The Skye Guide is an independent and personal view of the Isle of Skye. The things that are included in the guide are here because I like them - and because I think you might too. If something is not included, it may be because I would not recommend it to you, but it may be simply that I have not experienced it.
I am happy with that ambiguity...
Loch Bay by Michael Smith, Stein
Loch Bay Restaurant
Michael Smith is now the undisputed star of Skye's thriving culinary scene. He was Chef Director of the Three Chimneys when it earned its Michelin Star in 2015. Now he is doing amazing things in his own Loch Bay Restaurant in Stein, on the Waternish Peninsula. He achieved a Michelin Star here in the 2018 guide, and very well deserved it is.
The restaurant is small, welcoming and comfortable. It offers two menus - a five course seafood degustation (see below), or a fixed price three course meal. The latter gives a choice of three starters (seafood, vegetarian or meat), three main courses (ditto) and a third couse of either cheese, a pudding or a selection of small desserts.
Described as "Contemporary Scottish with classic French influences", the food is, as you should expect from a renowned chef, the sort of stuff that makes you say "Mmmm" quietly with every forkfull. Great ingredients, perfect cooking and beautiful but unfussy presentation. There's nothing at all pretentious about what you get at Loch Bay. And everything is wonderful.
Flying Fortress crash site
On the moors of Trotternish, just below the steep east face of Beinn Edra, lie the remains of a US Air Force heavy bomber - a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. It is a pretty bleak and remote location, and the hike in from Marishader is pathless and often boggy. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating place to visit if you are at all interested in such things.
Spar Cave is an astonishing, cathedral-like structure, some 50m long, with a marble-like flowstone staircase and huge columns formed from the centuries of water dripping through the limestone. In places the roof of the cave has been discoloured by the candles and torches of visiting Victorians, who also removed as souvenirs many of the stalagmites and stalactites. They didn't manage to destroy the magic though.
The cave was visited by Sir Walter Scott in 1814. He later described it in “The Lord of the Isles” as:
The mermaid’s alabaster grot, who bathes her limbs in sunken well, deep in Strathaird’s enchanted cell.
You'll find Spar Cave near Elgol, at Glasnakille on the western shore of Loch Slapin - NG538128. Go south at the T-junction in Glasnakille and after 50m, opposite the first white house, you will see a stile on your left that will take you to the route down.
Sleat - Dalavil
This is a delightful hike of around 12km to Dalavil on the west coast of Sleat. The navigation is mostly straightforward and much of the route is on tracks or paths - but there are some sections that can be very boggy after rain. The route passes a beautiful, isolated loch, and some evocative settlements that have been deserted since the clearances of the nineteenth century. It takes you through Coille Dalavil, a mature mixed native woodland, before reaching the shore. From the coast, the views across the water to the Cuillin are magnificent. This is also a good walk for seeing wildlife of many kinds, including snakes, and otters that frequently play by the shore.