Flag of the Isle of Skye. Isle of Skye UK relief location map. The main industries are tourism, agriculture, fishing and forestry. Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area. The island’s largest settlement accommodations on isle of skye Portree, which is also its capital, known for its picturesque harbour. The first written references to the island are Roman sources such as the Ravenna Cosmography, which refers to Scitis and Scetis, which can be found on a map by Ptolemy. Several sharp prominences of bare grey rock stand out on a long ridge leading to more hills beyond.

Skye is the second-largest island in Scotland after Lewis and Harris. Martin Martin, A Description of The Western Islands of Scotland. The Black Cuillin, which are mainly composed of basalt and gabbro, include twelve Munros and provide some of the most dramatic and challenging mountain terrain in Scotland. The northern peninsula of Trotternish is underlain by basalt, which provides relatively rich soils and a variety of unusual rock features. Beyond Loch Snizort to the west of Trotternish is the Waternish peninsula, which ends in Ardmore Point’s double rock arch.

Duirinish is separated from Waternish by Loch Dunvegan, which contains the island of Isay. A small harbour fronted with a row of cottages painted in white, pink, green and blue with a tree-covered hillock behind them. Broadford, the location of the island’s only airstrip, is on the east side of the island and Dunvegan in the north-west is well known for its castle and the nearby Three Chimneys restaurant. The influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream create a mild oceanic climate. Temperatures are generally cool, averaging 6. A Mesolithic hunter-gatherer site dating to the 7th millennium BC at An Corran in Staffin is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Scotland. A stone lined ditch of primitive construction leads from a small lake.

Rocky heathland lies on either side and there are tall cliffs in the distance. Rubha an Dùnain, an uninhabited peninsula to the south of the Cuillin, has a variety of archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic onwards. The late Iron Age inhabitants of the northern and western Hebrides were probably Pictish, although the historical record is sparse. Three Pictish symbol stones have been found on Skye and a fourth on Raasay. The legendary hero Cú Chulainn is said to have trained on the Isle of Skye with the warrior woman Scáthach. The Norse held sway throughout the Hebrides from the 9th century until after the Treaty of Perth in 1266. However, apart from placenames, little remains of their presence on Skye in the written or archaeological record. Apart from the name «Skye» itself, all pre-Norse placenames seem to have been obliterated by the Scandinavian settlers.

An old map of Skye with north at right. A grey castle with tall square towers stands amongst trees in full leaf. I never was in any house of the islands, where I did not find books in more languages than one, if I staid long enough to want them, except one from which the family was removed. Literature is not neglected by the higher rank of the Hebrideans. Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Skye has a rich heritage of ancient monuments from this period. It contains the Fairy Flag and is reputed to have been inhabited by a single family for longer than any other house in Scotland.

A ruined stone building sits in an empty landscape with a steep slope beyond. In the late 18th century the harvesting of kelp became a significant activity but from 1822 on cheap imports led to a collapse of this industry throughout the Hebrides. As with many Scottish islands, Skye’s population peaked in the 19th century and then declined under the impact of the Clearances and the military losses in the First World War. Historically, Skye was overwhelmingly Gaelic-speaking, but this changed between 1921 and 2001. In both the 1901 and 1921 censuses, all Skye parishes were more than 75 per cent Gaelic-speaking. By 1971, only Kilmuir parish had more than three quarters Gaelic speakers while the rest of Skye ranged between 50 and 74 per cent. A picture of a middle-aged Caucasian man with short reddish-brown hair. Charles Kennedy was the MP for the constituency covering Skye between 1983 and 2015.

In terms of local government, from 1975 to 1996, Skye, along with the neighbouring mainland area of Lochalsh, constituted a local government district within the Highland administrative area. The ruins of an old building sit on top of a prominent hillock that overlooks a pier attended by fishing boats. The largest employer on the island and its environs is the public sector, which accounts for about a third of the total workforce, principally in administration, education and health. The second largest employer in the area is the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector, highlighting the importance of tourism. Small firms dominate employment in the private sector. The Talisker Distillery, which produces a single malt whisky, is beside Loch Harport on the west coast of the island. Crofting is still important, but although there are about 2,000 crofts on Skye only 100 or so are large enough to enable a crofter to earn a livelihood entirely from the land.

In recent years, families have complained about the increasing prices for land that make it difficult for young people to start their own crofts. Cod and herring stocks have declined but commercial fishing remains important, especially fish farming of salmon and shellfish such as scampi. The unemployment rate in the area tends to be higher than in the Highlands as a whole, and is seasonal in nature, in part due to the impact of tourism. The population is growing and in common with many other scenic rural areas in Scotland, significant increases are expected in the percentage of the population aged 45 to 64 years. The restrictions required by the worldwide pandemic increased unemployment in the Highlands and Islands in summer 2020 to 5. The rates were said to be highest in «Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross and Argyll and the Islands». Portree was chosen as one of the «20 most beautiful villages in the UK and Ireland» by Condé Nast Traveler, and is visited by many tourists each year.

211 million in 2019 to the island’s economy, prior to travel restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report added that «Skye and Raasay attracted 650,000 visitors and supported 2,850 jobs». Tourism in the Highlands and Islands was negatively impacted by the pandemic, whose effects were continuing into 2021. A September 2020 report stated that the region «has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to date, when compared to Scotland and the UK as a whole». The industry required short term support for «business survival and recovery» and that was expected to continue as the sector was «severely impacted for as long as physical distancing and travel restrictions». Prior to the pandemic, during summer 2017, islanders complained about an excessive number of tourists, which was causing overcrowding in popular locations such Glen Brittle, the Neist Point lighthouse and at the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr. Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing», he added.

Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, the Quiraing, the Fairy Pools, and Neist Point. Skye is linked to the mainland by the Skye Bridge, while ferries sail from Armadale on the island to Mallaig, and from Kylerhea to Glenelg. A body of blue water is spanned by a concave bridge of modern design in the middle distance. A small lighthouse can be seen beyond the bridge under its span. Bus services run to Inverness and Glasgow, and there are local services on the island, mainly starting from Portree or Broadford. Train services run from Kyle of Lochalsh at the mainland end of the Skye Bridge to Inverness, as well as from Glasgow to Mallaig from where the ferry can be caught to Armadale.

The A87 trunk road traverses the island from the Skye Bridge to Uig, linking most of the major settlements. Many of the island’s roads have been widened in the past forty years although there are still substantial sections of single track road. A modern 3 story building with a prominent frontage of numerous windows and constructed from a white material curves gently away from a green lawn in the foreground. In the background there is a tall white tower of a similar construction. Students of Scottish Gaelic travel from all over the world to attend Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Scottish Gaelic college based near Kilmore in Sleat. Skye has a strong folk music tradition, although in recent years dance and rock music have been growing in popularity on the island. Gaelic folk rock band Runrig started in Skye and former singer Donnie Munro still works on the island. Tall, rocky mountains tower over a small lake, beyond which a waterfall cascades down from the heights.

Brown and black cattle stand by the lakes margins, lit by wan sunlight that streams through the clouds. Skye has been used as a location for a number of feature films. The Ashaig aerodrome was used for the opening scenes of the 1980 film Flash Gordon. The West Highland Free Press is published at Broadford. The Free Press was founded in 1972 and circulates in Skye, Wester Ross and the Outer Hebrides. Lord Lyon after a public vote in August 2020. The Hebrides generally lack the biodiversity of mainland Britain, but like most of the larger islands, Skye still has a wide variety of species.

Of this latter sort I have seen sixty on the shore in a flock together. At the tables where a stranger is received, neither plenty nor delicacy is wanting. I scarcely remember to have seen a dinner without them. The moor-game is every where to be had. That the sea abounds with fish, needs not be told, for it supplies a great part of Europe. A black sea bird with a black beak, red feet and a prominent white flash on its wing sits on a shaped stone.

The stone is partially covered with moss and grass and there is an indistinct outline of a grey stone wall and water body in the background. Heather moor containing ling, bell heather, cross-leaved heath, bog myrtle and fescues is everywhere abundant. A blue body of water sits beneath a blue sky surrounded by green moorland. A road to the left travels along the lake side leading towards a small patch of mist and some low hills in the distance. English translation from Lowland Scots: «This isle is called Ellan Skiannach in Gaelic, that is to say in English, The Winged Isle, by reason of its many wings and points that come from it, through dividing of the land by the aforesaid lochs. In April 2007 it was reported in the media that the island’s official name had been changed by the Highland Council to Eilean a’ Cheò.

Figures provided for Staffin, only a few miles to the east, average 4. The theme of government neglect has been repeated by commentators spanning more than a century. Government for the second time to put the country to the expense of a naval expedition to Skye to exhibit Highlanders to the world as a race of men who could only be governed at the point of the bayonet, and that simply because the Commissioners had neglected to perform and pay for the duty the law imposed on them. The 2001 census statistics used are based on local authority areas and do not specifically identify Free Church adherents. Area and population ranks: there are c. 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census. Rick Livingstone’s Tables of the Islands of Scotland». Gaelic Culture» Archived 22 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine.

Group 34: islands in the Irish Sea and the Western Isles 1″. Description of the Western Isles of Scotland called Hybrides, by Mr. Donald Munro, High Dean of the Isles, who travelled through most of them in the year 1549. Council says Isle of Skye will keep English name». A Description of The Isle of Skye». Sgurr Dearg and the In Pinn». No hesitation in recommending you to friends.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Scotland and this was made possible by you guys. All and all a complete and worry-free rental of a fantastic bike! We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend your company to other like minded travellers. We have had fabulous times with your bikes in Scotland. Maybe the best we ever had. Thank you for all your help!

Simply wonderful service and support start to finish. For those of us motorcyclists who like individual trips I warmly recommend this trip. I would not hesitate to choose your company again! I am not talking Scotland, as we know Scotland is fabulous. We had an incredible time in Scotland and will surely come back! I’ve rented motorcycles before and I would rate this experience at the top of the list.

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What a trip we have had! Scotland was absolutely fantastic and you did a great job setting up the details. What a wonderful week Mike and I had running the roads of Scotland. Thank you and the Team for making our dreams come true. Everything was perfectly organized from the beginning. You are a great company and I will recommend you to all my friends. All four gents loved the time we had and compliments on great service and experience.

It has been one of the best travels in my life so far. Thank you a million times over, you have changed the course of my life! We have good experiences , enjoyed scotland touring. We just arrived home last night from the most memorable trip we’ve had. Again, thanks for helping us have such a great trip! We had a wonderful time and everything went well.

Thank you very much again for helping make our trip a wonderful experience. Everything went off without a hitch, the routing was perfect, and the accommodations were right in line with our expectations. Our trip in Scotland was wonderful. I don’t have words enough to express how much we have enjoyed this trip. We hope to be back one day and certainly will speak highly of you to all our friends and recommend you to fellow motorists. We were very happy about tour planning and especially to the carefully planned routes you had put to the GPS.





The majority of our fleet is under six months old and all are maintained to the highest standards in our fully equipped workshop. The north west with its ever changing seascapes, the most remote part of Scotland and then down the west coast to the magical Isle of Skye before returning via Argyll to Edinburgh. Fill in your requirements and it will work out a cost to hire. If you would like us to check availability for your specific needs, simply add your contact details and submit the form. All our rental prices are available here. Clothing is also available to buy or rent. We also offer low suspension versions of the F 750 GS, F 850 GS, R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure. Why do I have to complete a CAPTCHA?



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Scotland Scotland doesn’t waste an inch of its mountainous area in order to delight and impress visitors. Wild and unspoilt, Scotland’s landscapes are timeless, and few pleasures can compare with stepping aboard a magnificently-restored steam train and gently rolling through the dramatic heather-clad hills of the Scottish Highlands. In truth Scotland is packed with unique and unforgettable experiences. Here you can search for a pre-historic monster that lurks beneath the placid surface of Loch Ness. You can visit one of Scotland’s iconic distilleries and sample the finest single-malt whiskies in the world. Everything went to plan and the holiday was well described in the advance literature. Our holiday was excellent and very safe.

000 saints  Once the site of an ancient monastery, your privacy is paramount to Macs Adventure and we will never share your personal data with anyone. Stunning World Heritage sites, and the legendary Irish wit. Beyond Loch Snizort to the west of Trotternish is the Waternish peninsula — literature is not neglected by the higher rank of the Hebrideans. You can visit one of Scotland’s iconic distilleries and sample the finest single, a road to the left travels along the lake side leading towards a small patch of mist and some low hills in the distance. For a holiday to remember, with the men in suits or jacket and tie.

Thanks to Graham our Guide everything went very well. Thoroughly enjoyed the round of experiences in this holiday. A bit spoilt by the weather. There was just a little too much UK in 14 days. I looked forward to visitng Glasgow, but arriving n the evenimg and departing the next mornng diddn’t give much time to do that. If you had selected betterl hotels, as I mention below, then probably it would have gained an extra star! Accommodation is an important part of a holiday, i’m surprised I have to mention this! Great Rail Journeys ensures that when customers select any of our superb escorted rail tours of Scotland they will enjoy the best possible experience and customer service and receive exceptional value for money.

The cost of each of our Scottish rail holidays covers all travel arrangements, overnight accommodation, an itinerary of sightseeing excursions and guided tours that show Scotland at its best, and a selection of meals. A helpful and experienced Tour Manager accompanies each of our rail tours of Scotland and can answer questions, provide assistance and offer information to help our guests to have a pleasureable and memorable time in Scotland. We carefully plan our itineraries to include a selection the most interesting and enjoyable highlights among Scotland’s many historic, cultural and natural attractions. We only choose tour accommodations which are conveniently located, comfortable and provide excellent value, service and amenities. In order for guests to enjoy a friendlier and more personal service and to relax in informal surroundings we often opt for quality family-owned and run hotels. From the moment our guests join Great Rail Journeys on an escorted rail tour of Scotland to the moment they return home we want them to enjoy a safe and stress-free holiday. As the UK’s longest-established specialist rail tour operator our guests can take confidence from the fact that we are members of AITO and ABTA.

Scotland’s Heritage Trains Discover the fantastic railways of Scotland. It should come as no surprise that we love railways and we know many of you do too! That’s why our tours feature some of the most iconic railways and trains on the continent. Scotland Traveller’s Guide In the First Century AD, the hostile Pictish tribes that had settled in Scotland shortly after the last ice age, confounded attempts by the invading Romans to add the country to their empire. Instead, the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall to prevent the ‘barbarians’ entering Roman Britain. Scotland’s Climate Despite its compact size, Scotland’s climate is remarkably variable. Accusations of continuous rain throughout are exaggerated, although the Western Highlands are particularly wet.

Scottish Cuisine Scotland has always benefited from an abundance of fresh local produce of excellent quality and this has shaped the country’s cuisine, producing traditional dishes and specialities that have become globally recognised and renowned. Among some of the best Scottish fayre that our guests should sample is Haggis, Scottish Tablet, Cullen Skink, Aberdeen Angus Beef, Cranachan. Arbroath Smokies, and of course Whisky. Slow is no longer a bad thing in travel, and when it’s combined with a Highland safari and a lodge with a conscience, Siobhán Norton luxuriates in it. There’s something deeply romantic about train journeys. In a fast-paced world where the skies are dotted with aeroplanes and air traffic has become the norm, the nostalgic appeal of trains can hardly be denied. Travelling by train has been a tradition for decades across the world. Whether you’re commuting, going on a weekend away or further afield then travelling by rail travel is a popular way of getting around.