Cross the narrow bridge over midnight blue water, pass emerald green mountains and arrive at the majestic Isle of Skye. A place known for its rough natural beauty, often amidst dense fog and gale force winds, these bold and startling landscapes can only be found on this rugged island off the north-west coast of Scotland.
Nestled at the foot of a mountain, on the water’s edge of Loch na Dal, is Kinloch Lodge. A grand white-painted stone manor, this picturesque abode is your home for the first two nights in the Isle of Skye. The Lodge is as cosy as it is luxurious and guests can expect classic Scottish decor with large beds, comfortable couches and roaring fires. Be prepared to be greeted with heartfelt family hospitality, and of course, whisky on tap.
With the lodge being home to a Michelin star restaurant, dinner is nothing less than spectacular. For those with an interest in culinary science, take a seat behind the glass wall and gaze upon the art of cooking as you are guided through the menu and dining experience at Marcello Tully’s Chef’s Table.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast at Kinloch Lodge before embarking on the journey to one of Scotland’s most isolated lochs, Loch Coruisk. From the small town of Egol, board the award-winning Bella Jane, pass by moored fishing boats and spot seals and wildlife against the jagged skyline of the Black Cuillin mountain range.
The hike at Loch Coruisk is described as simply indescribable. The deep loch sparkles in the light, the seals play on the shore and the striking volcanic rocks hint back to ancient times when this was a wild and fiery magma chamber – a far cry from the somewhat mythic serenity of the loch today. With your packed lunch, pause for a moment and take in this truly awesome remote beauty.
After a day on the water, return to one of the cosy drawing rooms at Kinloch Lodge for afternoon tea. Listen to the crackling fire, feel its comforting heat and completely unwind as the sun sets and the day draws to a close. For dinner, indulge in the seven course tasting menu at the Lodge. Each dish is thoughtfully created using remarkable local ingredients and presented like a unique work of art in itself.
After a final breakfast at the Lodge, head towards the western coast of the Isle of Skye. At the foot of the Black Cuillin rocky mountain range, are crystal clear waters that are as magical in their beauty as they are in their name – The Fairy Pools. Follow the footpath and pass bubbling streams and rolling hills as you wander towards these mystical pools. Afterwards, for some fresh oysters, juicy lobster and tender mussels, take a turn off the main road and pop into the no-frills Oyster Shack for a delicious lunch.
On the edge of the most westerly tip of Skye is Neist Point Lighthouse. The wind blows strongly here, but rain or shine, this is the most incredible lookout in Skye. Take a long liberating walk from the car park down to where the rock meets the water and feel the crisp, salty ocean breeze. Perched on jagged black rocks the lighthouse presents panoramic views of the surrounding area and of the vast, often stormy, waters. Take time to breathe in the moment before heading back to the car and finding your way to The Three Chimneys for this evening’s accommodation.
The House Over-By at The Three Chimneys is an impressive family-run home that welcomes its guests like old friends. A dreamy abode that is inviting, relaxing and warm, the boutique hotel offers luxury rooms perfect for a country retreat. Start running the bath, switch on the kettle and get ready to relax and rejuvenate in these blissful surroundings.
The Three Chimneys Restaurant is a cosy and refined bistro serving up contemporary classics combining the bold tastes of Scotland with seasonal ingredients that boast the wealth of local produce found on the Isle of Skye. For dinner this evening, try the tasting menu with matching wines to experience a complete culinary experience authentic to the island.
Hot tea, steaming coffee and freshly baked goods will be a most welcomed wake-up call on your first morning at The House Over-By. Follow the aroma and enjoy a light and lovingly prepared breakfast. Bid The House farewell and watch the perfect Skye home shrink in your rear-view mirror as you drive towards the north western corridor and head for Dunvegan Castle.
The ancestral home of Clan MacLeod, Dunvegan Castle is a picturesque fortress sitting on the edge of the loch. It is set back from the water, and proudly showcases its history, inside and out. Wander through the halls where family heirlooms and traditional clan gear still have their place. After exploring, it’s time for lunch at Loch Bay Restaurant. Located in an old fishing village, it focuses on unhurried service and delicious plates fusing traditional Scottish meals with classic French influences.
Follow the winding roads past rural houses, charming barns and rolling hills and find yourself in the sheltered inlet town of Uig. The small village sits on the edge of a harbour, surrounded by steep slopes, woodlands and waterfalls. Spend some time on foot, exploring some of the 56 walking trails that the village has to offer. Stop into Rankin’s Bakery & Grocer to collect locally sourced produce and freshly baked goods to prepare a light dinner at The Cowshed, tonight’s lodgings.
Describing itself as a ‘boutique bunkhouse’, the luxury pods at The Cowshed provide all the charm of camping without any of the hard work. These sleeping cabins built for two include everything one could possibly need, including a kitchenette, under floor heating and of course, a deck to sit out on and take in the breathtaking sunset views.
Wake up to crisp fresh air and the sound of nature around you. As the salty breeze drifts across the water, amble along the bay of Uig towards Ella’s Cafe for breakfast. Stop in for baked goods and pick up an assortment of picnic items, including their artisanal cheeses. From Uig, drive along the coast, down steep winding roads and past herds of grazing sheep until you reach Quiraing.
Take the Quiraing walk through some of the most stunning natural views that Scotland has to offer. Dramatic rock structures, steep cliff faces and roaring waters below, this is Mother Nature at her finest. From the Trotternish Peninsula, view two magnificent natural sights – Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls.
Complete your day’s road trip with a walk to ‘The Old Man of Storr’. This walk is the busiest on the island and for good reason. Created by a massive landslide, the ancient landscapes of Storr must be seen to be believed. The ‘Old Man’ refers to the jutting rock pinnacle that will take you just under an hour to reach from the car park. After working up quite the appetite, be treated by Gordon and Shona at the Ferry Inn for a Skye Ale and a fresh, seasonal and hearty meal. From your table, look out at the beautiful views of Uig Bay as you enjoy your final evening in the Isle of Skye.
As the morning sun begins to warm your Cowshed cabin, pull back the curtains and breathe in the fresh morning air as you relish in the views while packing up. Stop in at the bustling town of Portree for a relaxed lunch at The Granary. Your delicious meal will fuel you for your drive back to Inverness as your Isle of Skye adventure comes to an end.