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18/07/2016

Discover stunning Sleat on the Isle of Skye

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Head to the beautiful Sleat Peninsula on Skye for a great break throughout the year. Located at the southern end of Skye and your arrival point from the Mallaig to Armadale ferry crossing, Sleat boasts some of the finest scenery on Skye with heather-clad hills, picturesque rocky shorelines, soft sandy beaches, lush gardens and ancient woodland and is often known as 'the Garden of Skye'.

Visitor attractions include a highly-acclaimed museum and historical gardens at Armadale Castle, local galleries, craft studios and boutique shops, a great choice of yacht moorings, concerts, ceilidhs and the annual Skye Festival as well as lovely coastal walks.  Entertainment ranges from traditional to popular and classical music, theatre, contemporary dance, opera, ballet and more. Sleat is also at the centre of the Gaelic renaissance and home to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's Gaelic College.

With its amazing range of places to stay, eat and drink, rich local culture and heritage together with a wide range of entertainment and outdoor activities and beautiful scenery, Sleat is a perfect base for a holiday on Scotland's west coast and for exploring the rest of Skye, nearby Wester Ross and Lochalsh, Glenelg and Arnisdale and even the beautiful silver sands of Morar and Arisaig. 

 

Armadale castle and gardens

Armadale Castle and Gardens

Visit Armadale Castle and Gardens, just a short walk or few minutes' drive from the ferry terminal at Armadale. This magnificent 20,000 acre estate offers visitors the chance to enjoy wonderful historic gardens and woodland trails around the elegant ruins of Armadale Castle and to discover the history of the Highlands and Islands through the story of Clan Donald, its most powerful clan, at the award-winning Museum of the Isles. Enjoy stunning walks for all levels of fitness, with views eastwards across the Sound of Sleat to Knoydart, or on the west of the peninsula across to the Cuillin mountain range.  There's a vibrant Visitor Centre, Stables Restaurant, two gift shops, a children's play area, nature trails, genealogy centre, library, and archive centre. Activities available include stalking, argo-cat tours, archery and clay-pigeon shooting with family activity sessions during the Easter and summer holidays.  Award-winning self-catering lodges and luxury suites are available to book year-round.

 

Events and entertainment

The Tarskavaig Blues Band -local entertaiment

SEALL (Skye Events for All) is Scotland's liveliest rural events promotion company offering year-round entertainment at local venues.  In 2015, SEALL won Venue of the Year at the Traditional Music Awards for its base at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's National Gaelic Centre. The key event for the year is the Feis an Eilein-Skye Festival which runs from July to the end of August. The Skye Festival celebrates its 26th anniversary in 2017 and features more than 50 events with a highlight of Alasdair Fraser's 'Mammoth Fiddle Night' with more than 120 musicians performing on stage.  This year the Festival also includes the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, 'Let's Circus' plus theatre, traditional music, community cafes and even a fringe. There's plenty happening at other times too. Year round events include traditional and international music, fiddle and piping concerts, jazz, opera, theatre, ceilidhs and house concerts.

Great local produce

Langoustines from Sleat

Sleat offers a wide range of places to eat and drink from restaurants, to pubs and cafes, all promoting the excellent local produce including delicious sea-food, salads, meats, cheese, whisky and beer.  Head to the local community run 'An Crubh' located on the A851 at Duisdale, new in 2017 with a lovely café, shop and Post Office. Just five minutes from the Armadale ferry terminal, is the community shop, Post Office, visitor information, petrol station and garage, a great example of a successful social enterprise. From a Michelin starred dinner to a lively pub meal with local entertainment, you're sure of the finest and freshest ingredients Skye has to offer.

 

Accommodation

Toravaig House Hotel

Sleat has five lovely hotels including the Michelin starred Kinloch Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, a great range of B&B's, self-catering accommodation to suit every choice, eco-camping, wigwams and wild-camping. Choose from elegant country hotels, cosy self-catering cottages to friendly bed and breakfasts. Accommodation is also available at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for those attending the annual short course programmes at Easter and during the Summer.

 

Island weddings

Sleat is a popular wedding destination too with great hotels, the beautiful grounds of Armadale Castle and Gardens, more remote picturesque beach  locations and even luxury yachts acting as wedding venues.

 

Scotland's National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture

Sabhal Mor Ostaig

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands and the college offers a range of full and part time courses in the Gaelic language, including media studies, music, history, literature and languages. Each spring and summer more than 1000 national and international students attend short courses including Gaelic language, music, singing, fiddle and piping courses, and digital photography. Outreach courses are held in other parts of Skye as part of the short course programme. SMO is the principal venue for most SEALL events.

 

Film locations

Sleat Sunset

Base yourself on Sleat to explore nearby film locations including those of recent movies such as 'Macbeth', 'Prometheus', 'Made of Honor' and numerous TV programmes, advertisements, and videos. The Sleat Peninsula provided the location of the highly acclaimed Gaelic TV drama series 'Bannan', now in its third series, with a fourth planned for 2018, which showcases the stunning scenery of the area.  Travel by train to Mallaig from  Fort William and Harry Potter fans can enjoy travelling part of the route to Hogwarts, over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

 

What to see and do

Torabhaig Distillery Skye

Sleat has a wonderful choice of things to see and do including walks, sea-kayaking, sailing, entertainment, history and culture, three ruined castles, great food and drink, wildlife-watching tours, beautiful beaches and whisky tasting. Look forward to Autumn 2017 and the opening of the 'Torabhaig Distillery' at Knock Bay, the first whisky distillery to be opened in Skye since 1831. 'Torabhaig' will produce 500,000 litres of whisky a year and the distillery will include a visitor centre, café, and heritage centre. Visitors will also be able to enjoy tours around the old steading building that was built in the 1850's with wonderful views across Knock Bay and the distillery.

 

Getting to Sleat

Less than 5 hours' drive and ferry from Scotland's central belt, 90 minutes from Fort William and just two hours from Inverness Sleat is easily reached by road and rail, and has a local airfield in nearby Broadford for private aircraft. Take the community owned six-car Skye ferry from Glenelg to Kylerhea and of course the very scenic ferry crossing from Mallaig.

 

Rail and Sail

Sprinter train crossing the Viaduct

Travel on a combined train and ferry ticket and enjoy the very impressive journey of around 5 hours 30 minutes from Glasgow to the wonderful Sleat Peninsula. Travel on a combined train and ferry ticket and enjoy the very impressive journey of around 5 hours 30 minutes from Glasgow to the wonderful Sleat Peninsula. Take the famous West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William, much of it along a winding single track railway through impressive scenery, before the beautiful ferry crossing to Armadale on Skye, one of the top train and ferry journeys in the world. Sit back and enjoy the views on Britain's most scenic train journey. Leaving Glasgow, travel along the shores of Loch Lomond before heading north to Mallaig with dramatic and beautiful views including the wide open Rannoch Moor, past the UK's highest altitude train station at Corrour and lofty Ben Nevis, Britain's highest peak. Leaving Fort William the train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, known to Harry Potter film fans as part of the route to Hogwarts. Your journey continues past another film location, this time the home of Local Heroes and the sandy shores of Morar then on to the tiny fishing port of Mallaig, gateway to Skye and the Small Isles. Take the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on the beautiful Sleat Peninsula - perfect for a few days or longer break. For more details on getting to Sleat by rail and sail visit our Rail and Sail section.

 

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