Virtual Skye Book Tour: Day Five in the Fairy Glen

Wide view of me in Fairy Glen

I’m beyond excited for our tour today! We’ve traveled north from Sleat through the middle of Skye. We’ve seen the Black Cullins, such beautiful mountains. A lovely lone lighthouse sits near Dùn Beag, an Iron Age fort. Continuing north, we came to Dunvegan Castle, home to Clan MacLeod. Being MacDonalds, we made a quick stop there being as it’s a lovely castle, still occupied, and it houses the famous fairy flag. Always been a bit jealous of the fact that they had their own fairy flag.

After Dunvegan, we cut across the northwestern part of the island and up toward Uig. We took a right on the road to Sheader. It’s a single-track dead-end road. As it should be, since it leads to the magical Fairy Glen.

Me standing on knoll in Fairy Glen

Here’s a small area to park the Land Rover. Follow me to the knoll overlooking the wee loch and hillsides. We’re the only humans here at the moment. So enjoy the peace and quiet of the glen. Watch your step and try not to disturb anything.

Me standing beside loch in Fairy Glen

Look. Sheep on the hillside and a fairy inviting us to walk the path along the loch and up the hillside. Remember, don’t pick up anything from the glen as a keepsake. If you take anything with you, the locals say it will bring you very, very bad luck. Just wanted to warn you.

Path leading to Portal and Castle in Fairy Glen

This is the path leading to the Portal to the Otherworld on the right and Castle Ewen on the left. The portal is where Kathryn left her Box of Terrors (buttons) in THE STONE MANOR.

Portal to Otherworld in Fairy Glen

Here’s a closer view of the Portal. Feel free to leave a gift or something of yourself in the entrance. Just don’t lean in too far or you might be snatched away into the deep fairy mound. If you leave a knife blade stuck in the ground of the opening, you can enter the portal and return at will. Otherwise we might not see you again.

Castle and Portal View

Castle Ewan is the site where Beth and the boys climbed. There’s a great view of Glenconnan from the top.

Mossy knoll in Fairy Glen

If you glance to the right on the moss covered ground you might see a fairy. But don’t let them know you’re looking for them. They like to surprise you.

Path on top of Fairy Glen

Walking past the portal and the castle, we’ll take this rocky pathway to the stone spiral. There are many stone altars up here with various gifts left for . . . well someone.

Stone circle on hillside in Fairy Glen

On the far right side up ahead you can see the stone spiral. This is where Mairi returned the Snowdrop her grandmother, Margaret, had taken from the Fairy Glen. It’s also where, Kathryn, Beth, Ian, and Sean made their wishes.

Close up of stone circle in Fairy Glen

Go ahead. Walk through the spiral to the center, turn three times, and make a wish. Be careful though. Don’t disturb any of the rocks. There are several missing. This could not have gone well for the person who removed them. We don’t want to suffer their same fate. I know it couldn’t have been good.

Enclosure ruins in Fairy Glen

Let’s walk down the road to the end. There’s something I’d like you to see. First, we’ll pass these stone ruins. Such a lovely peaceful place.

Rowan tree with sheep

Oh look! It’s the rowan tree where Mairi practiced her shooting skills with her bow. And her sheep are resting under the tree. Just around the bend we’ll come to a farm and a view worth seeing.

Falls view across glen at Fairy Glen

Breathtaking, isn’t it? I’ve been told the falls are normally much bigger. This spring was unusually dry. They’re still amazing. Glenconnon is massive. Looking back toward the bay and Uig you can see some houses. These belong to the Graham clan. Billy Graham’s family came from here.

Wizard Hat conical in Fairy Glen

Alright, everyone back to the Fairy Glen and the Rover. Say your goodbyes to this magical place and those who live here. I thought the final view of the Wizard’s Hat conical would be fitting. Now, on to Uig to see the standing stone and the pier where Duncan and Kathryn had an up-close encounter.

So tell me, who was fortunate enough to have a fairy sighting?

Virtual Skye Book Tour: Day Four

Ruins of Cill Chriosd

Today our tour will take us north of Sleat to Broadford. Here we will turn left and drive through the expansive valley of Strath Suardal. Skye Marble was quarried here for several centuries before the onset of WWI. Now the valley is very quiet, guarded by the ruins of Cill Chriosd, “Christ’s Church.”

Interior of Cill Chriosd

This location dates back to the 600s, when St. Maelrubha preached from atop a nearby rocky knoll, still known as Cnoc na-Aifhreann, “Hill of the Mass.” The first stone church was built in medieval times. The church whose ruins stand today likely replaced an earlier church, much grander, some time in the 1500s.

Ancient tomb in Cill Chriosd cemetery

The cemetery is the final resting place for many of Clan MacKinnon. Two ancient stone markings, one of a clan chief complete with hieroglyphics and one pre-Christian stone, mysteriously disappeared sometime after 1913.

Phonebooth

Let’s continue our drive further west, past Torrin toward the Cullins. Anyone need to make a call? It is still in working order.

The Old Post Office

Or maybe you’d like to mail those postcards you bought at Armandale Castle yesterday? The sign says “The Old Post Office.” I’m not sure it is still functioning. Maybe we should hold onto our mail.

The Cullins on road to Dun Ringill

The vastness of the glen and the mountains dwarfs the many sheep along our drive today. The Cullins are magnificent.

Rock wall across hillside

There are few walls on Skye, but here is a beautiful stone example snaking its way across the hillside toward the sea.

Our second stop today is Dun Ringill. I’ll park by the Kilmarie House situated on the Strathaird Penninsula. This house once belonged to Ian Anderson, lead singer for Jethro Tull! How fun it that? It’s still a private residence so no peaking in the windows. Follow me through this gate.

Gate to bridge and path to Dun Ringill

After crossing the bridge spanning Abhainne Cille Mahaire, we’ll pass one of the largest examples of an intact cairn on the island, Kilmarie Chambered Cairn. Not sure who is buried here, so let’s be sure to keep to the path. Wouldn’t want to disturb them now, would we?

Bridge to Dun Ringill

Cairne near Dun Ringill

The woods are full of fern and bluebells. I believe they could be enchanted.

Bluebells and Ferns in Dun Ringill forest

Blue bells in woods

Let’s continue on the narrow path to the sea just ahead. Then, it’ll be a short walk across the moor to the Iron Age fort, Dun Ringill. Ringill means “point of the raven.” Nice, huh? Here it is. What do you think? It’s not much to look at now, but it was the seat of the Clan MacKinnon long before the 16th century.

Dun Ringill

It overlooks Loch Slapin. If you listen closely you can hear voices on the wind and the sound of steel in the air.

Me at entrance to Dun Ringill

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I know it’s hard to leave this amazing spot. The view is spectacular and the shoreline begs to be explored, but alas, we’ve a boat ride to catch to an enchanted loch. Keep your eyes open as we walk back through the forest and you just might see a wood elf or a fairy.

Path to Dun Ringill