The Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye – Visitors Guide
IS THE ISLE OF SKYE FAIRY GLEN WORTH VISITING?
Our most recent visit to the Isle of Skye’s Fairy Glen was definitely a trip highlight for me!
Despite being a stop-off on the well-travelled Trotternish Loop (an Isle of Skye driving itinerary for most visitors) we almost had the place to ourselves. It was a Saturday around 11 am, there was a drizzle threatening but the late November sun was trying to crack the clouds from its low advantage. A bridal party clung to the car park like marathoners at the start-line, and whilst they awaited the audacious couple who chose the Fairy Glen as their altar we set off on our walk.
November light shrouds Skye’s Fairy Glen in an ethereal glow you would perhaps have to capture at Golden Hour any other time of year. Still, regardless of the month you choose to visit the Isle of Skye, the Fairy Glen would probably feel mysterious and magical any day of the year. The topography is like nothing I have ever seen before!
It supposedly achieved its unique and irregular landscape via an ancient landslide, not disimilar to the nearby famous Quiraing of Skye, albeit on a smaller scale. The strangely shaped hillocks would make for a great game of Hide and Seek for any intrepid youngster (or fairy?). Add to that the way the peat moor absorbs any sound that would attempt to bounce around the Glen and you find yourself wandering about a piece of the Scottish Highlands that is unlike anywhere else.
It’s a 10 minute walk from the car park through a gnarly patch of Rowan trees back to the road where you will cross at a pond. Beyond the pond is everything you have come to see.
Over the first small hill you will come to a clearing with Castle Ewen to your left – it’s not actually a castle (I was looking for remains of an old fort for ages!). It’s just a rocky outcrop of volcanic basalt, cool eh. If you can manage to climb the rocky Castle Ewen you will be rewarded with some of the best views of the Fairy Glen and a birdseye perspective of the undulating mounds below you.
HOW LONG DO YOU NEED AT THE FAIRY GLEN?
The Fairy Glen isn’t overly large so we think if you allow about an hour you will have enough time to make the most of it. But, make sure you take a moment: soak up the peaceful atmosphere alongside the sheep and babbling brooks. We know you won’t be disappointed with Skye’s geological wonder!
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FAIRY GLEN, SKYE…
How To Get There
From Portree to The Fairy Glen takes approximately 25 minutes by car along the A87. It’s a pretty route, particularly as you drive by Loch Snizort Beag. At the Uig Hotel turn right, following the sign to Sheadar and Balnaknock.
Alternatively, the 57B bus to Uig regularly leaves from Somerled Square in Portree and costs about £4. You will have to walk from Uig to The Fairy Glen (half an hour’s walk).
The Fairy Glen Parking
There is a newly tarmacked car park at the Fairy Glen which costs £2. Many Skye Guides will tell you that there is no parking at the site but they are outdated. It’s not a large car park, probably room for approximately 30 cars, but this didn’t seem to be a problem out of season – even with a wedding in tow! (For your satnav use IV51 9XX – postcode for The Fairy Glen car park)
In the summer cars attempt to park on the grass verges which is, unfortunately, damaging the landscape. If you are visiting the Isle of Skye during the busier months, please consider parking in the nearby town of Uig and walking the single track lane 30 minutes to the Fairy Glen – it would be kinder on the environment.
The Fairy Glen Walking Route
There is an official Fairy Glen walking route which begins in the car park and is approximately a 1 mile circular route. You can find it at AllTrails.com. However, we think the Glen is best to be explored aimlessly – you won’t be lost for long and any high ridge will realign your inner compass.
Where To Stay On Skye
We would recommend visiting the Fairy Glen as part of a road trip around the well-known Trotternish Loop – a route that you can do in one day. So a good place to stay would be Portree as the loop and most other Skye attractions can be easily accessed from this central town.
We stayed at the Skye Inn and loved it! The main selling point of this hotel is the grand dining hall that doubles up as a cosy lounge in the evening if you want to order yourself a dram and sit by the open fire on a big leather Chesterfield. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly and accommodated us with various requests. The rooms are as good as any you will find on Skye but they all have beautiful brand new bathrooms recently refurbished. And the kids loved the hot chocolate and shortbread left for them in the rooms.
Honestly, if you’ve never considered the ‘faerie glen’ for your Skye itinerary, we think you’d be missing out!
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