Wednesday 18 July 2012

Top 10 best British islands: No 4 - Skye

There are two main ways to get to Skye from the mainland: the old fashioned way by ferry from Mallaig to Armadale or the modern way across the Skye Bridge. Either way, you'll end up on an island of many parts. From the green slopes of the Sleat peninsula, to the outdoor adventure playground of the Quiraing; from the colourful harbour at Portree, to the doom-laden spires of the Cuillin Ridge. If you like being outdoors, you shouldn't have any trouble in finding astonishment here.

For us, the most astonishing place of all was Loch Coruisk – a slim body of water squeezed on either side by the Cuillin Hills. A boat from Elgol delivered us into this closed wilderness, where for a few hours we absorbed the velvety silence and the crisp reflections of the jagged peaks on the water.

At times, we may have walked at angles into the wind, and I may have had a brain-lock at the Talisker Distillery (not drink related), and T may have emptied a cupful of water from each boot after paths turned to rivers in the unceasing rain, but Skye is as close as you can get to the spirit of Macbeth's Scotland, so you shouldn't expect it to be too comfortable.

Skye is in the Top 10... for its incredible rocky landmarks: the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing, and the Cuillins.

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