I was under the impression that the Lake District was the most beautiful place in the United Kingdom. Lake District to be featured in a future blog. My new favorite place in the U.K. is now Isle of Skye. There was a beauty that I was not fully prepared for. I saw photos of Skye before going and it does look amazing but pictures just can’t give you the full image of being immersed in beautiful nature. This place was a photographer’s dream and a dream if you like untouched nature.
Isle of Skye is a small island off the coast of Scotland. It is a place of untouched nature and you could walk miles and not see another person. The island is as diverse as any place I have ever been. You have mountains, waterfalls, lakes and the ocean. I had no idea that seals, whales, dolphins and sharks were native to Isle of Skye. I was surprised to see seals swimming right at the coastline. I don’t recall National Geographic ever doing a piece on this area but it definitely needs to be done.
First let’s start with the Quiraing which we tried to capture sunrise at. The weather didn’t cooperate but the views were amazing none the less. If you enjoy hiking you can come here and hike for miles among the roaming sheep.
Next I would recommend visiting the Fairy Pools. It is quite a long walk to the actual pools and very scenic along the way. The view to the pools is surrounded by mountains and the entire walk is next to a river with many waterfalls. We were also lucky to get a fresh snowfall the night before. I took long exposure pictures and set up my tripod. I used two neutral density filters for this shot. One 3 stop and one 10 stop filter.
Leaving the Fairy Pools we stopped by a Lake that had a few abandoned boats so I took a couple photos.
The best day was probably hiking up to see the Old Man of Storr. This may be the best sunrise view on the entire island. We had to wake up at 4 a.m. in order to make the 45 minute hike up the mountain to find the perfect viewpoint for the sunrise.
Here is a nice shot of the sun shining on the Old Man of Storr just after sunrise.
No visit to the Isle of Skye is complete without a visit to Eilean Donan Castle which is actually located just off the island and across the bridge that connects the island to Scotland. It is worth a trip at sunset staying into the night. I decided take some long exposure pictures where I could capture the reflection of the castle in the water.
The best view for sunset on the island just may be Neist Point Lighthouse. I made the trip out to Neist Point traveling the one lane roads with earth as far as you could see. It offered plenty of sheep roaming and amazing views of the coast. It is quite a walk to go down to the actual Lighthouse but it is worth the walk. Unfortunately clouds blocked the sun and we missed those brilliant photograph sunset opportunities. Here is a shot of the lighthouse. As you can see no sunset.
Also I can’t forget the Fairy Glenn where I also found some awesome reflections. Here is the Fairy Glenn.
Just at the bottom of the Fairy Glenn I caught this nice reflection. Stitched it as a panoramic.
We explored another part of the island to find an abandoned castle with a do not cross the fence sign. Of course we crossed. There was not much left but here is a shot from the castle looking into the sea.
It is also worth mentioning Isle of Skye might have the most waterfalls per square mile in the world. Seriously you can’t go anywhere without seeing one. It is amazing to see and hear. Here is a shot of a waterfall just a short walk from our B&B.
There is a famous old bridge at the river crossing in Sligachan that also offered wonderful views. A trip to the Isle of Skye must incorporate this. It is very easy to get to as it is right off the road and a very short walk. I decided to take a panoramic sweep using my tripod.
I will end this blog with a different perspective of the Old Man of Storr. The great thing about Scotland is you can roam and walk on anyone’s land to get to your destination. I took this shot using a neutral density filter and we walked through deep dirt where no other photographers were. I used the small tree in the water as my foreground. The small island as my middle ground and the Old Man of Storr as my background. I shot this with my Nikon D750 and a Tamron 70 – 200mm lens.
For a video on my trip visit my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecq6BH7AP8Q
There are so many places to just roam that are uncharted nature. I still have plenty to cover the next time I visit. If you are looking for a place to stay a wonderful couple run an amazing B&B right outside Portree called the Beinn Edra House.