So I returned from the Isle Of Skye around 2 weeks ago now and those that follow me on other social networking sites will have seen me drip feeding some of my images through pretty much day by day. I didn’t want to write this blog until I had got most of the images out there before including them on here. I may not include them all here and no star trail ones as that’s for another blog to be written yet also.

It has also taken me a long time to process the images, in the space of a week I shot over 80gb worth of images, taking into account some hefty shoots from the star trails also. However, it has to be said it has tested even my fairly high spec laptop to its max, but it was well worth it!

Anyway, so where to start I guess? Well I had my trip to the Isle Of Skye planned for quite a while now, it’s always risky planning a trip, you just have to pray and hope the weather gods are on your side. My last trip to Scotland in February didn’t really pay off and to be honest I was wondering whether this one would. The last time I was on the Isle Of Skye, while I had some fantastic light most sunsets it pretty much rained constantly all week. This is the trouble with the west coast of Scotland, it tends to rain a lot taking its weather from the mild Atlantic.

In the week coming up to the trip, I monitored webcams and weather reports for Skye and they were having some grand weather even if a little cold, I thought this couldn’t keep up surely. Forecasts however were looking promising, but forecasts change. We wouldn’t know until we got there.

What happened next though, wasn’t a worry of what the weather at Skye was like but would we be able to make it? As it’s quickly starting to transpire I believe I have quite a knack of trying to go away to the mountains when the country starts to receive heavy snowfall (even if my destination doesn’t have much). Yes, that’s right I had to set off on the Saturday that most of the country was under a foot of snow, with some places having snow drifts as high as cars. Great!

It’s quite a trek to the Isle Of Skye for me, it’s around 8 hours none stop with no traffic, about 9 hours with stops on a good day. People started to say on the Friday I had no chance of getting there but I was determined. My money had already been spent, my holidays had already been booked!

So I set off, it was grey, miserable, still snowing, plenty of snow on the roads and traffic reports showed either most trans-pennine routes were closed or slow moving so I decided to go out of my way and go to Stoke and then up the M6 which put about 30 minutes on a normal journey time but probably much quicker than going the other routes. Once we had got past Stoke though the M6 was pretty clear of snow for the most part and the roads didn’t get dicey again all the way until Glen Coe which was a relief. We stopped off at a pub, had some food and as soon as we were out of Glen Coe the snow was constrained to the mountain tops and not the roads which made getting to Skye nice and easy.

Reaching Kyle of Lochalsh and the weather suddenly changed, it had been drab skies all day but there were signs of the sun, cloud free mountains and a sign of promise. We were excited.

We crossed the Skye bridge at about 4pm, filled up in Broadford and headed to our hotel in Kilbride which we had stayed at before, dropped our bags and headed straight down to Elgol which is 20 minutes max away. I had been here plenty on our last trip but Joe wanted to make sure he got an image from here after missing it last time and it was nice and easy to go to after a long drive and when short on time.

Unfortunately, while the weather was quite nice there was a thick cloud blocking the setting sun and we didn’t get any images. It was good to be back though. We settled in the hotel checking the forecast for the week and it was still looking promising. We decided we would do star trails that night if it cleared up, but it didn’t. Basically we were out to make the most of the weather while it was good because forecasts quickly change…especially on the Isle Of Skye!

The next day we woke up and the weather was quite fair with some broken cloud. We wanted to do a few wild camps in the week so we decided to make the most of it and do our wild camp on Sgurr Na Stri that night which in fairness was a good call because it was probably the best night of the week in the end to do it and one of the only times we had a good sunset and sunrise following each other. More can be read about that wild camp by clicking here . There’s a couple of images below from that trip, it turned out to be our only wild camp that week mainly due to Skye being tough for wild camps, a combination of snow on the tops and Joe didn’t have crampons/ice axe and in truth the first one destroyed our legs and shoulders.

6 thoughts on “The Isle Of Skye – A Magical Week Away”

  1. James, have you considered writing a book about your travels in Scotland? I ask because you have a really easy to read writing style, not to mention some superb images.

    Anyway just a thought and back to your post which, as with the last, I thoroughly enjoyed. Your images are superb, I can almost smell the heather!

    Just out of interest, what does a week cost, I appreciate if you would prefer not to say of course.

    I don’t know what you do as a day job but I would think that some sort of sponsorship, should you decide to put “pen to paper”, would be well within your reach.

    Keep up the excellent work buddy, oh and start saving for that Phase One set up!!


    • Hi Andy.

      I’d love to write a book one day. Not sure if it will be Scotland though – would need to do plenty more travelling and get many many more images. Thanks for your kind words.

      The hotel we stayed in was just over £200, google Kilbride Self Catering. It’s really good especially as you’re not constrained as to when you have to be in the hotel to get breakfast. Then there’s just fuel and food. If you go with someone it can be fairly reasonable.

      Thanks again,

      James 🙂

      P.S A Phase One may be a little heavy for some of places I go!

  2. James,

    thanks for the reply. I’m off to Cumbria in July but really fancy a week in Skye so I may even tag that onto the Cumbria trip.

    Lol re the Phase One, I don’t know how Joe Cornish et al get this kit into the wilds!

    Take care mate.


  3. Don’t think I’ve chatted to you since going to Scafell Pike with you a few years back….. but looking at these photos, may I take the opportunity to say how insanely jealous I am! World class photos!

      • Haven’t been out walking for a long time however I’ve just got myself a pair of new boots and I’m making plans to put them to good use! Going walking in Dovedale on Monday, and plan to do Tryfan horseshoe and Mosedale horseshoe later in the summer. I’m itching to attempt Liathach too but not sure whether I’ll get round to it this year. Oh, and I’m contemplating the Brecon Beacon 10 peak challenge in September.


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