Six Wonders To Look Out For On Skye
The Isle of Skye offers superb walking, with the famous Cuillin Mountains on the wish list of every Munro bagger. These craggy peaks offer the keen mountaineer the opportunity to test their skills to the limit, but there are also walks to suit all abilities.
While you are out and about on Skye, there are also fascinating geological, historical, and wildlife wonders to look out for. Here are some highlights which are all part of the unique geography of the island.
Brochs are Pictish round towers which date back to the Iron Age, between 2000 and 2500 years ago, and there are about 50 on Skye. Some of them are still largely intact, and they are thought to have been occupied for many centuries.
In the early 1900s, medieval coins were recovered from the Broch at Dun Beag, which is one of the most accessible brochs with stunning views at Struan. No one is quite sure why they were originally built, but as most have views of the sea, they may have been look out towers.
Dinosaur footprints have been found at the shore at Staffin, which can be seen in the nearby Dinosaur Museum, which has fossils thought to be from the Stegosaurus, Megalosaurus, Cetiosaurus, Hadrosaurus, and Ceolophysis. Also look out for gryphaea, ammonites, and belemnites on the coastline.
The history of Scottish castles is embedded in the clans, who were the ruling families of Scotland for centuries. Dunvegan Castle on the shores of Loch Dunvegan is the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, having been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years. It has beautiful gardens as well as a fascinating interior.
Rival clan the MacDonalds also had a seat on the island, which can be seen in the ruins of Duntulm Castle on the cliffs of the Trotternish peninsula. A further castle was built in the 19th century at Armadale, which overlooks the Sound of Sleat.
The Isle of Skye is a wonderful opportunity to see Scottish wildlife in its natural habitat. It is well worth bringing some binoculars along on your walks to spot Sea Eagles around coastal areas. They have an incredible wing span of 8ft and distinctive white tails. They prey on fish, rabbits, and small birds.
At one time, they were almost hunted to extinction by farmers and gamekeepers, but they were successfully reintroduced to the region in 1975, and are now thriving, with a population of hundreds around the west coast of Scotland.
It can take a bit of effort to spot these cute water mammals, but the inquisitive and playful creatures are very active on Skye, especially around dawn and dusk. Spot them on inland waterways, lochs, and on the shoreline.
Bottle nosed and common dolphins are regularly spotted off the coast of Skye, and watching these special creatures making elegant arcs in and out of the water is enough to lift anyone’s mood!
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