Old Man of Storr, Castle and somewhere a lighthouse!

Day 4. After a good nights sleep we were up early for the short drive to our first tramp on The Isle of Skye hoping to beat the forecasted rain later.

Old Man of Storr… approx. 2.36miles 90min return.
Part of the Trotternish ridge this iconic rock was created by a huge ancient landslide. The pinnacle rock ’Old Man’ can be seen for miles around on a clear day – most of our week on Skye it was hidden under low cloud and mist!

Getting out of the car at the large car park it was blowing a hooli, swirling and whipping around us, I decided to layer up with a light gillet under my raincoat.

I needn’t have bothered it was soon discarded along with our raincoats on the uphill climb to the top. The clear, curving, well maintained gravel path to start was easy walking through cleared slowly regenerating commercial pine forest.

Passing through two gates the walk became more strenuous as we continued upwards, now the path included rocky steps until further on it was all rocky steps. By this point sweating man had made an appearance. The imposing views looking ahead and up were in contrast to the panoramic landscape behind us.

The last part of the tramp changed to worn grassy tracks, slopes were steep in part as we continued up.

Finding our best view point we settled down to do our thing, a quick ink sketch from me…..

and stunning images from the Man behind the Lens……

Back down the way we came, offered more clear views to die for!

Day 5. After yesterday afternoons heavy rain we were eager to get out and about. Drawing back the curtains a beautiful sunrise looked promising, while Man behind the Lens headed off to Kilt Rock his muse painted the sunrise over the bay with mixed results!

Kilt Rock….

Scenic Drive along the Quiraing Road to Dunvegan Castle, beautiful views which we did not stop to record thinking we would get some pics on the way back! Big mistake, on the Isle of Skye conditions change quickly…..

Dunvegan Castle and Gardens… A castle steeped in history, the ancestral home of Chiefs of clan Macleod going back 800 years.

By the time we arrived here the drizzly rain had made visibility poor. Once inside the Castle grounds we decided to start with the recommended Seal spotting trip. The walk down to the shore and our small boat jetty afforded us a beautiful view of the castle and the rich orange seaweed even in dull light conditions only enhanced the bright greens and dark greys.

The short boat trip was a huge success, over fifty seals just hanging out together on an island that allowed Man behind the Lens to capture some amazing still photography and the Muse some more video footage!

Back on dry land slightly damp we decided to head indoors to dry off. it was masks on to explore this historic occupied Castle. Informative room guides made for a fascinating history lesson upstairs, the walk below stairs showed a little of the gruelling conditions for the servants and prisoners lowered down to the tiny dungeon.

Back outside the rain was falling heavily and I must confess we did not spend as long as I would have liked in the beautiful gardens. The walled garden was a delight even in the rain although Long-suffering seemed to usher me round at speed. The Brassicas were completely without blemish not a hole or serrated leaf to be found, do they not have cabbage whites on Skye?

Next stop Neist Point Lighthouse…one of the most famous lighthouses in Scotland standing on the most westerly tip of Skye. approx. 1.5 miles walk 45min return.

The single lane road there was shrouded in thick cloud/sea fog we thought of turning back but the driving conditions made that idea treacherous. Eventually we arrived at the parking area. There was nothing to see anywhere except dark shapes of many cars, occupants like us determined to tick this attraction off their list. One couple returning assured us it was worth the walk there.

Almost taking a wrong turn at the start along with another group, we luckily found the right path and called them back before they were lost in the fog.

The first part of the walk was difficult as the steep concrete path had become slippery in the damp and wet conditions. Some parts had a handrail but not all, luckily Long-suffering stepped into the gaps with a steadying arm.

Eventually we reached journeys end the now automated lighthouse and keepers cottages were barely visible. We could only imagine how challenging it was for a family to have lived here. Sheer drops disappeared over the cliff edges eroded over time by the elements and looked ready to slip further at any time.

To the front of the Lighthouse flat areas were covered in rocks of all shapes and sizes. The many rock towers stacked up by visitors made for some eerie sculptures in the gloom.

Back at the car visibility for driving was even worse and the beautiful views we had admired in the morning were now non existent. By late afternoon we had made it back to our cosy croft cottage. Tomorrow Fairy Pools!

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