Museum of Island Life

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).

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The largest cottage contains the croft kitchen and bedroom.

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Croft Kitchen

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Croft bedroom

One of the other cottages is set up as a weaver’s cottage.

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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.

 

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Sheep on 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.

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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.

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Duntulm Castle

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.

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I later found out it was the castle of the Clan Donald of Sleat.

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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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