Things to Do, Places to Be
Skye is an outdoor enthusiast's playground, and has plenty to offer in any season.
Our local beach is Ashaig Beach, next to the Airstrip. You can walk to Ashaig Beach in about 15 minutes. From the house, walk to the crossroad junction in the middle of the village, turn left and keep going until the road turns right. At this point, follow the track left away from the road. You will pass a village graveyard on your left, before finding the beach straight ahead. At low tide there is plenty of sand and rock pools to explore, and lots of crystal clear, shallow water for paddling.
We also enjoy the walk to Broadford which takes about 45 minutes. With the house behind you, turn right and walk to the end of the Lower Breakish village road. Turn right down a gravel driveway, then left through the wooden gate across the fields. The path crosses the river feeding into the inlet before taking you over a small hill and across the moor. The path ends at the village of Waterloo. From Waterloo, follow the road into Broadford. This route avoids the main road for the most part, and is a safer, and far more pleasant way to walk into Broadford. Our favourite place for spotting otters is at the end of the path at Waterloo. Instead of walking left into Waterloo Village, leave the path and follow the shoreline to the right, out towards the end of the Ardnish Peninsula. You may see discarded shells, the remains of fish, and otter 'scat'. You may even see the otters themselves, if you sit very quietly and wait for a while...
There are so many options for walking on Skye, you may wish to refer to the internet for suggestions. Some guide books are available at the house, as well as Ordnance Survey maps for reference.
Broadford is our nearest town centre, providing shops, restaurants, fuel, souvenirs, and a well stocked supermarket (Co-op).
Ad Astra is ideally placed in the most central part of Skye. The Sleat Peninsula (the Garden of Skye) is to our south, with Sabhal Mor Ostaig, a Gaelic college and venue about 25 minutes drive away. The ferry from Armadale to Mallaig is about 30 minutes drive from the house.
Clan Donald at Armadale is the seat of the MacDonalds, with an informative visitor centre, restaurant, gardens, and castle to explore.
Eilean Donan is about 20 minutes away by car, at Dornie on the mainland. Famous for the movie 'Highlander', it is well worth a visit.
Plockton with its palm trees, picturesque harbour and fantastic seafood restaurants is about 20 minutes away by car, and well worth a visit for lunch or dinner. It gets very busy during the Regatta week however, in August.
Portree is about an hours' drive away and this end of the island is perfect for a day trip. The landscape is very different at this end of Skye, with dramatic windswept vistas and craggy mountains.
The dominant mountain in Ad Astras' view is Beinn na Caillich, part of the Red Cuillins. The Black Cuillins are dramatically different, and are tucked just behind the Red Cuillins, from our perspective. These ranges provide a wealth of walking and climbing opportunities, however be aware that many of the mountain paths are for experienced enthusiasts. The weather in the Cuillins can change quickly, it is important to have the correct clothing and equipment for the season, and always let someone know where you are going, and when you intend to be back.
Raasay is the large island in the distance, with a volcano (extinct!) called Dun Caan. It's also great for a day trip, with many people travelling there to see 'Calums' Road'. Calum built his own road for access on the island, his mammoth feat became a book, soon to be a movie, and has become a symbol of tenacity and courage, and also raised awareness of social issues in the Hebrides, including the Clearances, the exodus of young people to the mainland, and the erosion of the crofting lifestyle.
So many things to tell you... so much of it you will enjoy discovering for yourself.