Scotland: Discovering Skye and A Stay In Oban

The Easter Bunny made it all the way to the Isle of Skye with gourmet eggs, both sweet and savory, just what the we needed for another action-packed day in Scotland.

Coming off of seven long hours of demanding driving from Edinburgh to Skye, the hubs was all but ready to head straight to our next destination, Oban, and settle in with a scotch (or two, or three, who’s counting?). But, buttered up with Cadburys, my persuasiveness prevailed and we settled on staying on Skye for the day, because chances are, we’re never going to make it back to that teeny island that felt eeons away from the rest of the world. IMG_6107 IMG_6111Once properly filled with more Kinloch Lodge deliciousness, we bade farewell to the culinary capital of the island. To say that I grossly underestimated what we could see on Skye in one day is an understatement. The total lack of highways and windy roads make getting from point A to B exponentially longer than anticipated.

I managed to shave my planned loop around the island down to see a few essential sights (it broke my heart to skip all of the cool places I’d read about to eat):

  • Cullin View (✔︎’d off the list the previous day)
  • The Blue Shed Cafe
  • The Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle
  • Talisker Distillery
  • The Three Chimneys
  • Dunvegan Castle
  • The Coral Beaches
  • Stein Inn
  • Portree

skye mapOur choice to cruise around the island was as crystal clear as the sky, a good one. We couldn’t stop taking pictures- out the window, through the window, at any decent spot to pullover.238 243 250

An hour later, we knew we’d arrived at the Glen Brittle Fairy Pools at the sight of a long line of cars parked on the side of the “road,” the best indicator given the 100% lack of even a glimmer of cell reception. Thankful for hiking shoes, we laced up and maneuvered the mud before finally reaching one of the many tributaries creating a stream of endless waterfalls and pure pools. 270 276 279 281After enough oohing and aahing, we enjoyed the descending walk down and successfully stayed dry.

Another long 45 minute stretch of driving en route to Dunvegan Castle offered increasingly glorious views as we neared the coastline.301 303 305We were eager to get up close and personal with the shimmering shores and hastily purchased grounds tickets to castle. While the gardens were picturesque and peaceful, we could have probably stopped off right before the castle for similar [free] views. Being in the presence of a 14th century castle starts to feel normal by mile 300 through Scotland- they are EVERYWHERE.310 320 321 326Most anxious for the next stop at The Coral Beaches, we drove a few miles up the road and once again had to work for our view. About 20 minutes of muddy hiking later, we’d arrived. Any and all adjectives fall short of describing this spectacular scene. 335Starving after more hiking than planned, we snacked on odds and ends including the rest of that delicious cheese from I.J. Mellis. I was quite content to stay here, hmm…forever.IMG_6187But, some other scene seekers encroached on our secret spot just as the hubs was itching to hit the road (he must be blind to ever be ready to leave, right?). They kindly offered to snap a photo of us, but clearly a guy took this picture- I mean, look at my hair!IMG_6190It seemed essential to visit Portree, the largest town on Skye. So, we took another crazy/scary/teeny weeny/out of this world road through the middle of the island, miraculously arriving 45 minutes later. 344Most places were closed for Easter, so we did two quick laps around the town which took less time than for our lattes to be brewed. 348 350IMG_6196We quickly buckled up and got on the road again, wanting to get ahead of this dude for obvious reasons.IMG_6195A little overwhelmed by the 3 hour and 45 minute drive to Oban ahead, we settled in for the long haul. Whizzing past Kinloch Lodge, I got a funny feeling and my awesome sense of direction/obsessive pre-planning had me wildly exclaiming that the GPS had us heading towards the ferry terminal rather than the bridge, whoops! A NASCAR-like u-turn had us back on track with only 20 minutes lost.
IMG_4004We wouldn’t have believed any claims that the best looking sky was yet to come. The drive along Loch Linnhe was unequivocally our favorite. With manageable and practically empty roads, the hubs could enjoy the scenery and relax. Thankful for our jambox and downloaded playlist, we cruised to country tunes, feeling like we were the only two people in this heaven-like setting.359 361Once again, we couldn’t stop stopping for pictures.

A little later than expected, we arrived at Greystones, a boutique B&B overlooking all of Oban (daytime view below).

367We quickly dropped our bags, changed out of our muddied clothes and popped into the town for dinner at Ee-Usk. Devouring local fish and soaking up the harbor view, we reflected on an unforgettable day. It wouldn’t have been right to end the night without a scotch sampling, and perched at Cuan Mor bar, we did just that.

The next morning left us with a few final hours to explore Oban. 
368372 373 375 376A couple of cute shops in town fulfilled my craving to take home a tangible memory of our trip, since there was no chance of saving even an ounce of cheese or a biscuit. However, the hubs was still on the hunt to add to his scotch collection. Speaking to locals steered us to an encore at the Green Welly on the way to the airport.

Stocked up and mission accomplished, we missed enough turns to arrive at the airport just in time to ditch our car and repack our overflowing suitcases. While the view from the plane wasn’t as dazzling as the last few days, we enjoyed not having to navigate our own way home!

Drive around Skye and to Oban Stats:

  • Miles covered: 240
  • Time: 5 hours 15 min around Skye + 3 hours 45 min to Oban
  • Bathroom breaks: not enough, thank goodness for empty stretches of road…
  • Number of wrong turns: Only 1, again!day 2 map

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