Near Uig is a village called Balnacnoc – this means the village or township in the hills – is the Fairy Glen – a Quirang-like landscape in minature.
The road to the Fairy Glen is single track and there is a warning that the road is not suitable for buses. At the glen there is no parking as such so cars have to park by the side of the road but please be careful not to block the road. The drive is worth it to see this wonderful and magical place.
It was a nice day, a few weeks ago, so we decided to do another part of the Fife Costal Path. This time we took two cars parking one at Crombie and then driving to Culross to start. Before we started there was time for a bacon roll and a coffee. With the increase number of tourists in Culross due to Outlander the number of cafes has increased. We went to The Admiral which is opposite the mercat cross. It is small but serves lovely coffee and excellent bacon rolls
After breakfast we headed back on the Fife Costal Path at Culross. This took us along passed the railway line out of Culross towards the Torry Bay Nature Reserve.
Once passed the nature reserve we crossed the railway line – over a bridge – and onto a path my the road. Before reaching the main road we found a memorial to the Valleyfield Colliery.
We continued along the path through Valleyfield and then onto Torryburn. At Torryburn the path follows the coast line. In the middle of Torry Bay there is a witches rock. The rock was used to tie those who were suspected of witch craft. Here they were judged and sentenced as the tide rose.
As we walked away from the coast we discovered a graveyard. It was Old Crombie Parish Church. There were several interesting gravestones.
From here it was a walk through some farm land to the car in Crombie.
After our trip to the museum and graveyard we headed south to Kilvaxter. A sign directed us to a small car park and from there we walked into a field to discover the Kilvaxter Souterrian.
A souterrain is an underground stone-lined tunnel typically associated with Iron Age settlements along the Atlantic fringe. Over 500 have been found in Scotland, of which around 20 are on the Isle of Skye. Souterrains, from the French sous terrain meaning “underground” were constructed by digging out a trench, lining the sides with stone, then roofing it over with more stone and reburying the whole thing. The end result was a stone-lined passage leading to a chamber.
We found the entrance and Terry went to have a look.
After visiting the Museum of Island Life we visited Kilmuir Graveyard. Why visit this graveyard? Well it has several graves of interest.
The main grave is that of Flora MacDonald, it towers above all the others. It has an epitaph written by the notable author Samuel Johnson – who with James Boswell had met Flora in life during their tour of the Highlands. This reads “Her name will be mentioned in history and if courage and fidelity be virtures, mentioned with honour.” Seven other members of her family are also buried here.
Another magnificent grave marker is a carved effigy of a knight in armour that lies close to the very old chapel/burial enclosure at the far end of the main graveyard. This marks the grave of Angus Martin or Aonghas na Geoithe (“Angus of the Wind”). Angus is said to have earned his nickname by insisting on going to sea whatever the weather and he is believed to have married a Danish princess with whom he had seven sons.
A more recent grave in the cemetery is that of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
In the north of Skye at Kilmuir is the Museum of Island Life. It is a small museum based in a small township of thatched cottages, each depicting, as closely as possible, the conditions on the island at the end of the nineteenth century. The museum is worth visiting to see how life used to be on Skye, especially as entry to the museum is £3 for adults and 50p for school aged children (as at July 2019).
The largest cottage contains the croft kitchen and bedroom.
One of the other cottages is set up as a weaver’s cottage.
In the ceilidh house there is an exhibition about Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald. It also contains old photos and documents of Skye.
One thing you notice when driving on Skye especially when off the main roads are the sheep. There are lots of sheep of Skye and they graze everywhere! We had to keep the gate to the cottage closed or they would have wandered in.
Sheep watching me close the gate.
We saw lots of sheep and had to slow down many times to wait on them moving from the road.
As we drove round the top of Skye we saw some a castle ruin. We stopped and ventured to find out more. There were no signs as to who the castle had belonged to other than a memorial cairn to the MacArthurs. The walk to the ruin was a side a windy cliff.
I later found out it was the castle of the Clan Donald of Sleat.