Not just the best place to live in Scotland but, according to a recent internet poll, the Isle of Skye is the most desirable place to live in Britain!
Situated off the west coast of Scotland (and previously voted the ‘fourth best island in the world’ by National Geographic magazine) the Isle of Skye, largest of the inner hebridean islands and the second largest of all of Scotland’s islands, is the easiest island to reach since it was connected to the mainland by a bridge in 1995.
So what’s so great about Skye?
SCENERY: Everyone who visits Skye will leave with a lasting impression of the the scenery. From the Cuillin mountains to the impressive coastal cliffs, from the Old Man of Storr to the Quiraing, from MacLeod’s Tables to the Kilt Rock Waterfall every turn and twist of the road reveals new sights to marvel at. A journey from Rubha Hunish in the north to Point of Sleat in the south will delight and amaze any visitor.
WILDLIFE: The seas around Skye are just chock full of wildlife with whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, otters, sea eagles and more species of seabird than you can shake a stick at all easily seen from many of the vantage points offered by Skye’s rocky shores and cliffs. If you want to get close up and personal with a whale shark or a killer whale then take one of the sea safaris available during the summer months.
FOOD AND DRINK: Being an island it isn’t surprising that Skye has a wonderful selection of seafood prepared by master chefs in first-class hotels and restaurants and not only seafood but highland game reared in the shadow of the mountains, vegetables from local suppliers and a renowned single malt whisky from the Talisker distillery (In 2007 Talisker 18-year-old won ‘Best Single Malt In The World’ award) as well as a range of locally-brewed craft ales.
CULTURE: The island culture is strong on Skye especially that of the gael. You don’t need to speak gaelic to visit Skye or even to live there but you will hear it often, especially in the smaller settlements and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College situated in the south of the island, is working to preserve and advance the gaelic language and heritage.
A QUIET LIFE: At 639 square miles and with a population of just over 10,000 the Isle of Skye isn’t exactly crowded. It is quite possible to take a solitary vacation or live a quiet and isolated lifestyle with as much or as little contact with others as you might wish. Do your own thing at your own pace.
WEATHER: Hey, this is Scotland – what do you expect? Actually, the weather on Skye isn’t as bad as many people might think. It does rain sometimes, with the north of the island being a little drier than the south, but the sun also shines and due to the influence of the gulf stream winters aren’t as harsh as they could be. Snow rarely lies at sea level and morning frosts are less likely than they are on the mainland. The highest temperature recorded on Skye was 26.7°C (80.1°F) and the lowest was -6.5°C (20.3°F).
All-in-all it looks like the Isle of Skye is a pretty good place to live or, if you don’t want to take up permanent residence there, it seems like great place to spend some vacation time. You never know, you might go for a week and stay for a year – or a lifetime!
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ISLE OF SKYE
A Scotsman born and bred I love to roam Scotland’s hills and wild places taking photographs and writing about my travels around the country and all things to do with my homeland.