Britain 2011 - Day 18


As expected, the day dawned wet and misty. Just what we didn't need for a drive around Skye. But we remained optimistic, maybe it would clear as it did yesterday. Maybe not.....

So after a good Scottish breakfast at the Hedridean Hotel (after all, their website does say that their food is the best part) we headed north again to Portree. The mist remained and we were fortunate that we had travelled this road yesterday. At Portree we stopped at the new(ish) Visitors Centre that did have a good range of local crafts etc, but their coffee was average. Then we continued on around the east coast hoping to see the Old Man of Storr, but he was well hidden in cloud. The waterfall at An Cailc was in full flight, and so was the wind. It was whipping water off the surface of the small lake and tossing it skywards. Then arcoess the northern part of Skye to the Museum of Scottish Life at Kilmuir. Unfortunately a tour bus of geriatric Americans had beaten us there, so we headed a few hundred metres further down the road to the small cemetery. Here we were able to make the final piece in the life of Flora MacDonald, the famous woman who had helped Prince Charlie at various times of his life. We had visited her birth place on South Uist two years earlier, and now we had found her resting place. The mist continued and so did the wind. No wonder her headstone has a large iron brace holding it up. Then around the coastline, eventually arriviing at the Three Chimneys Restaurant and B&B. This was the indulgence for the trip. A five star establishment in the remotest part of Skye. A wonderful room, top class food and the next morning - an amazingly clear day.

The road to Kilmuir

Yes, it was wet and misty but we carried on through it all, past the waterfall now in flood and on to Portree. Saw the clouds hiding the Old Man of Storr and eventually arrived at the An Cailc waterfall.

Looking out our bedroom window to the morning rain
The view up the loch was no better.
But the waterfall was in much better state.
So was the water streaming off the hillside..
Looking north past Loch Fada towards the Old Man.
More of Loch Fada.
Water running off the hills.
The parking sign for the Old Man of Storr, but...
there was no sign of him today.
That's him up there somewhere.
Further on we got to An Cailc
This is both a waterfall and the site of an old diatomite mine.
The path takes you out to a viewing area on the clifftop...
looking north there are rugged rocks...
below is the river.....
and south is the beach.
A little further north is another path to a small lake and coastal view.
Here you can see a basalt lava flow with good columnar jointing.
Looking south to more lava.
and the waterfall.
At this site the wind was terrific, whipping the water off the lake.
It was hard to stand up to take the previous photo.

An Cailc to Kilmuir

The road follows the coastline around the northeast corner of this peninsula of Skye. It becomes more rugged and rocky, and then the road crosses inland to the western part of the peninsula. We remained in mist and light rain, eventually reaching Kilmuir. Here we were able to visit the cemetery and the grave of Flora MacDonald. After that the weather stayed close and we drove without much to see until we reached the Three Chimneys.

Somewhere near Digg or Brogaig
The local architecture - many of the houses were in this style..
Raasay, another of the Hebrides islands in the distance.
Reaching the most rugged part of the island - the Quirang.
This part is quite isolated - and wet!
The last view of the coast before the road swings west
and passes more rugged hills.
The Kilmuir Graveyard and the famous inhabitants.
Flora MacDonald's grave with the tall cross held up against the wind.
The headstone
The grave and the start of the inscription.
The rest of the inscription
The bronze plaque.
The memorial on South Uist at Flora MacDonald's birthplace.
The road continues on - one lane again.

The Three Chimneys Restaurant and Hotel

The Three Chimneys Restaurant is regarded as one of the best in the British Isles, and one of the most isolated. Yet despite the isolation it is very popular and we were fortunate to be able to book a room for one night. It was well worth the time, trouble and cost to get there and stay a night.

Found it!
The restaurant and accommodation.
The restaurant.
The entrance to the accommodation
The view out of our bedroom window.
The view north along the road..
Part of our room.
The bed and other amenities.

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Last updated: 19/06/2017