Walk to Staffin Beach

After lunch at Columbus 1400, we walked down towards Staffing Beach. This involved crossing some moorland before a stone path down the hill. We had to go past some cows.

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A brief walk along the shore line got us to the beach, where dinosaur footprints have been found.

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An Lethallt

From Portree we took the road north heading towards Slaffin. On the way we stopped at Lealt waterfall. There is a viewing platform which gives a safe place to view the falls.

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A short and easy walk towards the sea leads to a viewpoint where the depths of the gorge can be seen and the remains of a diatomite factory.

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Glendale Land Leaguers

On the way to Glendale from Colbost is a memorial to the Glendale Land Leaguers. These are men who in the 1800s stood up for the crafters against the government.

Led by John MacPherson, the crofters demanded the return of the common grazing land that had been taken from them. Taking direct action, they began grazing their cattle on this land. Police action in January 1883 proved ineffective and eventually a government official was sent to Skye to conduct negotiations. Five crofters including MacPherson agreed to stand in a token trial. They were sentenced to two months in jail and became known as the Glendale Martyrs.

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St Mary’s Church Dunvegan

After lunch we decided to stop at a ruined church and graveyard we had spotted the previous night. This was St Mary’s, a post reformation church dating back to the late 1600s. It is the burial place of several dukes of MacLeod as well as Simon Lovat’s father who died at Dunvegan. More information can be found about the church here.

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Wandering round the graveyard and church I found some interesting grave stones and markers.

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The view from the graveyard was lovely though we couldn’t see much as it was low cloud.

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Dunvegan Castle

The forecast was for rain so we set off to Dunvegan castle – several others had the same idea so there was a queue for the ticket office before 10am. Tickets bought we headed to the castle. I was excited to visit the castle as it is the home to The Fairy Flag. A remember hearing the tale of the flag on Jackanory when I was a child. The castle was busy but we were able to see what we wanted to see.

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The flag is one of clan MacLeod’s precious possessions. More details about the flag can be found on the Dunvegan Castle website.

Photos are allowed in the castle without any flash so I took some with my phone camera.

After a trip to the cafe called MacLeods table we headed for a wander around the gardens. The walled garden is especially worth a visit. We then walked done to the shore.

Dunvegan castle and gardens are a must see on a trip to Skye. For those interested in the Jacobites there is a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair as well as the waistcoat he gave Flora MacDonald. Flora married an illegitimate son of the 22nd Duke.

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The Bonnie Prince

We weren’t catching the ferry to Skye till early afternoon so we had some time to kill. We headed towards Glenfinnan. On the way we stopped at a lay-by that had a sign post for the Prince’s Cairn. It wasn’t obvious initially where it was but we found the path and headed down to the cairn. The cairn was erected in the 1950s to mark the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie embarked on his journey away from Scotland after being defeated at Culloden.

 

It was then a trip to the Glenfinnan monument which commemorates the raising of the Jacobite standard on 16th August 1745. The monument was built in 1815. As we are National Trust for Scotland members we decided we wanted to go up the monument. It is a very narrow stone staircase similar to those found in castles. At the top is a hatch way to get out onto the top of the monument. I was glad it was just the two of us as it was awkward get out and the same going back down. Despite that it was worth the climb to see the view.

Where the monument is a possible site. Behind the visitors centre there is a viewpoint which could also have been where the standard was raised. View of the monument from the viewpoint.

From the viewpoint there were excellent views of the Glenfinnan Viaduct. While we were there we were lucky enough to see The Jacobite train cross the viaduct.

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Road to the Isles

After a hard morning spent at work – assembly then a movie! I headed home. The car was packed and it was time to go. We stopped at The Smithy near Doune for lunch before heading further north. We were determined to get to Arisaig as quick as possible so there were no stops. Though I did try taking photos out the car window as we went through Glencoe.

We arrived at Arisaig just about 5.30pm. We dumped our bags and headed to the bar for a well deserved drink. We stayed at The Arisaig Hotel. After dinner we went for a wander in the village. We came across a memorial to Czech special operators who trained in the area during the war.

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