SOME INFORMATION ABOUT SKYE AND THE AREA AROUND FISKAVAIG
Local Shops and Facilities.
There is a small shop in Carbost, which sells provisions and newspapers. The shop is open from 8.00AM to 6.00PM (Mondays to Saturdays) and from 9.00AM to 1.00PM on Sundays for Sunday newspapers. There is a small petrol filling station at the shop.
Next to the shop there is a sub post office which is open between 9.00 am and 12.00 (midday) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The post office also has a cash machine.
There is a doctor’s practice in Carbost, - the Carbost Medical Centre, (telephone 01478 640202). The surgery has a small dispensary although for visitors, and non urgent medication, the main dispensing chemist is in Portree.
Portree and Broadford, the main villages on the island, are almost equidistant from the Cottage. Portree is a little closer and has a wider range of shops, pubs and restaurants. There are Tourist Information Offices in both towns although again the larger and principal office is in Portree.
For more information about Skye go to the official Skye information web site.
Restaurants,Pubs and Local Interest
Locally The Old Inn in Carbost, about 10 minutes drive from the Cottage, provides evening meals.
There is a good selection of excellent restaurants and pubs, offering a wide choice of menus and price, in Portree, Broadford and Dunvegan, all within reasonable travelling distances from the house.
There are other excellent restaurants, slightly further afield, in Stein on the Waternish peninsula and for special occasions there is the Ullinish Lodge Hotel, near Struan, and for very special occasions the famous Three Chimneys restaurant at Colbost, near Dunvegan. We can provide more information about eating places on the island when you are with us.
Fiskavaig: Milinke Crafts;
Portnalong: Taigh Ailean, Little Gallery;
Carbost: Old Inn, Talisker Distillery, Skye Oysters;
Ullinish: Ullinish Country Lodge;
Dunvegan: Old School restaurant, Dunvegan Castle, The Three Chimneys Restaurant, Coral Beaches.
Sunset Suppers 2012
After a successful first year in 2011 local, award winning, professional photographer, Jon Pear, will again be giving illustrated talks, throughout the 2012 tourist season, on how to get the best from your camera.
You can join Jon, who is also a qualified walking guide, for a light supper in the Minginish Community Hall in Portnalong, followed by a short walk to see some of our beautiful local scenery, with tips from Jon on how to get the best wildlife and landscape photographs.
(2012 Dates and prices yet to be confirmed.)
Walking and the Great Outdoors
The Minginish Peninsula is the area of Skye to which climbers and walkers are most attracted as it is here you will find the famous Cuillin range.
You don’t have to be a climber to experience the majesty of the area however and there are several walks into the base of the Cuillin which offer a taste of the area with only a little effort. The area offers everything from relatively straightforward walks, moderate and hard scrambles, to more testing rock climbs. If you would like to experience the thrill of walking in the Cuillin but are uncertain of your abilities why not hire yourself a guide from the several on the island. There are several local gides listed on our Links page
Glen Brittle, the northernmost road access into the Cuillin range, is only a short drive from the Cottage, with Glen Sligachan, another popular route into the range, also reasonably close.
Less well known than the Cuillin Range but just as spectacular in its own way is the Minginish coast line with its miles of vertiginous cliff tops providing magnificent walks with many of testing length and remoteness.
Between Glen Brittle and Fiskavaig is a tract of wild and remote coastline that is virtually undiscovered by most tourists and where the cliff top walking can be as awesome as any Cuillin ridge. You can walk between Glen Brittle and Eynort; Eynort and Talisker Bay and Talisker Bay to Fiskavaig Bay. Much of the walking can be over rough, and sometimes steeply undulating ground but between Talisker and Fiskavaig there is an easier route via Huisgill which although avoiding the grandeur of the cliff tops does enable a relatively short and easy route between the two bays.
Just rambling around the local roads of Fiskavaig is a pleasant pastime before, or after, a meal and a good evening constitutional is the short walk around the Ardtreck peninsula with perhaps a slight detour to Taigh Ailean for some refreshment.
Fiskavaig Bay offers the opportunity for safe swimming. The Bay is very gently sloping and without rocks making swimming off the beach relatively safe, with only the temperature of the water and the prevailing weather conditions to cause any hesitation! It is also a convenient and safe beach for canoeists.
A stones throw from the Cottage there is a rocky promontory where, if you fancy your luck or skill, you can cast a line into the Bay and see what you can bring home for supper! River and loch fishing on the River Drynoch and Eynort and several local hill lochs is also available through a local fishing club.
Skye is also a naturalist’s paradise and without moving from the Cottage you can watch a wealth of bird life on the sea and land.
There are Golden Eagles, not far away, and also the increasingly successful White Tailed Sea Eagle but we can’t promise you any sightings without some effort and a little luck.
Common sightings in the Bay are the ubiquitous Shag and Eider Duck, the eerie Northern Diver, a local Heron, and during the summer months, the Gannet, which provides hours of entertainment, watching for their spectacular, dramatic but unpredictable dives after fish in the Bay. On land, regular, if seasonal, visitors to the house include Stonechats, Wrens, Robins, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Linnets, Siskin, Blue and Great Tit, Willow Warblers, Meadow Pipits, Wheatears, and Blackbirds, with a territorial Sparrow Hawk making occasional visits, buzzards (tourist eagles) and several pairs of ravens, are also often about for further interest.
Seals, Porpoises, Minke Whales and basking sharks have all been seen in the Bay although the best place to view whales and sharks is at Neist Point, slightly further north on the Duirinish peninsula. A hightlight of 2007 was watching a pod of 8 dolphins fishing in the bay and in 2008 a basking shark feeding in the Bay just below the Cottage. There are otters in the Bay, and in Loch Harport, which can occasionally be seen, mornings and evenings mainly, on their travels.
"Oscar" - the Loch Harport otter; photograph courtesy of David Hammond, "Marsco" B&B, Carbost.