The sun is shining on Skye
Good fortune aplenty, the sun stayed with us on our family holiday to Skye for the entire week, so the children had no interest in the usual playthings (LeapPads/TV etc). There was plenty of fun to be had on the bikes, exploring the castle grounds on the Clan Donald estate and playing football.
An adventure into the wilderness
Our favourite adventure was the short walk from Armadale Pier to a vantage point overlooking a seal colony with tremendous views over to Knoydart, Scotland's last remaining wilderness. These simple pleasures brought back memories of the holidays I experienced as a child travelling up to Gairloch in Wester Ross.
Back to school
Holidays in Skye for those with young children don't need to come at great expense. We spent one afternoon making our way to Elgol on the southern tip of the island. It has a tiny primary school where the playground goes down to a beautiful stony beach. What a great place for a playground with views across to the Cuillins. The kids threw stones into the sea as we looked for eels and other 'beasties' under the rocks.
A cafe with views to die for
On the way back we stopped at the Blue Shed Cafe, a great wee place to enjoy some lovely homemade food and a well-earned cup of tea, not to mention the view across to the only isolated peak of the Black Cuillin, Bla Bheinn. The owners said that, on a fine day, it's not unusual to see a golden eagle from the tables outside.
Back to the mainland
We spent another lovely afternoon crossing the bridge back onto the mainland at the picture postcard town of Plockton where despite its latitude being north of Moscow, palm trees flourish even in late winter fed by the warming Gulf Stream. We bought buckets, spades and fishing nets at the local store and took a short walk to a beautiful white coral beach just outside the town for a well-earned picnic. It was a great place to watch for wildlife or just to admire the peaks of Skye from across the water.
Discovering the Garden of Skye
The southern coastal fringe of Sleat is so fertile and richly wooded that it has become known as the Garden of Skye. The views across to the mainland and the peaks of Knoydart are fabulous. But even they are surpassed by those of the Cuillin from the northern coast between Ord and Tarskavaig - a coastline blessed with several sandy beaches.
A walk on the (less) wild side
We spent a lovely afternoon walking this coastline where the mountainous island of Rhum and its smaller, flatter neighbour, Eigg, sparkle from across the water. We then enjoyed a delightful walk through Kinloch Forest where the views across the Sound of Sleat to the mainland are superb. Some friendly locals joined us offering the kids some old fishing nets and giving me some very welcome advice on pubs to visit to try the best local whiskys and real ales.
Time to go home
On the final day of our holiday we caught the CalMac ferry from Amadale to Mallaig. A splendid 20-minute return ferry crossing offers spectacular views of neighbouring islands Eigg and Rhum.
Building castles made of sand
On arrival at Mallaig we had a picnic on the sparkling white silver sands of Morar where the kids were able to paddle in the crystal clear water and build castles on the sand. From there we travelled further down past Camusdarach beach and arrived at Arisaig, where the delightful harbour offers warm shelter from the wind and stunning views again over to Eigg.
Thanks to Scottish Landscape Photographer Mark Leitch for writing this blog about his holiday to Skye.
Mark Leitch, 37, from Glasgow, is an aspiring Landscape Photographer with a love of travelling around Scotland capturing the beauty of the natural landscape.
His new website www.markleitchphotography.co.uk will be live in a few weeks showcasing the best of his work. In the meantime please follow his twitter account: @mar_k037 and look at his images on Instagram: @marcus010.
(Views expressed do not represent CalMac Ferries Ltd)
All images are copyright ©Mark Leitch Photography.