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Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Monday, November 30, 2009

This afternoon, I am focusing on the capital of the Isle of Skye.

I visit Portree a number of times each year in context of my Scotland tours for small groups and occasionally overnight in the town.


Portree is situated some 30/40 miles north of the Skye Bridge, about two thirds up the eastern coast of the island. It is a bustling little town heavily geared to the tourist industry and also acts as the administrative centre for the island.

The town was originally called Kiltaraglen and renamed following the visit of King James V in 1540. The name Portree is a derivative of the Gaelic 'Port an Righ' or the King's Harbour.

At peak season the town centre heaves with visitors and parking can be tricky. However, the town is well endowed with shops and eating facilities. Down at the harbour there is a good, value for money, fish and chip shop and a string of colourful properties similar to the front at Tobermory on Mull. For folks trying to connect with their Skye ancestors the harbour was the embarkation point for locals displaced under the infamous Highland Clearances and effectively deported to North America and Australasia in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Portree has the usual complement of tacky tourist venues but is a good base or stopping point for a tour of central Skye which can include the Cuillin Hills, Glen Varragill, the Old Man of Storr, the Braes (site of rebellion by displaced crofters) and the River Snizort.

I will post some images and video clips shortly.

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Isle of Skye Tour Scotland

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today, we continued to benefit from cold but very clear and bright weather conditions with unseasonal blue sky for most of the day, a combination which showed off the stunning Skye scenery to best effect.

After leaving Portree we commenced our tour of the island with first stop at Kilt Rock and adjacent waterfall. The latter displayed an unusual effect in the form of a rainbow apparently embedded in the sea. See videos 1 and 2 below.

Next, we continued north to the Quiraing, a fascinating rock formation at a high elevation which afforded superb views and vistas against backdrop of sunshine and blue sky. Image immediately below shows the Quiraing. Refer also video no 3 below.

After the Quiraing and an intense photo session we drove across the top of Skye and en-route encountered a buzzard siting close to the road. See image immediately below. next to the village of Uig with hopes of some coffee and refreshment. Incredibly, all three cafes were closed and we eventually persuaded a nearby hotel to assist, this proved fine and we had added benefit of superb views over Uig harbour. See video no 4 below.

After coffee we moved on, first visiting the nearby Fairy Glen and then on to Dunvegan and rest of the island with regular photo stops en-route. Eventually we stopped for a light lunch at Broadford which we extended to incorporate some shopping at a craft shop and a second hand book store.

Finally, we connected with the ferry at Armadale for the short crossing to Mallaig and then drove to our destination at Fort William which is known as a base for various outdoor activities. Unfortunately the drive to Ft William was undertaken in the dark but we did manage to call in at Glenfinnan which shares both Harry Potter and Bonnie Prince Charlie connections.

After settling in at our lodgings we ventured out for dinner at the highly regarded Crannog restaurant where the dining experience lived up to expectations.

Tomorrow we head to Glasgow via Glencoe.

video video video video

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Skye Photogrpahy Tour

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This afternoon I am presenting some images of the Isle of Skye which lies off the north west coast of Scotland. It is a large and very scenic island and visitors should allow at least one full day to tour the entire island. Skye can be accessed via ferry or bridge.

Here are a couple of images of a rainbow at Broadford.






The following four images are of the Quaraing. This is accessible on foot to most people.






Here is the famous Mealt Falls.


This is Kilt Rock-very interesting from a geological viewpoint.



A visit to Skye is strongly recommended in context of a Highland Tour.

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Isle of Skye Tour

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Today, I am presenting some images of a tour of Skye from 2007.

Rainbow at Broadford. The cottage belongs to a local artist.


Here is the base of a Broch, a dry stone built tower, possibly 2000 years old.


Here are images at the Quirang.


Here is the Mealt Falls-very spectacular.


This is Kilt Rock

Skye is a great place for touring. Allow a full day for a tour of the island.

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