Wee Tam's Review
The Isle of Skye will always be an island to me. It still has that feel of separateness and individuality which make it different from the mainland and you still have to cross the sea to get there, yet it's so much more accessible now that you can drive straight over as and when you like. Crossing the bridge, however, will always be a transitional experience.
Known as the Garden of Skye, the Sleat Peninsula is just a few miles south through stunning heather-clad mountains, along rocky shorelines and beside clear blue sea. A mile along a single track road in a quiet spot overlooking the sea and the highlands on the far side, sits a beautifully modernised croft house, a lovingly made home which, fortunately for us, is available for holidays most of the year while its owners are busy living the city life.
From the outside, the Skye longhouse looks much like its traditional predecessor, with smart new roof, whitewashed walls and tidy garden enclosed by a stone dyke. Modern touches are soon evident, however in the large windows to let in plenty of light and a substantial new wing with a wonderful vaulted ceiling, which allows 180 degree views of the superb scenery. This area houses the stylish new living room, decorated in contrasting earth and sky colours, opening onto spacious decking and the garden. Warmed underfloor, this is a simply fantastic place to sit and relax and look out at the world and the weather.
Sleat is so well endowed with excellent places to eat out that I doubt the kitchen will see a lot of use but when it does, it's better equipped than ours at home. A short walk takes us from the holiday cottage to pet friendly Eilean Iarman beside Camus Cross Bay – a really lovely place to eat, taste whisky or just have a beer and enjoy live music sessions – all while enjoying the comings and goings of yachts and fishing boats in the bay.
We hoped that we might see otters on our visit and so kept a keen eye out whenever we could but to increase our chances, decided to make the short, easy walk to the otter hide at Kylerhea. There are lovely views along the walk and we saw plenty of seals, always a pleasure with their large, human-like eyes but barely a glimpse of the v-shaped wake that indicates an otter swimming with its nose just breaking the water.
In our very classy bedroom is a huge, sumptuous and very comfortable king size bed which delivers blissful sleep night after night but none so blissful as following the Quiraing experience. You need a clear day to appreciate these weird and wonderful rock formations and it's quite a strenuous, high level walk, but definitely worth the effort when you follow convoluted contours to find huge jagged crags and look down on other folk coming up, tiny, hundreds of feet below.