The Isle of Skye is an area of spectacular beauty and incredible wildlife. For those looking for a rugged paradise, it’s pretty hard to beat the mystical island off the West coast of Scotland that’s connected to the mainland by a spectacular bridge.
No surprise then that in the summer, when the wildlife is at its most abundant (think whales, porpoises, dolphins and basking sharks), this quiet bolt-hole is a most popular destination for tourists, drawn by its historic reputation and starring role in Hollywood movies like Stardust, Flash Gordon, and of course the 1948 film of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Undoubtedly the summer is a very special time of the year. However, the quieter months of March and April have their own particular brand of magic as well, without feeling as though you’re too hot on the well-beaten tourist trail. All of this makes it an ideal last minute getaway before it becomes impossible to find anywhere to book in peak season.
It is in these spring months when the days are getting longer and attractions start to open again in the tiny villages and historic keeps that the year’s first wild flowers emerge, with violets and primroses peaking above the ground. It’s also one of the best months to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, second to October.
In April the birdlife becomes more abundant again, with gannets, black guillemots and other seabirds returning to the cliffs, while lambing season also begins on the Isle’s numerous farms.
Everywhere you stay on Skye has its own story to tell and enhances the experience in its own unique way. The Dunollie Hotel is set by the water at Broadford Bay at the foot of the mountains that lead to the famous Cuillin Hills. As such it is peaceful and quiet, and always has a welcome Drambuie available after a day of exploration.
The Kings Arms Hotel meanwhile in the pretty village of Kyleakin dates back to the 1600s and is one of the oldest hotels on the island. It’s all about open fires and panoramic views across the Kyle of Lochalsh to mainland Scotland when you stay here, and it’s also known for traditional cuisine from fresh, local ingredients, characterized by seafood and game.
With an altogether different vibe however, is The Kyle Hotel on the other side of the Kyle of Lochalsh. Perfect as a base for exploring the mountains, enjoying the local wildlife and visiting the nearby Talisker Distillery nearby, it is more contemporary than its counterparts and is just a 10-minute walk from the town’s railway station and Skye Bridge, as well as being just short distance from the shores of Loch Alsh.
The overarching beauty of the Isle of Skye is that it really embodies everything you need for the ultimate escape – spectacular beauty in its most natural form, history, culture, as well as peace and quiet. The best part is that you don’t have to wait until the summer to enjoy it; the time is now! But don’t tell everyone, let’s keep it our little secret.
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