Scotland, Day Three – Scenic Drive to the Isle of Skye

Monday, May 27

We’d planned to take a tour of The Glenmorangie distillery in Tain but unfortunately, a cruise ship tour was on it’s way in and there were no more slots available. The Dalmore distillery was close by in Alness and, although they don’t offer tours, we had taste test and a nice chat with the women at the visitor center.

While planning our trip, we’d decided against trying to see islands off the northwestern coast; we thought we wouldn’t have enough time to see them without rushing. When we ended up with a free afternoon, we decided to take a drive over to the Isle of Skye.

After a picnic lunch in Alness we enjoyed a scenic drive west. This is definitely sheep country. We live in a rural area and I see all kinds of livestock every day but I still get a lot of entertainment value seeing animals like this curious-but-cautious ewe and sheepletTM.

Scottish Sheep

We stopped at Loch Scaven on the Glencarron Estate.

Loch Scaven, 57°31′23″N 5°9′54″W

I initially thought this was a Highland cow.

Highland Cow in the Highlands

but after seeing this little dude,

Hereford Calf

I decided she must be a Hereford with a longer coat.

It started getting rainy near Loch Carron.

Loch Carron

But the sun peeked out when we stopped at the Strome Viewpoint overlooking Castle Bay of Loch Carron.

Loch Carron

Just to the left of the white house on the little rise is the ruined Strome Castle built in the 1400s.

We saw Eilean Donan Castle but decided it wasn’t worth fighting our way through the tour bus crowds. We parked at Dornie Jetty to take a look and stretch our legs.

Eilean Donan Castle

Someone had recycled an old rowboat into a pretty flowerbed.

Rowboat Flowerbed

We drove on towards Skye mindful of road hazards.

Caution Sheep

Caution Sheep II

MV Loch Striven is one of the Caledonian-MacBrayne ferries servicing the islands.

MV Loch Striven, Caledionian-McBrayne Ferry

I think these must have been oyster beds near Scalpay Island.

Oyster Beds

There was certainly plenty of wind for sailboats like these anchored near the Skye Bridge.

Sailboats near the Skye Bridge

We stopped in Kyleachin and saw the ruins of Castle Moil. Also known as Dunakin, the ruins date from the 14th century but there may have been a defensive structure here as early as the 10th century.

Castle Moil, Kyleachin, Isle of Skye

Another road hazard to look for.

Alert Feral Goats!

I though it was funny that the earlier sign appears to say “Caution: Sheep” but this shouted “ALERT! Feral Goats!” They must have a different breed of goats here in Scotland that we have at home.

We had a little supper at the Cluanie Inn and then headed back to Inverness by a different route. We passed Loch Ness and it was every bit as touristy as one might imagine. But, since we were tourists, we couldn’t resist the obligatory snapshot: “And here we are with that nice monster we met at the loch!”

Kate & Jim at Loch Ness


5 thoughts on “Scotland, Day Three – Scenic Drive to the Isle of Skye

    1. Kate Post author

      Well, I wasn’t sure about posting a photo of myself. I’ve been known to be a little…severe about online privacy but I figure I know almost everyone who read this. Plus, a snapshot in front of Loch Ness is not going to be a particularly effective bit of evidence for blackmail.

  1. Barbara

    Oh. My. Stars. I am so entranced with that trip. I can’t wait for the next one. Good for you for continuing your blog.


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