Skye, or the Isle of Skye (/skaɪ/; Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach or Eilean a' Cheò), is the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
The island's peninsulas radiate from a mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillins, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country. Although it has been suggested that the Gaelic Sgitheanach describes a winged shape there is no definitive agreement as to the name's origins.
The island has been occupied since the Mesolithic period, and its history includes a time of Norse rule and a long period of domination by Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald. The 18th century Jacobite risings led to the breaking up of the clan system and subsequent Clearances that replaced entire communities with sheep farms, some of which also involved forced emigrations to distant lands.
Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century. Skye's population increased by 4 per cent between 1991 and 2001. About a third of the residents were Gaelic speakers in 2001, and although their numbers are in decline, this aspect of island culture remains important. The main industries are tourism, agriculture, fishing and forestry. Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area. The island's largest settlement is Portree, known for its picturesque harbour. There are links to various nearby islands by ferry and, since 1995, to the mainland by a road bridge.
The abundant wildlife includes the golden eagle, red deer and Atlantic salmon. The local flora are dominated by heather moor, and there are nationally important invertebrate populations on the surrounding sea bed.
Skye has provided the locations for various novels and feature films and is celebrated in poetry and song.
Skye is a fantastic place for walking and hiking with amazing scenery and breathtaking views, you will find guide books and maps in the cottage, and Edinbane is perfectly located to explore the whole area.
The West Coast of Scotland is a haven for birdlife and in particular the Isle of Skye. Home to the Iconic White Tailed Sea Eagle and Golden Eagle, Skye is a fantastic place to observe Raptors, Sea Birds and a whole host of native birdlife, even the elusive Corncrake and the beautiful Hen Harrier.
There is an abundance of wildlife on Skye with Otter, Deer, Seals, Whales, Dolphins, Porpoise and even Pine Martens in the south of the Island.
Also known at Scotland’s Jurassic Island, Skye is one of the best place in Scotland to find Jurassic fossils. Fossils have been collected and documented from the island for many years, with some fantastic discoveries being made. You can find ammonites, belemnites and reptile remains along some outstandingly beautiful coastal areas. The beaches at Bearreraig Bay and Elgol are some of the best spots on the island to find fossils.
Skye is a big Island and has different weather patterns in different parts of the island and totally different terrain from Trotternish to Waternish to the Cuillins. Days can be spent travelling from town to town exploring what is a truly beautiful place.
There are many excellent places to east on Skye, however a 2 minute walk from the cottage is the excellent Edinbane Inn with a great selection of beers, fabulous food and also live traditional music.
Travelling further afield is one of our favourite places to eat at the Flodigarry Hotel.