Day Fifty One

Another Isle of Skye day. We are doing a lap of the island, heading
to the northern tip, which is meant to be beautiful.
Time does seem to have taken its toll as Chris’s memory is of a
different island. The crofters cottages have been modernised and
now have black, modern roofs. In fact we only see two proper
thatched cottages. One is a gallery, and the other is a museum, so it
appears that only tourism has saved those two. The other houses on
the island though are very similar styles, whitewashed tight black
roofs and all the (few) modern houses are built in the same manner,
so it still has a story book feel to it. The landscape, whilst
mountainous is pretty much farm land. Very few trees remain, but it
is covered in a blanket of grass, moss and heather, and the sheep
seem quite happy with their accommodations.
We stop part way through out tour to take a circular walk through a
forested area that starts at church ruins, though a natural woodland
and lastly through a pine forest. Ever on the lookout for a deer or a
pine marten, we find neither. Chris and I make a deal…if I find a
pine marten, I can keep him, so I can only hope. Very cute little
weaslly creatures, with fabulous tails; very rare and recently
reintroduced and doing well. At the start of the walk there’s a castle
marked off the walk at the half way point, and we set off to it, both
expecting another set of ruins.
What we find instead is an ancestral home of Dunvegan, dating
back 800 years, set in lovely formal gardens, and still the private
home of the clan Macleod. The castle has the formal rooms open
and the is a great deal,of familial history on display, and the gardens
were established in the 1800s. There is a walled garden, a circular
garden, a water garden and a woodland walk. As with most of these
formal houses, the gardens are the star of the pieces. Very pretty
with masses of flowers and old trees. Someone with. Very good eye
for colour has been at work here.
We end the day at the northern most tip of Skye with drizzle
surrounding us. Let’s hope for better weather tomorrow. The rain
fogs the views in.