isle-of-skye

This article appears in Volume 21: The Islands Issue.

There were 14 weeks of rain on Skye last winter. Imagine a whole season with raindrops as its soundtrack and drizzle as a constant veil.

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For my September visit I came prepared, packing walking boots and waterproofs in an effort to combat the elements. I needn’t have worried. Almost every day was suffused with a butterscotch light that made the saw-toothed coastline appear soft at the sides.

Skye is ancient, known as Scotland’s “dinosaur isle” for the footprints and fossils that have been found here. In some ways it still feels like a relic – single-track roads form a web across the land, cultivating a quiet kind of friendship between drivers who take turns to give way.

Contemporary design has made its mark here too. I stayed in the “hen house”, located in the hamlet of Fiscavaig and fashioned from timber and plywood. Floor-to-ceiling windows let the best of the island in.

Days in Skye are best spent walking, broken up with visits to the Old Inn in Carbost, where fishermen spend their lunch breaks by the loch. Nights are measured in drams of Talisker whisky, which is traditionally enjoyed without an ice cube – because in winter it’s the only way to warm up.

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