Added: Angelicia Kovac - Date: 03.03.2022 14:20 - Views: 28485 - Clicks: 7060
So I want to publish a little blog post about some lovely things you can still purchase to support Skye-based companies. At the time of writing, all the businesses mentioned are conducting online orders or Info on girl from Isle of Skye gift vouchers.
My first choice of homeware treats would be one of these gorgeous throws. The throws make a beautiful investment piece. For those of us who are watching the pennies at the moment, check out some of the smaller but just-as-lovely items in the Westcoast Weavers online shop. Super-local, seasonal fine dining by Calum Montgomery at Edinbane Lodge. One way of supporting businesses like restaurants and hotels is to buy a gift voucher for use at a later date when they have reopened. Skye-born chef, Calum Montgomery, has a stellar CV and his latest venture has been racking up the awards since opening in The food is skilled and innovative but my favourite thing about his menus is the emphasis on locally grown, fished or foraged ingredients.
A traditionally hand-tanned sheepskin From Skyeskyns Perhaps an unusual recommendation from someone who avoids eating meat, but Skyeskyns sources their skins as a by-product from the local abattoir thus helping to use up all parts of animals reared on Skye. This family business usually invites visitors into their tannery to see their master craftsmen at work using traditional techniques but for now you can buy online instead. Check out their Mimosa Collection which uses tree bark as a natural tanning agent to reduce environmental impact. In the meantime, snuggling into one of these traditionally-tanned sheepskins might be the closest thing we can get to a cuddle!
But Peter McDermott is a personal favourite. A wild fishing, foraging or wildlife-watching walk with Skye Ghillie By Mitch Partridge AKA Skye Ghillie Like the hospitality industry, outdoor guides have also taken a big hit from cancelled bookings. Luckily, many are offering gift vouchers. No nature-lovers visit to Skye would be complete without a trip out with Mitch from Skye Ghillie. I was very lucky to go on a nature walk with him before I even moved to Skye and he started me off on my own foraging journey.
And last but definitely not least… If everything gets too much you can always pour yourself a giant glass of wonderful Raasay Gin from an award-winningly pretty bottle! The giant glass is my reccommendation, not theirs.
Many of my personal favourites, such as the fantastic Skye Baking Company and Inside Out outdoor gearare fully closed at the moment and not taking online orders. Wakin up in the Harris hills as part of my 82Islands challenge blog post on this visit coming soon.
This is just a quick update, then hopefully this extra time can mean that I can catch up with the rest of my blog posts. Perhaps they can then be a distraction for those of us wanting to read about something other than the virus situation. After 5 years of renting, Skye is now officially home. My new pups, Mouse and Benji, approve of the move! My friends knew that I was looking to buy and offered me first dibs when they decided to sell their modern cottage.
I almost bit their hand off at the offer! Waking up on Harris as part of my 82Islands challenge.
We all need to do our best to act responsibly and make sure we follow best practice. Comments and thoughts welcome! My second island is one that has been close to my heart since I arrived in Scotland. Berneray sits right in the middle of these stepping stones, a tiny island tucked between the larger North Uist and the mighty hills of Harris. West Coast travellers will know that specific feeling of excitement you get when standing on the open deck of a Calmac ferry. The red plastic chairs, painted green floor and white railings between you and the sea all mean one thing… adventure awaits!
I arrived at Lochmaddy in North Uist at half nine. But it was late enough that the buses had clocked off and I was sleepy so I took a cab and got into the front seat. It turns out that I was sharing a car with a local celebrity. Alda is 83, a kind gent who has lived in Lochmaddy for his whole life and who has almost too many great-grandchildren to count! He told me local stories as we chatted, trundling along single-track ro, crossing the causeway and finally ending up at the traditional blackhouse cottages of the Gatliff Trust Hostel where Alda was born!
The hostel probably ranks Info on girl from Isle of Skye one of the best situated and most beautiful in the UK as it sits right on the edge of the white sands of East Beach and looks over the water towards Harris. I was tempted to book into the dorm and crash out but the summery lightness of the evening made me want to explore. Looking towards the Harris hills from West Beach. Dozens of oystercatchers squawked in the fields as I passed, determined to be heard above one another. Have you ever had a serene moment spoiled by an oystercatcher? I followed the posted footpath up the hill and past the cemetery with its impressive patchworked lichens.
The roar of waves met me long before before I saw the first pale sliver of West Beach. I wrestled my sleeping stuff out of my bag and wriggled inside. It was almost midnight. Time to sleep. That and a really good breakfast. Waking up at the very Northern end of this expansive white beach to the sounds of the sea was every bit as special as you could imagine. Okay, it was a bit breezy and the clouds looked aggressive but that just adds to the atmosphere.
West Beach is a 3 mile long ribbon of bright white shell sand. An example of species diversity on the machair -the remains of a mouse in an owl pellet notice the yellow teeth and the ball-t socket. Machair is a Gaelic word which describes the fertile grasslands that lie low behind the sandy dunes. I watched the gannets, gulls and tiny sandpipers from my sleeping bag but it took an hour of walking along the shore before I saw another human.
Other people: rarer than the seabirds on this beach. The blues and whites looked like someone had digitally edited them to an unrealistic saturation. In Scotland the turquoise sea is bold and opaque. I cut over the dunes and walked across the machair, following the waymarkers.
I walked into a great commotion in the middle of the machair and looked skywards to see lapwings swooping low, calling out warnings. They are ground nesting birds and these ones were clearly defending their babies. I was conscious of causing them stress so moved quickly along the path but soon saw that it was not me who they were paying attention to.
A gang of gulls stood like sentinels amidst the tufts of grass, every now and again taking flight and testing their luck against the concerned parents. I left them to it. The Chair Stone -a throne for old Viking leaders? Berneray has a lot of history for its small size and there are plenty of intriguing archaeological items dotted around the landscape. If the West feels completely wild then the East is the opposite.
The shop and bistro is an integral part of this. I stopped for lunch, chatted with some of the ladies there and brought supplies for supper. They had a steady stream of customers but I learned that trade is generally reduced by visitors stocking up on supermarket supplies en route. More people spending locally would mean more business opportunities and choice for local folk. I had to make a concerted effort to find areas that might need a beach clean. I picked up what I could as I roamed the island but it made a nice change to see so little plastic dotted around.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering, making rough sketches and talking to local folk. I learned that the issues that affect Berneray are completely different to those on Skye. Also, the people who have travelled this far are more likely to be return visitors and ones who clean up after themselves.
It was true… There were at least 10 camper vans parked near East Beach but not one patch of scorched grass or discarded tissue in sight.
It was brilliant. Most of the plastic seemed to come from the sea, not from litter left on the beach. It was near here that I decided to sleep for my second night. East Beach is a sheltered bay and a much safer place for a swim. I laid my mat, sleeping stuff and rucksack out on the sand above the slightly stinky and seaweed-y tide line and walked up the road towards the hostel to refill my water bottle and use the bathroom. There is, however, Berneray hostel in the evenings. It was a clear but chilly evening. Low, blue-tinged light.
Lapping waves. Air so clear that each breath felt like drinking iced spring water. Walking through the hostel door into the communal kitchen was like walking into a solid wall of human voices, thick heat and mixed cooking smells. The room is dominated by a long central table, a mosaic of those laminate ones you see in schools. Around it sat an eclectic bunch of travellers… European kids in proper outdoor gear, a smart older couple from Edinburgh, tired cyclists in long johns and pyjamas.
Before I could reach the sink I was ushered into a chair by a man with a thick Argyll accent and a furry trappers cap. The welcome was as warm as the atmosphere. I said that I should get back to my stuff but another Scottish fellow, Ian, offered me a goblet of gin with lemon and I found myself relaxing into my moulded chair. Hugh went to fetch a bottle of Talisker whisky and Ian and I reminisced about the last time we both stayed here. I had come over for some escapism following a break-up. He was working here. The crowd was an equally-eclectic mix of different characters and we drank well into the night, roaring with laughter at shared stories.
I fondly remembered a lovely old-ish boy from Stornoway.
He was wizened and salty, with a shock of black hair that erupted in all directions. He and his friend were here for the fishing but he spent more time enjoying the drams and the atmosphere leaving his friend exasperated and impatient. He had a heart of gold; sharing all he had and even buying us dressed crab as a Sunday treat almost everything closes on the Sabbath in the Outer Hebrides but an enterprising fisherman has taken the opportunity to make door-to-door fresh food sales!
Do you wanna know the best eggs? Sea eagle eggs. Have you ever tried a sea eagle egg? We stood wide-eyed and mouths agape at this story, then he offered us a dram and the evening continued. Whilst lots of places are becoming more cosmopolitan and homogenised, you start to realise the value of these little corners of the British Isles where you can still meet unique characters to share laughter, drinks and stories. The whisky and heat took effect and my eyelids got heavy. I finally excused myself, opened the gate and returned to my camping spot. I was out the moment my head hit the pillow. Okay, perhaps that was a bit too much whisky.
The morning was cold and dewy and I wanted to stay in bed. I could have laid there listening to the placid wavelets and busy birds for hours. Only I had a bus to catch and a swim to squeeze in. It takes a monumental amount of effort and self-encouragement to even dip a toe in. This hungover beach wake-up was no exception and I cursed myself for putting swimming into my list of things to do on each island. Of course, ten minutes later and I was grinning from ear-to-ear, soggy and trying hopelessly to pull a pair of tight leggings over damp, goosepimpled legs.Info on girl from Isle of Skye
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MAGICAL SIGHTS YOU CAN ONLY SEE ON THE ISLE OF SKYE