The Old Church Holiday Cottage, Ardvasar, Isle of Skye

Local Info

For those of you who have never visited the Isle of Skye we are sure you will be amazed by the majesty of the island.  The scenery is truly spectacular from mountain and moorland to lochs.  The sheer scale of it is very humbling and makes you realize, really, how insignificant we all are.  The geographical location of the island means that it virtually has its own climate which is usually milder than much of the west coast of Scotland.  There is never a bad time of year to go to Skye (believe this from people who went at the end of January to a small Scottish island that could only be reached by the causeway at low tide!).

There are such a wide variety of things to do and see that we are only going to try to give you a flavour of them here and, hopefully, provide you with some useful links that you can follow to find out more.

View of Broadford Bay - (c) FreeFoto.com
A view of Broadford Bay
A View of the Skye Bridge - (c) FreeFoto.com
A view of Skye Bridge

Getting to Skye

A View of Mallaig Harbour - (c) FreeFoto.com
A View of Mallaig Harbour

There are two main routes onto Skye with a car.  Most people travel from the Kyle of Lochalsh (on the A87) over the bridge which is now free.  Otherwise ferries operate a short crossing from Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale on the Sleat Peninsula on the south side of the island.  To check out ferry times etc take a look at www.calmac.co.uk. It goes without saying that all ferry crossings are subject to weather conditions so check out the ferry service, particularly in the winter.

There is a lot of information about getting to Skye by plane (nearest airport is Inverness) or by train (at Kyle of Lochalsh) on the web sites we will link you to so take a look there if you need to.  If you do fly in from far flung places you really need a car.
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Things to Do on Skye

The list is truly endless and there really is too much to do for just one visit to the island, even if you are lucky enough to go for two weeks.  Walking, climbing, mountain biking, birdwatching, eating, drinking (there we go again!) are just a few of the pastimes available.  Add to that a visit to Dunvegan  Castle (the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, home to the chief of the Clan MacLeod) www.dunvegancastle.com, listening to local musicians and seeing some of the many wonderful crafts and you will certainly have a holiday to remember.

We’ve tried to group some useful links together for you here

Isle of Skye General

  • www.skye.co.uk - really excellent source of information about what's on in Skye, things to do, from romantic excursions to wildlife spotting and stargazing.
  • www.isleofskye.com - excellent source of information about Skye in general, crafts, shopping & services around the island.
  • www.aros.co.uk - “the home of culture and hospitality” in Portree, has a varied activity of programmes through out the year, shopping and a restaurant  – well worth a visit!
View of Portree Harbour - (c) FreeFoto.com
A View of Portree Harbour
A View of the Cuillins - (c) FreeFoto.com
A View of the Cuillins

Activities

  • www.white-wave.co.uk - details of kayaking (sea and loch), canoeing, windsurfing, hillwalking, climbing & archery activities available under the guidance of experienced instructors
  • www.guidingonskye.co.uk - information about guiding available in the Cuillins (picture above), on fells and also coastal walks
  • www.isleofskyegolfclub.co.uk - A very informative site giving you lots of details about the golf club, how to play as a visitor, location, charges etc.

Wildlife

  • www.eileanban.org - wonderful site all about the Eilean Ban Trust and its work with wildlife in general (not just otters as everyone associates with Gavin Maxwell who lived here).
  • www.otter.org - all about the International Otter Survival Fund and its work. See lots of photos of baby otter cubs recently rescued – adorable!

 

A View of Loch Dunvegan where otters have been spotted - (c) FreeFoto.com
A View of Loch Dunvegan where otters have been spotted

Music

  • www.skyemusic.co.uk - provides information and a programme of events for the Isle of Skye Fiddle & Accordian Club who regularly perform traditional local music in Portree.

Local Crafts

  • www.craftsonskye.org.uk - provides outline information and location and contact details for a wealth of crafts throughout the island.
  • www.skyebrewery.co.uk - tells you all about the brewery, its history and the range of products

Ardvasar

Ardvasar is a lovely little village which has its own post office, village store and community centre. Most importantly there is the Ardvasar Hotel just along the road (about 50 paces we think) where you can be assured of a very warm welcome from Richard and his staff. The hotel has a restaurant, beer garden and also serves bar meals. There is often live music at the weekends.
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