The glittering isle of Skye – perfect in any weather

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Autumn is a fantastic time to visit Scotland, especially Skye.

The countryside blazes with colour, and the shorter, darker days lend themselves well to the warm cosiness of a pub fireside. And, hopefully, the weather is not yet bad enough to disrupt your travel plans or your exploring of the many delights of this wild and beautiful country.

I was fortunate enough to spend 4 years there as an undergraduate, and always love returning to visit. My Kiwi husband has ancestral roots there and loves it as much as I do.

over the sea to skye

A couple of years ago we took a trip to the enchanting isle of Skye. My account of its captivating beauty won me first prize in a travel writing competition, which I owe as much to the island’s evocative landscape as to my own abilities. My entry wrote itself! Here it is:

Welcome sign to Eilean Iarmain, Isle of Skye, Scotland

“Skye was dark, broody and mysterious when we arrived there from the mainland. Thick grey cloud smudged the outline of the mountain tops. Drizzle stroked our cheeks as we sought sanctuary in the Eilean Iarmain Hotel, where we were to spend the next few nights.

Inside, lamps glowed and log fires crackled. Smokehouse fare tantalised our nostrils. We settled in at the bar and chatted to the other refugees, a friendly mix of locals, wedding guests and international visitors. A tasting session of the local whiskies proved to be the perfect way to spend a damp Saturday afternoon.

camus cross

Crow in rowan tree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Later, we ventured out to walk the scenic mile or so to the village of Camus Cross. Rowan berries and rose hips, red as ripe tomatoes, lined our path. Water dripped from moss-draped trees. Mountain streams tinkled and splashed their way downhill. Crows cackled. The air was thick with the aroma of damp peat and vegetation.

Down on the beach, kelp squelched and bladder wrack popped beneath our feet. Occasionally, the sun pushed through the mist like a torch-light, spectacularly illuminating a hillside. Multiple shades of green, mottled with vibrant heather and flecked here and there with gold and brown, were mirrored in the bay.

By the time we returned to the hotel, mist was beginning to rise from the nearby fields, and a piper was serenading the bride and groom. Our day ended with a delicious fish and chip supper.

dunvegan castle

Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Next morning a layer of low cloud still hung protectively over the glassy bay as we headed north to Dunvegan. The mist and heavy rain cleared just as we arrived at the dramatic castle. Its dazzling gardens were still abundant, in September, with colourful plants and floral displays. Perfect lawns glittered with dewdrop crystals, broken only by an occasional footprint.

Dunvegan Castle gardens, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Returning later to Eilean Iarmain, blazing sunshine revealed to us a very different Skye – pristine and perfect – through the steamy windows of the bus, as giggling schoolgirls taught us all about Skye dancing.”

Our bespoke Scottish holiday was arranged for us by McKinlay Kidd, whom we would highly recommend.

If you’re interested in Scotland, you might enjoy my posts on St Andrews and Hogmanay in a Scottish castle.

Illustrations of front covers of Marion Todd's Scottish crime thrillers

Marion Todd’s gripping crime thrillers are set in the atmospheric Scottish town of St Andrews. Available in hard copy and Kindle edition. You can find out more about author Marion Todd on her web site and get a taste of her writing too!

© Coconut Lands. Not to be reproduced without permission

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  1. What a gorgeously rich introduction to the most magical of Isles. I now want to visit immediately. My son climbs there regularly and this year ran the Trotternish Ridge hill race, starting at the iconic Quiraing.

    And thank you for mentioning See Them Run. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’d love to read an account of your time studying in St Andrews.

    1. Thanks Marion, wow I’d like to watch that race. And yes I loved the book! Read it in a day because I couldn’t put it down, much to my husband’s amazement – he’s never seen me do so much reading in one day. St Andrews will definitely feature in a future blog post. Lots of great memories and it’s such a fantastic place to visit.

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