The Sleat Peninsula in the South of Skye is the hidden gem of the island. With many of the main attractions being in the North, tourists fly past Sleat and miss out on the quieter, more colourful and gentler part of Skye. However for those not seeking out the instagram mainstream places, Sleat has a lot to offer:
Facing the mainland over the Sound of Sleat, this peninsula is comparatively sheltered and offers superb opportunity for Sea Kayaking with stunning views. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, there is something for everyone. A trip around the Point of Sleat with a lunch stop at Camus Daraich beach is perfect for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers, whereas a taster session from Armadale or a full day beginners adventure in Loch Eishort will be suitable for those who want to try something new. Bob along, watch seals, otters, sea birds, look for sea grass and star fish and just enjoy the scenery. Turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, secluded coves and little islands… Slow down your holiday and unwind while doing something active. Check out South Skye Sea Kayak to book a tour with a qualified and experienced guide.
Camas Daraich Beach
Bright white sand and turquoise water make you believe you’re in the Carribean, but no, you are at the southernmost point of Skye, the beach often referred to as Sound of Sleat Beach. Camus Daraich is Gaelic for Bay of the Oaktree. From the road end in Aird it is a 45 minute walk (one way) along a rough vehicle track, and later a small path. It’s signposted to the beach, and waterproof boots are recommended, as some parts of the path can be muddy. There is a small community at the Point of Sleat, so please respect their privacy and stick to the path or open moorland where you can. TYhe beach is beautiful for swimming if you don’t mind the cold, and then to warm up you can cotinue to the Point of Sleat Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is not particularly beautiful, but the views are. Even better views can be got from the top of the little hill just before the Point.
This small intimate distillery is the newest one on Skye and is built in an old farmstead with beautiful stone work and picturesque surrounds. The distillers draw on old Gaelic traditions deeply rooted in the land. Tours here are small and intimate with plenty of local stories, heritage and a personal touch. Make sure to book ahead. The café there is the best in Sleat and offers home-made soups, sandwiches, toasties and cakes and a friendly service with a smile.
For those who like driving around and seeing Scotland from the roadside, the loop from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig via Tarskavaig to Tokavaig and Ord back to the main road at Loch nan Dùbhraichean is a beautiful scenic tour. You’ll pass 3 big beaches, two of which are sandy and offer great swimming opportunities. The views from the road are stunning into Loch Eishort, Loch Slapin and the Cuillin, as well as the small Isles. In the summer there is sometimes a community café at Tarskavaig Hall, which offers home baking, teas and coffees. There are also a few short walks out of Taskavaig and Ord which may relieve the sore bottoms after a long drive. The famous Dunscaith Castle (in Gaelic Dùn Sgàthaich), is full of myth and legends about the Irish Warrier Goddess Sgathach who supposedly lived and fought here.
Armadale Castle and Museum
Skye is steeped in history, and the Clan Donald has a big part to play in it. For centuries this was the clan’s stomping ground and you can still see their castles all over the peninsula. The most recent one is the one in Armadale, where you can also enjoy their beautiful gardens, which date back to Victorian times and immerse yourself in highland history in the museum. Here it all comes together from the Gaels to the Vikings, the Jacobites and the Highland Clearances, and you will get a real understanding of why the highlands are what they are today and what has lead to their unique situation.