Exploring Isle of Skye: The Most Magical Place in Scotland

Disclosure
: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running. Thank you for your support!

As soon as we started planning our time in Scotland, I had one thing on my mind: exploring Isle of Skye. I had seen photos of this magical place for over a decade and it looked like our own personal heaven. Waterfalls, lush hikes, and possible fairy sightings? We couldn’t get there soon enough!

isle of skye

This led to our first visit being a hectic day trip from Inverness with the three dogs we were watching. Because we just couldn’t wait another day to see this place, and they were seasoned road trippers! But with stops every hour for stretch-our-legs walks and potty breaks, bad weather, and road detours (we had to wait an hour for a train, then were led over the tracks!), we only got to see a portion of this majestic place.

isle of skye with dogs

However, we did get to see a lot of truly beautiful places during our three(ish) hours on Isle of Skye. And getting to experience it with this hilarious crew made it all the more memorable!

(Almost) Seeing Old Man of Storr

isle of skye scotland

Top of our list was seeing Old Man of Storr. I had read it was a short hike, but failed to realize it was almost all uphill. Oh well, up we go! Even though it was cold and windy, the pups had no complaints (other than having to stay on their leads) and loved the exercise!

isle of skye with dogs

However, we decided to turn back before getting to the epic spires because it became abundantly clear that we weren’t going to see the views we were hoping for. One lady even showed me the fog-filled view on her phone as proof.

There was also a slick-looking set of steep, switch-backing stairs we would need to climb, and we thought that may be a little too much for our old lady. She was okay going slow and steady on the gradual climb, but we didn’t want to overdo it. So, we waved bye through the dense fog and headed back to the car.

isle of skye scotland

While I’d be lying if I said we weren’t disappointed, the views from the trail were still well worth the effort and we loved seeing the dogs enjoy the wind in their fur. Plus, the rest of our trip more than made up for missing this iconic spot.

isle of skye

Kilt Rock & Mealt Waterfall

Not wanting to unload everyone right after getting back in the car, we took turns at this quick viewpoint for these falls. Buddy went first and went about five minutes in the wrong direction. Then he turned back just in time to see a tour bus unload with cameras aimed at the waterfall. Classic oblivious husband move, amiright?

isle of skye scotland

isle of skye scotland

While busy, this was worth the stop. However, we definitely liked the solitude we found driving the rest of the northern peninsula loop, away from the more common must-see places. It was just us and a bunch of sheep the boys begged to chase.

isle of skye

Fairy Glen

It had been a long day with the pups and we were getting tired by the end of our loop, but there was one last stop we couldn’t miss – the Fairy Glen. If a local wonder has the word ‘fairy’ in it, you should definitely make a point to see it. Just trust us on this.

isle of skye scotland

Part of me struggles to even post photos of this gem of a place. They just don’t do it justice. There is this peaceful presence there that makes you believe anything is possible. The fact that places like this still exist – where time stands still and you are enveloped by nature – it makes me hopeful and filled to the brim with joy.

isle of skye scotland

isle of skye scotland

After pulling ourselves from the Fairy Glen, we drove the three hours back home with tired dogs and hundreds of photos to go through. While Inverness is gorgeous, this was the Scotland we had been imagining. What a place!

exploring isle of skye scotland

While it was an amazing day – made even more special with our furry friends, we just didn’t feel like we saw everything we wanted to. So, we decided to plan one more trip after our housesit ended, in hopes of better weather and more time to hike.

We were already renting a car one way from Inverness to Edinburgh. Why not make a few-hour detour to taste that magic again? A decision we’ll be thankful we made for years to come.

Eilean Donan Castle

isle of skye scotland

First up on our list was the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. Since we couldn’t wander these historic halls with the pups on our first trip, we made sure to go inside for round two. While beautiful and fun to wander the narrow halls, the outside views with the epic backdrop are what we enjoyed most. No wonder it is the most photographed in Scotland!

Fairy Pools

After our first visit, these pools were what we were most bummed to have missed. And, while not our initial plan, we ended up spending our entire second visit to the Isle here. It is that wonderful. Again, don’t miss the fairy things!

isle of skye scotland fairy pools

isle of skye scotland fairy pools

My eyes well up with happy tears even thinking about this place. The photos overwhelm me. We were there. I had the opportunity to experience this stunning landscape with the love of my life. And it filled our hearts with more joy than we ever thought possible.

isle of skye

isle of skye scotland fairy pools

While we weren’t alone, it certainly felt that way. The further we walked, the fewer people we saw. And everyone seemed to seek out their own place to enjoy the stunning scenery.

isle of skye scotland fairy pools

isle of skye

The rain and gloom clouds that kept passing through probably helped keep the crowds at bay. But, we didn’t mind the weather. We strolled along with painfully big smiles and stopped to take photos every 3.5 seconds. The spell had been cast. We stayed for hours longer than we needed to – until the sun was on the verge of setting. Because we just couldn’t let the feeling go.

isle of skye scotland fairy pools

isle of skye scotland fairy pools

While we did take ALL the photos, we also made sure to stop often to just be present and take it all in. The air felt different. The cold mist that would usually make us uncomfortable, seemed to kiss our cheeks and add to the other-worldly atmosphere. I’ll never forget it.

Where We Stayed

As we drove away from Isle of Skye with the sun slowly dimming, we realized we had never booked that hotel we meant to. With the sun fading fast, we tried to pull up options on our phones with no luck. Even when we did have signal, the places we found had already closed for the night. Then finally, we drove by Corriegour Lodge. Its well-lit dining room shined like a welcome beacon and we knew this was the spot.

Staying in this cozy, family-owned B&B was exactly what we needed after a long day of exploring. The owner’s nephew who greeted us was lovely and got us all set with a room and drinks from the bar. And the breakfast the next morning was wonderful. But the biggest treat was the views we didn’t even know we had until we saw the property in the daylight. A true hidden gem, that allowed for quiet reflection of all the wonders of Scotland we had experienced (so far).

isle of skye scotland

Special thanks to Visit Scotland, which provided us with complimentary entry to Eileen Donan Castle – one of their many ASVA visitor attractions. As always, all opinions are our own.

Read our other articles about our Scotland explorations here!

We knew it would be gorgeous and magical and unforgettable, but exploring Isle of Skye in Scotland was so much more than we even expected. From Old Man of Storr and Fairy Glen to the majestic Fairy Pools. Read why this is a must-visit!
Previous articleBest of Inverness, Scotland: Highlights of our 5-Week Stay
Next article48 Hours in Edinburgh
Brooke travels full-time with her husband Buddy while working as a freelance writer and editor. In addition to writing content for TrailingAway.com to pair with Buddy's great photos and videos, she also contributes to other blogs and publications. When not traveling, hiking or writing, most of her time is spent working as the Editor of Winnebago's lifestyle blog, WinnebagoLife.com, where she gets the privilege of working with a very talented group of contributors. Brooke and Buddy also house/pet sit while traveling as a way to spend time with animals and really get to know a new area.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here