The Isle of Skye – written by Uncle Phil

A friend of ours who lives in Waterside, Chesham, has a cottage on Skye, and had a spare week at the end of October. It was touch and go whether we took the offer up as it was obvious there was going to be a further lockdown, and we didn’t want to get stuck so that we couldn’t get home. Anyway, we decided to go, as it happened, we returned home a few days before the second lockdown began.

We had booked the cottage from 24th to 31st
October. We decided to go on the day before we
were due to arrive, and stop at a favourite place on
our way to Scotland, Tebay on the M6. The hotel
was fully booked for that night so we stayed in
Tebay village at Old School house B&B. After a
nice veggie breakfast, we set off for Skye, into
Scotland over the Erskine bridge on to the A82
around Lock Lomond, on a just passable flooded
road, took a break at Luss. Continued on the A82
across the flat Rannoch Moor when in the distance you see the eerie mountains of Glencoe, onto Fort William, from there go further north until you come to the Skye bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh. Our friend had given us instructions on how to find the cottage, from the bridge it was another 40-minute drive.

The Old croft cottage is in a group of cottages called Aird on the tip of the Sleat peninsula – see on the map pointing to the south. We were told that in the summer it was quicker and easier to get the ferry from Mallaig to Armsdale instead of the bridge, then it was only a short distance to the cottage. We were also told that the track to the cottage was hairy; it was scary! We arrived at the cottage at 5.45pm No 8 second cottage from track end. The week was stormy especially during the night. The cottage was fully equipped, heating okay for me but Kate found it cold (and she is Scottish). There was a log fire but we only tried it once, relied on the heaters. We got out most days, visited the main town of the Island Portree but most places were shut due to Covid-19. Nature was all-around, there was a small rock pool beach, from there I saw an eagle, at first, I thought it was a cormorant but as it flew off I saw it was an eagle. It soared overhead but Kate missed seeing it. Towards the end of the week at the beach I had my binoculars with me and there was a splash close to shore and with my binoculars I was watching an otter diving and swimming for a few minutes. The fields around the cottage were occupied by several cows. It was very pleasant and we decided before coming away that we would ask our friend to book us a week in the summer. The journey home took 12 hours; the first part being very stormy but it kept the traffic down to a reasonable speed.