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Skye Tour Feb 7th 2016.

Black Faced Sheep. Skye. Scotland

This morning we departed our lodgings in Portree and embarked on a trip as follows:

First north, along the east coast of the island, stopping to view some peat cuttings and black face sheep.

Peat Cutting, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Unfortunately, the Old Man of Storr was not visible due to cloud cover. Our first stop was the cliff face known as Kilt Rock and the adjacent waterfall known as Mealt Falls.

Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock, Isle of Skye

Video clip of Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock

Next, we continued north but then cut across the northern tip to view the spectacular Quiraing landscape which was caused by a 60m year old landslip.

Next we continued across the top of the island then turned north on reaching the western side near Uig. We followed the coastal route calling in at Kilmuir Cemetery to view some ancient burial including that of Flora MacDonald who achieved fame in the 18th century by helping Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape after his defeat at Culloden in 1746.

Flora MacDonald’s Memorial at Kilmuir, Skye

After circumnavigating the top half of Skye we went back through the Quiraing and then on to Uig which is a bay and ferry terminal. Here we stopped for refreshments.

Uig Bay, Skye, Scotland

Next, on to nearby Fairy Glen which is a small valley populated with conical hills and sheep.

Fairy Glen, Skye, Scotland

Next we continued around the coast to for lunch at the excellent Stein Inn, a pub which dates back to the late 18th century.

Stein Inn, Skye, Scotland

Next we drove round to nearby Skyskyns, a craft operation which converts sheep sheep skins to rugs, footwear and other products. The tanning process was explained to us.

Skyeskyns, Waternish, Skye, Scotland

Waternish, Skye, Scotland

Next, round to Dunvegan and then down the coast to Sligachan via a drive-past of Talisker Distillery.

After passing through Sligachan we drove north, back to our hotel in Portree in increasingly heavy wind and rain.

Tomorrow, we travel to Oban via Glencoe.

Highland Cow with Calf, Great Glen, Scotland

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands and embarked on a trip as follows:

First to nearby Fort George at Ardesier on the Moray Firth. This is a huge 18 century British Military ‘Redcoat’ Fort which was constructed shortly after the Battle of Culloden (1746) to control the Highlands and prevent another Jacobite uprising. Today, it is still used by the British Army with the Black Watch currently in residence.

Fort George, Moray Firth, Scptland

Next, back through Inverness and down the west side of Loch Ness to Castle Urquhart, which is an excellent platform to view the famous waterway. The castle is of historic interest in its own right, dating from around the 12th century until the defences were slighted in 1692 to prevent Jacobite forces gaining control.

Castle Urquhart, Loch Ness, Scotland

Next, we continued down the Great Glen in mixed weather albeit very mild for the time of year.Snow was evident on fthe mountain tops. Interestingly, we encountered a range of animals including deer, alpaca, feral goats, highland cows and a large herd of horses.

We called in, briefly, at Eilean Donan Castle and then continued on, through Kyle of Lochalsh and across the Skye bridge to the Isle of Skye.

Again, most of the mountains on Skye were topped with snow.

We arrived at our destination of Portree late afternoon and checked into our excellent hotel with superb views of Portree Harbour and the Cuillin Hills.

Somerled Square, Portree at night

Portree Harbour at night, Skye

Tomorrow, we tour the island.

 

 

Today was characterised by unseasonally mild weather, mainly overcast and with some rain.

We departed our lodgings in Aberdeen and drove west with first stop at a rural tea room atĀ Old Post Office House, Chapel of Garioch, Inverurie.

Tea Room

 

Next to Glenfiddich Distillery in the Speyside Whisky region. Here we had lunch with one guest joining a tour of the distillery.

At Glenfiddich Distillery, Scotland

Next to nearby Mortlach Parish Church where we visited the burial ground which included an ancient Pictish carved stone dating back about 1200 years.

Pictish Stone at Mortlach Church

Next, we drove on through Elgin to Culloden. site of the last battle on British soil in 1746.

Culloden Battlefield, Scotland

Next, just a mile and half away to the prehistoric site known as Clava Cairns which dates from the period 2000 BC to 1000 BC.

Clava Cairns, Scotland

Finally, we moved on to our destination for the evening of Inverness, capital of the Highlands where we duly arrived, with light fading, at 5.00 pm.

Inverness at night

Tomorrow we visit Fort George and Isle of Skye.