The beauty of the Isle of Skye was over-whelming; around every turn and over every hill, the views literally took our breath away.
It’s possibly hard to imagine, but Skye’s landscape is even more dramatic, even more epic than what we saw of the Highlands. Seemingly endless sea lochs disappeared behind craggy rocks, the Cuillin range rose from the earth like something out of Lord of the Rings and the coastline was more wild and untouched than anywhere I’ve seen on the mainland.
After thinking what it was about Skye that made it so much magnificent, I realised that, compared to most parts of England, the landscape is completely untamed. You don’t get the feeling it’s ever been farmed or maintained apart from a few tell-tale wire fences and the white spots of the grazing sheep. You get the sense that all the Scottish folk tales could just as easily be written today as they were 300+ years ago.
The crossing from Mallaig to Armadale was only 30 minutes but as soon as we (my brother and I) arrived, we didn’t waste anytime in driving into the heart of Skye. Our final destination was to be the village of Carbost, but first we had some Fairy Pools to find!
We took our time, pulling over four or five times to appreciate the panoramic views of this unspoilt island. We leisurely traversed the island before arriving at the start of the Coire na Creiche and the Fairy Pools circuit just after midday, incidentally the location for the island’s last clan battle between the MacDonald’s and Macleod’s in 1601. After making sure Ian (our Vauxhall Insignia sidekick) was settled with a good view, we made our way towards the foot of Sgurr an Fheadain (mountain) alongside Allt Coir a Mhadaidh (stream) towards these mystical pools.
The walk itself was a doddle; just a slight incline in the direction of the gloomy Cuillins. But the views were vast and after navigating our way alongside the stream for about half an hour, the Fairy Pools suddenly emerged. Although I had seen one poor resolution photo of Fairy Pools from the walking route I’d downloaded, I didn’t really know what to expect. But what we found were crystal clear and vivid blue fresh water pools nestling in a hidden stream.
The pools were situated like steps, separated by some reasonably sized waterfalls, and were utterly charming. As much as I now wish I’d had the guts to de-robe and plunge into the pools, the fresh September air and lack of swimming cossie prevented me from doing so. However, we did pass a group of 60-somethings who were on their way to do just that. Respect!
We had to forget about doing the rest of the circuit because, having spent so long staring at the natural beauty of the pools and the surrounding hills and mountains, the 30 minute section of the circuit had taken almost two hours, and as we had another trip to Talisker Bay to fit in before dark!