One of my favourite-ever places for feeling connected with nature in a really wild, remote place, where you feel so far from the everyday life and the modern world is the beautiful Isle of Skye in the highlands of Scotland...
This is somewhere where we've visited and holidayed several times now and we never fail to feel refreshed and rejuvenated from a trip...
Here are some of our favourite places to connect with nature on Skye...
Coral Beach - Claigan, Skye
A beautiful white beach with turquoise waters - if you're lucky enough to visit in the sunshine (which we have in the past - I recommend you plan to coincide your visit with a forecast sunny day, if at all possible) it looks truly tropical - but it's dramatic in any weather.
The white 'sands' are actually created from a 'coral' which is made of a fossilised red seaweed growing in the waters here.
It's an amazing place to sit for a while, put your hands into the 'coral' and examine the tiny pieces, listen to the soft 'hush' of the waves and look out to sea.
Claigan Coral Beach is a short walk of about 20 to 25 minutes through fields (with cows, who seem used to the visitors).
- Find the beach from the little road going past Dunvegan Castle (also recommended to visit for the lovely gardens) and going up further onto the peninsular
- Look out for a small signed car park where you can start the walk from the gateway at the far end
- It can be busy at weekends or peak holiday periods - try to go early or late to get the beach to yourself
The Fairy Glen, Uig
The dramatic landscapes at the Fairy Glen seem otherworldly - and it's a place that seems to hold a certain energy and stillness...
A steep and narrow winding lane leads to this anomaly of nature - park considerately and explore...
We listen carefully to the deep silence in this mysterious valley - and get the slightly unsettling feeling that it's listening to us, too...
It's a lonely, dramatic and deeply intriguing place that seems to draw us back to visit each time we go to Skye!
You can find The Fairy Glen down a small lane off the A87, just outside of Uig. Just south of Uig is the Uig Hotel (where we've stopped for lunch).
- With the Uig Hotel on your left, take a sharp turn left just after and follow the road to the end to reach the Fairy Glen.
- It's also fun to visit Uig and watch the ferries arrive and depart for Harris and North Uist.
Now this one may not be the most dramatic of the places we've visited on Skye, but I think its my favourite and has a lovely remote feeling about it...
A tiny lane across the hills leads to a quiet lane end where you can park up and walk 20 minutes or so down a quiet track to the beach.
The beach at Talisker Bay is stunning - a sheltered cove backed by hills all around - rocks, pebbles, and as the tide goes out the most beautiful black and white patterns in the sand...
It's a place to sit and hear the ocean as it breaks with energy on this shoreline, and absorb the simple quietness of this beautiful location.
Take a small road from the village of Carbost (where Talisker Whisky has their distillery) to Talisker and park with consideration at the end of the road near a farm entrance - the walk continues down the track.
There are lots of other really beautiful and quiet places on Skye where you can take a moment of stillness and calm to connect with nature so do get out and explore this beautiful place.
Please note that we have not yet actually taken our own dog to Skye, although it's something we want to do - it's perfect for walkies! Don't underestimate the length of journey it takes to get here, though, from many parts of the UK - it's either a very long day's drive, or more realistically an overnight stay, even from Yorkshire in the north of England where we live, so both yours and your dog's tolerance for long journeys will need to be taken into account!
We usually visit Skye in early May when there aren't too many tourists or midges!