built
by MacDonalds on site of Celtic fort.
Castle on Loch Dunvegan
has been stronghold of Clan MacLeod since 1200. Packed with pictures,
books and various relics of 20 MacLeod generations.
Fishing hamlet below
Cuillin mountains on southern peninsula of Straithaird. Soay,
Canna and Rhum islands visible from here.
Seven thatched cottages
hold museum of 19th-century Skye crofting life. Graveyard's Celtic
cross marks the burial place of heroine Flora MacDonald, who helped
the fugitive Bonnie Prince Charlie during his flight from the
English in 1746.
Early 20th-century mansion,
now a hotel, on Rim, built for Sir George Bullough. Many original
fittings remain. Entire island was Bullough family's private estate
from 1888 to 1957.
One of many MacDonald
clan strongholds in the 16th and 17th centuries, castle was successfully
defended from a 15th-century attack by Clan MacLeod.
Seafront village and
ferry port on strait that separates island from mainland. Castle
Moil, MacKinnon stronghold from the 13th century, set on bluff.
House's 3 acre garden
warmed by mild Golf Stream throughout
winter. Set by Loch Alsh, site gives views of the Cuillins and
Island of Raasay.
Sea loch where Hakon
of Nor-way's fleet sheltered after defeat at 13th-century Battle
of Largs. Dun Beag, one of Skye's best-preserved brochs, is nearby.
Remote sea loch at foot
of the Cuillins, accessible by boat or difficult hike. Name translates
as 'cauldron of water'.
Malt-drying kilns of
Talisker distillery, Skye's only malt whisky producer, sit beside
Water from loch flows
50yds before spilling over a sharp cliff to the sea 600ft below.
Nearby is Kilt Rock, a formation with shape and strata resembling
Sligachan Hotel famous
as climbing centre for the Cuillins since Victorian times. In
Glen Sligachan is Bloody Stone, site of last clan battle between
MacDonalds and MacLeods in 1601.
Local croft has been
converted to Old Skye Crofter's House folk museum, displaying
tools and illustrating crofting life.
Neat whitewashed houses
and small hotels line harbour of town, 'capital' of Skye. Royal
Hotel is on site of inn where Bonnie Prince Charlie bade farewell
to Flora MacDonald in 1746 before exile in France. Highland Games
held here in summer.
Gaelic name means 'pillared
stronghold', describing an extra-ordinary glacier-created cluster
of pinnacles and peaks.
Isle of Raasay, 13 miles
long, lies between Skye and the mainland. Brochel Castle was home
to MacLeod of Raasay, whose 1745 support of the Jacobite cause
brought severe retribution upon island after defeat of Bonnie
Island with peaks rising
to 2,659ft. Now a Scottish Natural Heritage reserve, abundant
with red deer. The sea eagle has been success-fully reintroduced
to island, previously extinct in Britain. Centre for botanical
Rocky coast with crofting
and fishing village around Staffin Bay. Reached by narrow road
crossing Stenscholl river.
Area of rock cliffs and
columns to the south of Trotternish peninsula. Area's highlight
is Old Man of Storr, black basalt column l6Oft tall and 40ft in
diameter, surrounded by lesser pinnacles.
Coastal crofting settlement,
centre for sea angling and pony trekking. Sheltered from northerly
winds by Scalpay Island.
Ruined church is site
of 1579 fight between MacLeods and MacDonalds. The invading MacDonalds
killed all but one of many MacLeods worshipping in the church.
The sole survivor raised the alarm and the rest of the clan arrived
and killed the MacDonalds before they could escape.
overlooking bay is 19th-century folly, built by a Captain Fraser.
Car ferry to North Uist and Harris.
Headland gives views
of twin flat-topped hills called MacLeod's Tables. At low tide,
point is connected to sheep-inhabited islet of Oronsay by sand