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Your island hopping starter - the Isle of Skye

Offering the shorter Calamc Ferries route from Uig, Skye, to Tarbert, Harris this is a great starting point for  Hebridean Hopscotch holiday clients who prefer to spend less time at sea.

Perhaps made most famous by the Skye Boat Song, this island presents some of the most varied landscapes in the Hebrides, from the dominant, rugged mountain range of the Cuillins in the west to the green, wooded Sleat Peninsula in the south and soft sand beaches on the coast.....

If you can be persuaded to invest a day or two extra for your Hebrides holidays, the Isle of Skye is a fascinating place to linger awhile, before or after touring the Outer Hebrides, using the short ferry crossing between Uig and Tarbert (Harris) or Lochmaddy (North Uist).  We’re sure you won’t regret a stay here.

Arrive on the short half hour ferry crossing from the mainland port of Mallaig to Armadale at the south of the Isle of Skye or take the spectacular bridge across from Kyle of Lochalsh. Broadford is the main centre in southeast Skye. From here you can explore the Sleat Peninsula, with its ruined castles, lighthouses and the Castle Gardens at Armadale.  

You might, perhaps, think about taking a brief diversion during your holiday touring, to see the mainland village of Plockton, made famous by television’s Hamish Macbeth.

The Cuillin mountains, jagged and shattered by time, are both a visual treat, photographed by holiday travellers from many angles, and an area to which mountaineers are drawn.

Northwest of the Cuillins lies the Talisker whisky distillery, and further northwards lies Dunvegan Castle, home of the Macleod Clan Chiefs for over 700 years. No trip to Dunvegan Castle is complete without a trip by boat to view the seals, a close-up experience that you’ll almost certainly treasure forever.

The gardens of Dunvegan Castle may reinforce your impression that the citizens of Skye are able to exploit the island’s more sheltered position for their horticultural efforts - especially attractive when the rhododendrons are in bloom.  

In the northeast, the town of Portree has hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation. Portree has a charming colourful harbour and its attractions include the award winning Aros Experience. Further north of Portree lie the wonderful landscape features of the Trotternish Peninsula, such as the old man of Storr, Lealt Falls and the rock towers of Quiraing.

The Isle of Skye is, perhaps, a little more commercialised than its more remote neighbouring Outer Hebrides, but this does not detract from its beauty, as the various attractions are mainly sympathetic to the environment, adding value to your experience.


Relaxing holidays for stress relief, convalescence, inspiration in Western Isles of Scotland

ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS - when contacting these providers, please mention Hebridean Hopscotch

Walking:  On beaches, moors and mountains.  There are plenty of walks for casual strolls, challenging hikes for the more experienced and professionally guided walking for the more ambitious.

Guided walks / climbing / wildlife:  George Yeomans offers a range of guided walks, scrambles and rock climbing, from absolute beginner level to experienced climbers.  His guided wildlife walks are likely to be of special interest, giving guests a better chance to view otters, seals (common and grey), eagles (golden and sea), deer (red and roe), nesting seabirds, dolphins and minky whales to name but a few. Price £40 per person per day.  

01478 650380

Seals:  Boats leave Dunvegan Castle jetty every 20 minutes, during the tourist season.
Adults £6.50   Castle and gardens admission £7.50.

www.dunvegancastle.com  01470 521206

Pony trekking:  An STB 4* activity centre, Skye Riding Centre, near Portree, offers varied trekking & riding opportunities, for experienced riders and absolute beginners. Treks from £20 for an hour, £35 for two hours (2008) .

www.skyeridingcentre.co.uk  01470 582419

Visitor Centre: Award winning AROS, at Portree offers a programme of exhibitions and shopping, plus guided minibus tour.

Give your driver a rest and join a 3 hour ‘On The Wing’ tour from AROS, during which you’ll take a leafy, lush ride.  You’ll confront hairpin bends and travel up onto the top of the island. Maybe you’ll see an eagle there. Throughout the tour, you’ll learn about the island’s clans, culture, castles, pre-history, wildlife and landscape. Price £15 (2008) per adult.

www.aros.co.uk  01478 613649

Whisky Tour: Talisker Distillery, Carbost.  Admission (2008 price) of £5 includes a discount voucher towards a 70cl bottle of single malt whisky. The distillery shop at Talisker stocks a wide range of rare and unusual malts. Please note that children under 8 years old are not admitted to the production areas. Tour times vary through the year - please see the web site or phone. 

www.malts.com  01478 614308

Golf: Isle of Skye GC, Sconser. 9 holes and 18 tees, beside the sea with views of the Red Cuillins, the Isle of Raasay and Ben Tianavaig. 18 holes £21, day ticket £27. (Juniors £11/£14).

www.isleofskyegolfclub.co.uk  01478 650414

Boat Trips: 

Seumas and Anne MacKinnon run the Misty Isle Boat Trips from Elgol to Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye.
The skipper and crew are both local to Elgol and are Gaelic speakers. In fact it was a direct ancestor of owner/skipper Seumas MacKinnon who ferried Bonnie Prince Charlie to safety, ( and to whom he allegedly gave the recipe for Drambuie, this being at the time all he had left to give).
They do not crave such reward, a mere £12.50 is the fare for  trip of a lifetime, although many people return time after time.
www.mistyisleboattrips.co.uk  01471 866288
 

Bella Jane is a modern, powerful, fully licensed vessel, built in  traditional style and accommodating up to 30 passengers. It sails from Elgol to Loch Coruisk, offering the opportunity to view the seal colony and other wildlife.  Landing and non-landing  fares available, from £14 return.   AquaXplore is aboard Bella Jane’s sister craft , the Rachel Charlotte, a 9 metre offshore power boat (rib-style). Travelling at speeds up to around 25 knots, trips of up to 8 hours are available, with time ashore to explore remote islands and their wildlife. Landing and non-landing excursions available, from £20.

www.aquaxplore.co.uk  

www.bellajane.co.uk  

0800 731 3089 or 01471 866244.

0845 230 1236

0845 calls to us cost no more than 4p per minute for BT customers/from BT landlines (prices at Aug 2012). Call costs from non-BT lines may vary. 
(Check with your operator for details).

or call 01851 706611 (International +44 1851 706611
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Kenman Holdings Limited, Registered Office: 11 James Street, Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2QN  
Company Registered in Scotland No SC109839. VAT Reg. No: 481 5881 17

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