This week we took a trip to one of my favourite places, somewhere I’ve been meaning to take Jord since I first visited a few years ago; the magical Isle of Skye.
A breathtaking five hour drive from Glasgow, up through Glencoe, past Fort William and over the Skye Bridge; it’s one of the best road trips through Scotland in my opinion! Plus, you can stop at everyone’s favourite Scottish landmark; the Green Welly Stop.
Although I’ve driven all over Skye countless times, it never fails to blow me away – the lunar-like scenery feels like it should be straight out of a space film. It’s the kind of place you need to see for yourself to really capture the magic, and all this coming from a girl who hails from the South Island of New Zealand!
We packed up the car with the essentials (and some non-essentials, like my favourite hat which had no business coming to windy Skye!) and headed to Carbost, a village on the west coast of the island and somewhere I always make sure to stop off at when I’m visiting. That might have something to do with the little coffee shed, Caora Dhubh – such a good pit stop to refuel!
But our final destination was Aurora, a classic American Airstream perched upon a windy hill which overlooks the Minginish peninsula. The Airstream is owned by Denise and Paul, a lovely couple who own the house next door – they wanted to bring a bit of the American Dream to the rugged Hebridean landscape and so imported and refurbished the sleek, silver caravan, so she could be enjoyed by all! I found the Airstream through Kip Hideaways, my go-to destination for unique, homely stays all over the UK. If handmade, curated homestays are your thing, I suggest you make yourself familiar with their boutique hideaways! There really is something for everyone.
Denise and Paul have worked wonders on the Airstream; from the birch ply kitchen to the incredible, cloud-like bed that is tucked in to the curve of the caravan, everything feels full of personality and also very conscious too. Upcycled materials, natural textures and eco-friendly, local products fill the small but well-planned space.
Not only that, they’ve stocked the Airstream with everything you need to go off grid for a few days; books, card games and even a turntable and a stack of handpicked records really allowed us to switch off for a few days! We actually didn’t get any phone signal at all so it really did allow us to take some time away from our devices.
Waiting for us when we arrived was a basket of hand-baked goodies from Denise; fresh bread and scones, homemade jam and even still-warm granola which I ate bowls upon bowls of! It was such a special welcome. It’s these little details that make the Kip Hideaway stays feel like home every time.
We spent an entire day driving around the sights on Skye, starting with Quiraing to the north. I’ve been here a few times because we often film sections of Scotland’s Home Of The Year up here, and for good reason – the scenery is nothing short of incredible! I’ve never hiked it (and I wasn’t about to start at six months pregnant!) but even from the viewpoint near the carpark you can appreciate the impressive landscape.
From there we headed down to Portree, the main town on Skye. We really lucked out with the weather because it was bright sunshine and the square wasn’t too busy. We stopped at Birch for coffee, and then I nipped in to OR, a beautiful little lifestyle shop I always make time to visit.
That afternoon, we took a trip to Talisker Bay on Denise’s recommendation, a local beach a short drive (and a bit of a trek!) from Carbost. The walk was pure sunshine, we could see the cliffs and waterfall in the distance and passed little lambs along the way. When we finally reached the bay, we could see surfers in the water and small groups fresh from a swim. We went just before golden hour, so everything was twinkling and bathed in warm light.
Again, we didn’t have a lot of signal while on the island but everywhere is well sign-posted and we didn’t get lost once. There’s only a few main roads which makes travelling around quite simple, and there’s so many beautiful spots to stop and take in the view. I recommend packing a picnic and downloading a playlist for the drive, you can pull over somewhere quiet and take in the views. Plus, Skye has gone digital since I was last there and I was very pleased to see you could tap to pay on most public loos – very helpful for this preggo gal.
After another windy, oh so cosy night in our Airstream, we got up early the next day and caught the ferry back to the mainland. I’m a big fan of the Skye Bridge (there’s just something about it!) but even I have to admit that the Glenelg Ferry is an absolute must-do! The tiny boat is the last manually operated ferry in the world, which was good news for me as I had offered to do the morning drive that day – at first I thought I was going to have to reverse on to the boat but you simply drive on and they rotate you on a big turntable. On the other side just a few minutes later, you can drive straight off and go on your way.
The drive down to the ferry crossing at the Kylerhea strait really is worth the winding roads, and before we knew it we were back on the mainland and in to the beautiful Ben Nevis scenery ready for the journey home.
This was such an unforgettable trip – I’ve been hoping to take Jordie to Skye for years and I’m so glad we got this time just the two of us. If you’re looking to visit Scotland, I can’t recommend this trip enough. Skye must be seen to be believed – although even then you’ll never quite grasp that such a place can be real.
Have you visited Skye?
*This trip was a press invite via Kip Hideaways – thank you, Kip and also to Denise and Paul!