Isle of Skye

Island Washing, Skye, Scotland

Washing drying in the sun, on the Isle of Skye, taken on holiday May 2016.  I see washing hanging out and I have to take a photo…..I’m not sure why, I just like seeing it dancing in the wind, especially if it’s really windy.  Also the cottage reminded me of the ones that we had seen on the Isle of Tiree, last year 2016, with the black stones, which are called ‘Pudding Houses’  or ‘Spotted Houses’

I also found another example, where you can see the stone work more clearly.  This cottage was a little further away from the first cottage, the first cottage didn’t have bay windows, but otherwise it’s quite similar. 

May 2017

Blue Skye, Scotland

When we were on Skye, Scotland, a couple of weeks ago, we stopped on our ’round island road trip’ to have a picnic.  I’m not sure that we have had one, with such a breathtaking view before.  I think…..we were looking at Applecross on mainland Scotland, with the little island of Rona in the foreground, but I’m not a 100% sure.  The sky had a slight haze, which made everything in the distance have an ice blue tint, it was far more beautiful than I could really capture, but they are a lovely reminder of a beautiful picnic.

May 2017

Duntulm Castle, Skye, Scotland

Duntulm Castle with spectacular views of the Outer Hebrides, you can understand the reason they built it there, and no, not just for the view, although I would have done.  The castle, with sheer cliffs on three sides, stands ruined on the north coast of Trotternish, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, near the hamlet of Duntulm.  We were on our round the ‘Island Road Trip’, a week ago on holiday and I suddenly noticed the ruins, not sure how I missed them in pervious years…..most probably busy looking at the view.  We didn’t have time to stop, as we had a ferry to catch and we still had a long way to go, so the photos were taken out of the car window….. again.

 

A little history…..Duntulm is believed to have been first fortified in the Iron Age, and the site continues to be associated with the name Dùn Dhaibhidh or “David’s Fort”.  Later in life it was fortified by the Norse, and subsequently by their successors, the MacLeods of Skye. It would have been while it was under the MacLeod’s tenure that James V visited the castle in 1540, where he was impressed by its strength and the quality of the hospitality on offer.  In the 17th century it was the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacDonald of Sleat.  The MacDonalds abandoned the castle in about 1730 in favour of nearby Monkstadt House and then Armadale Castle in Sleat.  We did visit Armadale Castle, which has a lovely garden, and I will post about it later.  

 A little haunting for you…. a nursemaid accidentally dropped the baby son of the clan chief from a castle window above the cliffs.  The ghost of the nursemaid, killed in retribution, is still said to wander the ruins. She is apparently kept company by the ghost of Hugh MacDonald, who plotted against the rightful clan chief in the 1600s, and who was starved to death in the dungeon at Duntulm.   

There were quite substantial ruins left in the 1880, a large keep several stories high, which would have looked quite impressive on the cliff top.  But, as with many of theses castle ruins, the stone work was removed for building projects and other parts corroded away, or just fell into the sea.  

May 2017

 

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Following on from our road trip around Skye last week, May 2017, I wanted to capture the The Old Man of Storr in black & white on this visit.  The Storr is a rocky hill on the Trotternish peninsula, and the hill presents a steep rocky eastern face overlooking the Sound of Raasay, contrasting with gentler grassy slopes to the west.  The Old Man is in fact, just one element in an array of fantastic rock features, and looking at the photo, he is the tall rock formation on the right.  There is a spectacular walk to the famous summit, passing through the iconic landscape of the Sanctuary with many different rock formations.  This is something we have yet to do, although I quite like, just taking photos of the stunning landscape.  Also there never seems to be an empty parking place, and it was only May, hate to think what it is like in the height of the summer.  But I got my photos, then we did find somewhere to park nearby and have our picnic, overlooking the Sound of Ramsay, a stunning view to accompany our sandwiches.

Talisker Distillery, Carbost, Isle of Skye, Scotland

This was our second visit to Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye, May 2017.  Unfortunately or fortunately in my husband eyes, was the fact that had I lost my photos of five years ago, and I wanted to revisit to take more for my ‘Whisky Distilleries Category’.  So he was quite happy to stop on our road trip of the Island, so I could retake photos, but this time there were quite a few visitors, many more than before.  Whisky is now making quite a comeback and you would be amazed at the amount of different languages that you hear……its good for Scotland, especially for the islands, as it means work, in fact there are three brand new distilleries that I heard about, that have been built recently.  We did visit one which I will post about later, but back to our visit of Talisker.

A little history for you …….Talisker’s founders, brothers Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill were classic Clearance landlords. Having bought the rent of Talisker House on Skye and extensive lands in 1825, they set about forcibly shifting the resident population from their farms, either to new settlements at Carbost and Portnalong on the shores of Loch Harport and Portnalong, or off the island entirely.  In 1830, they opened their Talisker distillery in Carbost using the cleared populace as its workforce. Their venture into whisky-making was not a success and by 1848 the bank was in control. For the next three decades Talisker stumbled through a series of other owners who found it hard to keep afloat a distillery which is remote even by 21st century standards.  In 1880, Talisker’s fortunes changed when Roderick Kemp and Alexander Allen bought the distillery and proceeded to expand the site and construct a distillery pier – until then all the casks had to be floated out to waiting ships.  Eventually after many years a grouping of major blender morphed into Diageo.  In 1960, the distillery burned down and was silent until 1962 while it was being rebuilt, in to what you see now.  

May 2017

 

Isle of Skye, Scotland, Road Trip – Part 1

Just to show that we did have some nice weather on our holiday in Scotland last week, May 2017.  We went to Skye on one of the sunny days and we always do a round the island road trip.  Each year I always manage to see different views, and the weather can also change everything within a few seconds.  This is a two part post and please forgive any blobs, as quite a few photos, well nearly all of them, were taken through the front windscreen……and no matter how many times you clean the screen, those pesky flies are back again, leaving their imprint, the blob.  So here are few of my impressions of Skye, with a few more to follow.

May 2017

Ornsay Lighthouse 1857, Isle of Skye, Scotland

This lighthouse was a lovey surprise, we were on Skye last week, May 2017, an island off the west coast of Scotland, on the Sleat Peninsular, the garden of Skye, looking for a Whiskey Shop.  Visiting Whiskey shops and distilleries are a reward for my husband, for driving me everywhere, so I can take photos from the car…… but having visited so many now, I quite like the taste and some times it works in my favour.  This time is really did, as we were coming out of the shop, I noticed in the distance a lighthouse on a small island.  We drove as near as we could, but it was still quite a distance, but I managed to get some shots of another ‘Stevenson Lighthouse’ for my collection.  What I found amazing, is that they are always in the most wonderful locations and some in the most amazing places, far out at sea on a small rock, not sure that I will get to visit many of those.

What we had been looking at was ‘Ornsay Lighthouse’ on the islet of Eilean Sionnach, off the tidal island of Ornsay.  The lighthouse cottages were once owned by the author Gavin Maxwell of ‘Ring of Bright Water’ fame and the lighthouse was built in 1857 by Thomas and David Stevenson, it is a masonry tower with gallery, lantern and keeper’s house. The apparatus installed entered in service on 10 November 1857 and became automated in 1962.

May 2017