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Issue 29 - Skye & the Western Isles

History & Heritage

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Scotland Magazine Issue 29
October 2006


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2018. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

Skye & the Western Isles

Where to visit


The Cuillins
Impressive mountain range in the south of the island which should be respected.

World class climbing for the expert, challenging walking for the fit. Great views for the less sporty.

The Quirang
Stunning views to Wester Ross and Staffin Bay and amazing rock formations and pinnacles caused by lava formations.

Dunvegan Castle
Tour the castle, visit the loch side gardens and enjoy boat trips to see the seals. Busy café and gift shop. Open all the year round, with facilities open from March to October. Tel: +44 (0)1470 521 206

Skye Museum of Island Life, Kilmuir
Converted cottages recreating the life of a crofter and a typical small thatched township. The grave of Flora Macdonald is close by. Tel: +44 (0)1470 552 206

Edinbane Pottery, Edinbane
Long established working pottery. Open all the year round though not weekends in winter. Tel: +44 (0)1470 582 234

Skye Silver, Colbost
Specialists in local jewellery sold in an old schoolhouse. Many Celtic designs. Open March to October, seven days. Tel: +44 (0)1470 511 263

The Western Isles
The best way to see the islands is on a guided tour. Here are some of the best of them.

Classique Tours

Modern and vintage coaches and quality accommodation across the islands. Tel: +44 (0)1418 894 050

Family wildlife trips from one hour to a full day. Tel: +44 (0)1851 672 464

Out and About Tours

Chris Ryan provides day tours with local history and culture. Tel: +44 (0)1851 612 288

Wilderness Scotland
Nine night island odyssey running from May to August. Tel: +44 (0)1316 256 636

Scenic Cruises
Wildlife and natural history tours Tel: +44 (0)1859 530 310

Island Cruising
Wildlife, diving and birdwatching cruises Tel: +44 (0)1851 672 381

Guided Tours Tailor-made tours and tour planning. Tel: +44 (0)1851 830 433

Where to eat

An Tuireann Café, near Portree
Casual café with coffee shop atmosphere and good food.
Tel: +44 (0)1478 613 306

The Chandlery
Building its own reputation but part of the Bosville Hotel.
Tel: +44 (0)1478 612 846

Creelers, Broadford
Small seafood restaurant and takeaway, popular with locals.
Tel: +44 (0)1471 822 2810

Harbour View, Portree
Small and intimate seafood dining.
Tel: +44 (0)1478 612 069

Kinloch Lodge, Sleat
Lady Claire MacDonald’s home is larger than life – grandiose dining in every way.
Tel: +44 (0)1471 833 333

Lochbay Seafood, Waternish
Small and simple seafood restaurant at the side of the Loch.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 592 235

Old School, Dunvegan

Respected lunch and dinner destination with good vegetarian options.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 521 421

Pasta Shed, Armadale
Pizzas on the quayside where the Mallaig ferry arrives.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 844 222

Three Chimneys, Colbost
Multi-award winning restaurant specialising in local home cooking. Among the best restaurants in Britain.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 511 258

The Western Isles

Bonaventure Aird Uig, Lewis
French cuisine in the remotest most westerly part of the United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1851 672 474

Copper Kettle, Dalbeg, Lewis
Very small but with excellent home cooking. Terrace dining in the summer.
Tel: +44 (0)1851 710 592

First Fruits Tearoom, Tarbert, Harris
Quality home cooking in nice environment.
Tel: +44 (0)1859 502 439

Thai Café, Stornaway, Lewis

Incongruous maybe, but wonderful Thai food in a convivial atmosphere.
Tel: +44 (0)1851 701 811

Tigh Mealros, Garynahine, Lewis
Down to earth surf and turf.
Tel: +44 (0)1851 621 333

By boat: Caledonian Macbrayne operate car and passenger ferry services to the Western Isles: For enquiries tel: +44 (0)1475 650 100 For bookings tel: +44 (0)8705 650 000

By air: There are small airports on Barra, Benbecula and Lewis: British Airways flight information tel: +44 (0)345 222 111

By road: Buses to the area operate from Inverness, Fort William and Glasgow. Most of these buses will take you to Portree, some go as far as Uig. Citylink (

Skye can be reached by road from Kyle of Lochalsh via the bridge, for which there is no toll.

Trusted car hire companies include Thrifty ( and Arnold Clark (

Where to stay

Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree
Secluded and slightly oddball mansion down by the water’s edge.
Tel: +44 (0)1478 612 003

Eilean Iarmain, Sleat
Gaelic Inn in a great location and with wholesome food and a homely pub.
Tel: +44 (0)1471 833 332

Flodigarry, near Portree
At the north end of the island and with exceptional views and a locals’ bar.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 552 203

Greshornish House Hotel, Dunvegan
Small country house hotel with home-made food and distinctive atmosphere.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 582 266

The Stein Inn, Waternish
Ancient inn with atmospheric pub and quality rooms. Remote.
Tel: +44 (0)1470 592 362

The Western Isles

Castlebay Hotel, Barra
Close to the ferry terminal and excellent value for money. Lively locals pub and quality food.
Tel: +44 (0)1871 810 223

Isle of Barra Hotel, Barra
Modern hotel built to take advantage of the views and situated on the beach.
Tel: +44 (0)1871 810 383

Leachin House, Tarbert, N Harris
Small family hotel with shared meals but very personal.
Tel: +44 (0)1859 502 157

Lochboisdale Hotel, Lochboisdale, S Uist
Rough and ready fishermen’s hotel with a very good bar.
Tel: +44 (0)1471 822 270

Park Guest House, Stornaway, Lewis
Very good menu and comfy rooms. Open for meals to non-residents.
Tel: +44 (0)1851 702 485

Pollachar Inn, S Uist
Remote scenic inn with a good atmosphere.
Tel: +44 (0)1878 700 215

Rodel House, South Harris
Recently refurbished hotel in a truly secluded location in the middle of nowhere. Homemade gastro-pub style menu. Includes selfcatering properties.
Tel: +44 (0)1859 520 210

Royal Hotel, Stornaway, Lewis

Value for money hotel in the centre of town. Reasonable food and accommodation and ideal if you’re on a budget.
Tel: +44 (0)1851 702 109

Scarista House, South Harris
Excellent retreat, near a stunning and often deserted beach. Offers self-catering accommodation.
Tel: +44 (0)1859 550 238

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