We hope you enjoy this little guide of the best things to do on Skye which should whet your appetite and prepare you for the best holiday ever on Skye!
Local Area near Salt Winds:
The village of Stein is in the north west corner of Skye located on the B886. It is 8 miles from Dunvegan where you will find a good general grocers, an excellent green grocers, a doctor, a post office; and 22 miles from Portree where there is a large supermarket, banks, a hospital and all amenities.
Stein itself is a conservation village which was designed originally by Thomas Telford as a model fishing village at the end of the 18th Century. Our house overlooks the village from up high and can be reached on foot by a steep path downhill in 5 mins or the road around the field in 10 mins. The village boasts the renowned Loch Bay Restaurant recently taken over by the famous chef Michael Smith, who has just been awarded a coveted Michelin Star, currently the only one on the Island. Along the pretty terrace, you will also find the oldest inn on Skye, the Stein Inn which was the CAMRA Highland pub of the year in 2015, consequently expect to be served some fantastic local real ales and craft beers!
Waternish is home to a wealth of beautiful shorelines to walk along, as well as forestry walks to enable you to see the amazing wildlife including Golden eagles, Sea Eagles, seals, dolphins, whales, otters and corncrakes. It has several popular visitor attractions such as the 5 star Skyeskyns next door to the house, Scotland’s only traditional sheepskin tannery and showroom. Diver’s Eye, at the old school in Stein, offers excellent diving or sightseeing boat trips out to the islands to enable you to see the coastal scenery and marine wildlife.
Waternish is full of historical places of interest including: Trumpan Church, scene of a vicious massacre between the MacLeod and MacDonald clans in 1578; the ancient fort of Dun Hallin which still presides over the Waternish Peninsula and can be explored by walking up from the Geary Road; and the infamous Fairy Bridge where legend has it one of the ancient chiefs of the Macleod clan received the fairy flag from his fairy wife before she fled back to fairyland more than 1000 years ago! The flag can still be viewed in the castle. The famous Dunvegan Castle and beautiful gardens are 9 miles away and the fascinating tour is well worth while. Boat trips can be taken from the castle with guaranteed seal spotting on the small islands in the loch. There is a stunning Coral Beach, a nice easy 25 minute walk from the end of the road beyond the castle.
There is so much to see and do on the wonderful Isle of Skye even on wet days, and we do get the odd one or two! Worst case scenario is you can curl up on our huge sofa with a Talisker whisky and watch the squalls and storms dancing in from the Atlantic Ocean.
The rest of the island
Once you have enjoyed the delights of Waternish, explore the nearby next peninsula over, Trotternish. Here you can visit the huge waterfall and unique geology of Kilt Rock, climb the Old Man of Storr, explore the mythical Fairy Glen, and do not miss the spellbinding walk over the Quiraing. There are some fantastic nearby galleries & cafes to relax and refresh afterwards.
Head south for 30 mins to scale or wander around the magnificent Cuillin Mountains, Glenbrittle Beach and the infamous Fairy Pools. The tour at nearby Talisker Whisky Distillery is fascinating and highly recommended.
Visit the dramatic weather beaten Neist Point lighthouse perched on the cliff tops of the westernmost peninsula, Duirnish – a very good place to see basking sharks, Minke whales, dolphins, porpoises, many sea birds, and a massive sunset.
Outdoor Adventure & Activity Guides
- Diver’s Eye: castaway days, sunset cruises, wildlife watching, just from the pier below the house
- Go To St Kilda: take a trip to another world, also from the pier below the house
- White Wave: kayaking, canoeing, climbing and abseiling, mountain boarding, hill walking, crating and archery
- Skye Ghillie: Fly Fishing, Deer Stalking and Wilderness Adventures
- The Skye Guide: Walks and General Info, very experienced & knowledgeable guide
- Skyak Adventures: Sea Kayak specialist
- Misty Isle Boat Trips & Aqua Explore sail from Elgol to Loch Coruisk and other island hopping trips to Rhum, Eigg & Canna
- Skye Cruise: Sunset & Fishing boat trips in Loch Snizort
Food & Drink
Skye is becoming one of the most talked about destinations in Europe. The rugged mountains and wild coastline have always attracted visitors but now you can enjoy some of the most desirable food and drink destinations after a tough day outdoors.
Be sure to book restaurants in advance as they can be quite busy at any time of year. Recommend in order of distance:
- Loch Bay (5 minutes walk)
- Old School (10 mins drive)
- Three Chimneys (20 mins drive)
- Scorrybreac (25 mins drive)
- Kinloch Lodge (1 hour)
There are some excellent pubs scattered around the vastness of the island well worth a visit. Recommend in order of distance:
- Stein Inn (5 minutes walk) which is the oldest Inn on Skye, and has won awards for it's ales. The food here is hearty but basic
- Edinbane Inn: (15 min drive) Traditional Music Tue, Fri & Sun. Good food and great atmosphere
- The Old Inn (35 min drive) perfectly situated for a nice Lochside pub lunch or a pint after a hard day in the Cuillin, or at Talisker distillery
- Eilean Iarmain (1 hour+ drive) excellent food, great setting, quite far south however, but good if visiting the Clan Donald Castle, Sleat, or taking the ferry to Mallaig
Snacks, Cafes & Art
- The Oyster Shed does just what it says on the tin. It is an unheated agricultural shed serving beautifully fresh, simple and very local seafood (and game) for a startlingly good price. Well positioned near the Cuillin and Talisker.
- Skye Bakery is excellent in Portree and has a fantastic gallery attached.
- Ellishader Art Cafe right next to Kilt Rock is an awesome wee vegetarian cafe/art gallery well worth a nosey if you're on Trotternish.
- Skye Pie Cafe on Trotternish is great for guess what?