Culture and tourism

Skye is quite culturally similar to the islands of the Outer Hebrides: the majority of the population is Scottish Gaelic. The Free Church of Scotland is also well represented there.

Dunvegan Castle, the headquarters of the Clan MacLeod since the 13th century and still inhabited by the McLeod family (John McLeod or McLeod, died in 2007), is a tourist attraction.

Tourists often visit Skye for its natural beauty (Trotternish) and its fauna and flora. European otters and seals can be observed almost everywhere near the coast. The Cuillin (with its 12 Munros) is quite popular with mountaineers and more active hikers. Also the strange looking peaks of volcanic origin around The Storr hill, such as The Old Man of Storr, are quite popular. Other attractions include: Quiraing, Neist Point, Portree, Fairy Pools and Kilt Rock with the Mealt Falls waterfall.

Waterfall Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye is a widely used filming location. [6] Among others, the Quiraing, The Storr, Neist Point, Cuillin, Fairy Glen and Dunvegan Castle have been seen in films such as the GVR, Stardust, Macbeth, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Transformers: The Last Knight, Highlander, Breaking the Waves and Made of Honor.

Transport and connections

Skye has been connected to the Scottish mainland by a bridge, the Skye Bridge, from Kyleakin to Kyle of Lochalsh (or Kyle for short) since 1995. At the end of 2004, tolls were abolished after protracted protests from the islanders. There is also a ferry service between Armadale on Skye and Mallaig and between Kylerhea on Skye and Glenelg.

Ferry services also link to the Outer Hebrides: between Uig and Tarbert on Na Hearadh (Harris) and Lochmaddy on Uibhist a Tuath (North Uist). There is also a ferry service from Sconser to the island of Raasay. Bus services connect Skye with Inverness and Glasgow. More or less regular bus services also connect the villages on the island, which usually depart from Portree (sometimes also Broadford). There is only a train connection from Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland to Inverness. This train route is widely praised for its beauty.

Villages on Skye

The main settlements are linked by the A87, Portree, Sconser and Broadford in the northeast, and Uig in the northwest.

Villages on Skye:

  • Armadale
  • Bernisdale, Borreraig, Broadford
  • Carbost
  • Duntulm
  • Dunvegan
  • Edinbane, Elgol
  • Fiskavaig, Flodigarry
  • Glendale
  • Isleornsay
  • Kilmaluag, Kilmore, Kilmuir, Kyleakin, Kylerhea
  • Milovaig
  • Portnalong, Portree (the largest and most important city on Skye)
  • Roag
  • Sconser, Skeabost, Staffin, Stein, Struan
  • Talisker, Tarskavaig, Teangue, Torrin
  • Uig, Ullinish

Climate

The influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream ensure a mild maritime climate. Temperatures are usually cool with a January average of 6.5 ° C and a July average of 15.4 ° C at Duntulm on Trotternish. Snow rarely comes to sea level and there is less frost than in mainland Scotland. The winds, which usually come from the southwest, are a limiting factor for plant growth at recorded speeds of 128 km / h. Heavy winds are particularly prevalent on the exposed coasts of Trotternish and Waternish. As with most islands on the west coast of Scotland, there is also a lot of rainfall with 1500 to 2000 mm per year. However, less precipitation falls in the north than in the south. Trotternish counts on average about 200 hours of sunshine in the sunniest month of May.

History and population

Traces from the Mesolithic period have been found on Skye, such as in An Corran near Staffin in the northwest of the island. Famines in the 18th century and major depopulation movements led to a major population decline: in 1821, 20,827 people lived on the island, down from 8,748 people in 2001.

On December 12, 1883, the SS Liverpool perished near the island. 19 people on board drown.

On May 31, 1952, a small dam was opened in Bearreraig Bay at this site where the waters of the Storr Lochs plunge 150m into the sea. At the opening it was responsible for electricity production for almost the entire island. Today it is only switched on as an additional unit in a network that supplies electricity to the whole of North West Scotland. The dam has the only working railway on Skye, which was used during construction to bring down material from the cliffs. Today, however, the only wagon is no longer used because it is wider than the track and, when in use, partially crosses the steep walkway (the Storr steps).

A brand new management center was opened in Staffin in 2000 with the aim of unlocking the unused potential of executives on the island by training and helping them. The center, Columba 1400, is named after Saint Columba of Iona.

Geographical and geological aspects

With an area of ​​1,656 km², Skye is the second largest Scottish island; only the island of Leòdhas agus Na Hearadh (Lewis and Harris), which is part of the Outer Hebrides, is larger. The island is comparable in size to the entire Dutch province of Zeeland. The Cuillin mountain range is located in the south of the island. The highest mountain on the island is the 992 meter high Sgurr Alasdair. The southwest of Skye consists of a number of peninsulas such as Sleat, Strathaird, Minginish and Duirinish. The Waternish and Trotternish peninsulas are located in the northwest. The main fjords are Loch Dunvegan and Loch Snizort to the north, and Loch Harport to the west. Islands in the Skye area include Raasay, Scalpay and Rona in the northwest, Soay, Canna, Rum and Eigg in the south.

On the Trotternish peninsula is the Bay of Bearreraig which is geologically important because of the fossils that can be found there. The bay is surrounded by 150m high cliffs formed in a shallow tropical sea throughout the Jura. Remains of Jurassic dinosaurs and fossilized footprints have been found in this area.