Great Britain Road Trip : Isle Of Skye

GREAT BRITAIN.

It makes us want to swoon every time we think about it. It's been six months since our trip, and although we might be a little late on documenting it, we STILL can't stop thinking about it. 

This past August, the Three Amigos (Helen, Madison & I) decided we wanted to take a trip that focused more on some of the things we love most: castles, small towns, breathtaking scenery, and accents. Although we've loved everywhere we've had the opportunity to travel to so far, this trip was probably hands down one of our most favorite trips! {although nothing will ever beat Ireland -- DREAMY PEOPLE DREAMY}

This time around we did something we haven't done on past trips....

We decided to take a Road Trip.

Yes. A road trip. In a foreign country. Where they drive on the opposite side of the road. NBD right?! Well minus the two flat tires we got on the first day, and the side mirror we clipped on accident, we would HIGHLY recommend road tripping across Great Britain -- it's the best way to see the country for what it really is.

When we were trying to decide where we wanted to go we ran into one small problem... We wanted to see it ALL. Obviously we could only cover so much ground in 9 days. So, with that in mind, we decided to plan a route that would take us places off the beaten road that we might not be able to visit again. There's probably more opportunities for us visit Southern England again, for example, versus Northern Scotland -- but like greedy little adventurers we are, we still wanted a little taste of everything. 

Our Route:

Edinburgh, Scotland >> Isle of Skye (Portree), Scotland >> Glenfinnan Viaduct >> Oban, Scotland >> Conwy, North Wales >> Chester, England >> Chatsworth, England >> York, England >> Whitby, England >> Edinburgh, Scotland

{Click map for an interactive view of our route with guided recommendations}

 

Because there is obviously SO much we'd love to share about our trip, we decided to break down our trip into multiple blogs. Hopefully they'll serve as encouragement for you to GET YO BUTT OVER THERE, or simply just some sweet inspiration for you to daydream about when work slams you on a Monday morning.

First up: The Isle of Skye

Eilean Donan Castle

Really if you're headed to the Isle of Skye, you can't miss Eilean Donan Castle -- and frankly you won't want too! Eilean is just about everything we could have dreamed for in a Scottish castle and more. Not only did Patrick Dempsy grace it's presence at one point in "Made of Honor", but with the castle nestled in-between three sea lochs and the Highlands in the background, you truly feel like you might be transported back to a time where things were more simple... romantic... and beautiful. 

Portree

Although there are some alternative cities to stay in, the main hub of the Isle is Portree. The picture below is probably one of the more iconic views of the city: a row of colored shops around the harbor. The city is centered around a downtown strip where most hotels, restaurants and shops are located. The town is small enough that you could walk most places, and friendly enough that you just might end up staying at the Mayor's house {like we did.}

*Side note: Had our first Scottish breakfast here and BLACK PUDDING IS NOT OUR THING. Homemade breakfasts are is just one of the perks of staying with the Mayor -- you can too by clicking here

Old Man Storr

When we first got to Portree, we were a little behind due to our quick stop at the mechanic, but nonetheless we still got to see the highlights of the island. Please Note: If you are wanting to actually see the island, you will need to rent a car. There are no buses or trollies that take you sight seeing -- which is one of the reasons we love this island. The lack of mass transportation keeps it a hidden gem and allows you to discover it's secrets on your own without a tour guide hollering in your ear. 

That said, Old Man Storr was the photography fail of the trip. Although we got to enjoy a scenic hike to the a lookout view, we 1) hit it just at sunset so you can't reaaaaallllyyy see Old Man Storr and 2) didn't have time to partake in the legendary hike to the peak. That said, it's just another reason we've decide we'll have to make a trip back!

Kilt rock

One of the main attractions of the island is Kilt Rock. The view from Kilt Rock reminded us a lot of walking along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. There's something crazy about standing on the edge of a cliff and realizing the vast amount of water that stands between you and the next chunk of land. It's hard not to be a little awestruck. This is probably one of our favorite parts about traveling -- realizing that there is so much more to this world than what's in our own backyard. Do we have waterfalls? Yes. Do we have waterfalls pouring off a cliff into the ocean on an island that is surrounded with mountains and castles? Nooooot quite. 

The view of the waterfall and cliffs were mesmerizing, but I was almost more amazed by the view when we turned around to hike back to our car. So. Much. Green. This picture will always represent that moment when I realized that we were FINALLY in the Highlands -- a dream that we've had for so long. A dream that was DEFINITELY worth chasing.

The Quiraing

Ok, so in all honesty, at one point we got a TAD lost and just happen to stumble upon the Quiraing. Was it on our list of things to see?! OF COURSE! But we also had no real map of the island, so we were quite shocked when we got out of a car to take in the scenery and realized that we had found what we had been looking for all along.  

The Quiraing was created by a landslip which helped create the variety of features and views that it exhibits today. Although you can hike from one end of the Quiraing to the other {in about ohhhhh 2-3 hours}, the view from the carpark also gives you the full picture of peaks, cliffs and plateaus. Unfortunately, that's about the only view we got to explore during our trip.  If only those two tires hadn't popped. and we'd had more time to actually hike it... {my bad guys, my bad. I'll never live that down}. We're just adding it to our list of things to do when we go back!

Fairy Glen

One of the best things about mingling with the locals is that you learn the secrets of the island. The Fairy Glen was not originally on our list, but PTL for that that flat tire that led us to the mechanic, or we would have never found Scottish paradise. The Glen is located on the north east side of the island, and completely worth the 30 minute drive from Portree. Experiencing the rolling green hills right at sunset truly makes you feel like you've stepped into a fairy tale. It's the perfect place to relax and really soak up the Highlands -- a place you always dreamed of visiting.

Side note: We're not giving away local secrets on where to find their favorite havens.... but we will say we've heard the town of Uig has some killer sunsets.... 

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If these pictures don't convince you that you need to take a trip to the Isle of Skye, then please come to Arkansas and grab coffee with us because we'll GLADLY give you 100 more reasons why you should. 

To say we loved the Isle of Skye, is an understatement. I think it will always have a special place in our hearts! {laugh all you want fools, but once you go you'll understand}

Up next: "Great Britain Road Trip: Highlights of Scotland"

-xoxo- Mad & Mar