Local tips: Things to do on the Isle of Skye – Steve Millar and Blaze

  Steve Millar, a Skye resident, shares his local tips about things to do on the Isle of Skye plus photos including some of a rather scary climb he’s completed. About me I live in Portree on the Isle of Skye with Blaze the Border Collie & Mouse the stray cat. Interests Hillwalking, climbing, photography […]

 

Steve Millar, a Skye resident, shares his local tips about things to do on the Isle of Skye plus photos including some of a rather scary climb he’s completed.

Steve Millar and Blaze the Border Collie
Steve Millar and Blaze the Border Collie on a walk to Ben Tianavaig looking towards The Cuillin

About me

I live in Portree on the Isle of Skye with Blaze the Border Collie & Mouse the stray cat.

Interests

Hillwalking, climbing, photography and playing music.

How long have you lived on the Isle of Skye?

We have lived on Skye for a few years now. It was rather unintentional as we had planned to only stop over for a few weeks to do some of The Cuillin…but we’re still here. Previously, we were in Braemar climbing in the Cairngorms.

Favourite beach

Things to do on the Isle of Skye - Ashaig beach
Ashaig beach is one of Steve’s favourites

Our favourite beach sadly must be kept a closely guarded secret, as even at the height of tourist season, it is still undiscovered. However, another favourite is at Ashaig. You start the walk at the cemetery on the shoreline then walk 15 minutes along the coast towards the Skye Bridge and you will reach a small lagoon which is a magical location on a clear still day.

things to do on the Isle of Skye - Ashaig beach and snowy moutains in winter
Ashaig beach with snow-covered mountains

Best walk

things to do on the Isle of Skye - View to Portree Bay from Ben Tianavaig
View to Portree Bay from Ben Tianavaig

I guess our favourite walk, rather than climb, has to be Ben Tianavaig.  The walk starts by parking in a layby at Camustianavaig, where if you’re lucky you may see the otters. After a fairly steep start lasting only 10 minutes, you are on a gradual ridge, with gentle slopes to your left and plunging cliffs on your right.

Things to do on the Isle of Skye - Curved cliff ridge which is the route to Tianavaig summit
Curved cliff ridge which is the route to Tianavaig summit

Note :- If you have dogs, there are sheep here and it’s known for both sheep…and dogs to go over the cliffs.  The path to the summit is well defined, and for most parts is a decent distance away from the cliff edge, but I would advise care on a very windy day.

Things to do on the Isle of Skye - Looking over to The Storr from Tianavaig summit
Looking over to The Storr from Tianavaig summit

There is a sea eagle that often perches on the summit cairn here.  If the day is clear, upon reaching the summit, there are grand views all the way down into Portree, so have a camera with a good zoom if you can. There is also cracking views over to The Storr and Raasay and The Cuillin. The return route can be either the same was as you walked, or you can drop down from the summit towards Raasay where there are some fine wee pinnacles you can climb before reaching the machair and following the coastline back to your start point.

Most special time of year where you live

November through to April when the island reverts back to a peaceful and tranquil place.

 

Things to do on the Isle of Skye – the one thing that you recommend every tourist should do

There are many ‘must see’ places, but we would recommend doing one or two places properly such as walking the Quiraing or doing the Fairy Pool walk, but from Sligachan, rather than do a whistlestop tour trying to cram everything in from a layby.

Your best wildlife encounter

Things to do on the Isle of Skye -Blaze enjoys a spot of seal pup watching
Blaze enjoys a spot of seal pup watching

Seeing the eagles ‘dancing’ during mating season and the seal pups.

Favourite road or drive

Things to do on the Isle of Skye:Struan to Sligachan road for 'That View' of The Cuillin
Struan to Sligachan road for ‘That View’ of The Cuillin

Struan to Sligachan road for ‘That View’ of The Cuillin.

Things to do on the Isle of Skye: Most loved view

Things to do on the Isle of Skye: On the Inn Pin shoulder on Sgurr Dearg, halfway through the climb
On the Inn Pin shoulder, halfway through the climb

For us, it had to be from a place that we never thought we would be able to climb, the Inn Pin on Sgurr Dearg. Terrifying for me, yet WOW…the feeling when you have achieved it…

Things to do on the Isle of Skye: Inn Pin on Sgurr Dearg
Almost there… Inn Pin on Sgurr Dearg

Favourite place to eat and drink

Truth be told, at home.  Stick on some rice, veg and stock. Then pop down to the beach, collect a bag full of mussels…Paella for dinner. Yum. Followed by a wee dram in one of the many dog friendly pubs we have here on Skye.

Holiday Scottish Highlands & Islands says…

Thanks to Steve for these fantastic ideas of things to do on the Isle of Skye, although not even that view will entice me to climb Inn Pin even if I was fit enough! We don’t blame you for not sharing your favourite beach but Ashaig looks a fantastic alternative in that photo. Katie from Taigh Ailean kept her favourite Skye beach secret too when she shared her things to do on Skye.

Find out more about Steve and Blaze

You can follow Blaze on Twitter and also check out their blog, The Adventures and Misadventures of Blaze the Border Collie, where you can also get a copy of the Isle of Skye Mountain Rescue calendar, featuring Blaze in various iconic Scottish locations. Proceeds from sales of the calendar go to the Isle of Skye Mountain Rescue Team.

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