The Isle of Skye is one of the prettiest places I have ever been. I definitely over-romanticized it in my mind before we left on our trip but the beauty of the island was even greater than I was expecting.
We took the bridge across to Skye. There is also a ferry from Maillag but the bridge made more sense for us at the time. Also, it's a really pretty bridge.
The bridge and a little bit of Skye once you cross over to the island:
We decided to go right to Neist Lighthouse and scout out places to pitch a tent along the way. If I remember correctly, there's really only one main road that goes around the island so it's not very difficult to find your way around.
The weather, once we got to Neist Lighthouse, was awful. The rain was a steady mist and we were drenched within 10 minutes. The walk to the lighthouse is pretty steep in places but it's paved which is much easier to walk on than, say, mud.
The lighthouse is on the other side of that big hill and we had already walked down the giant hill from the parking lot.
All of those things sticking up by the water are stacked up rocks. The compulsion is real.
I didn't do a ton of research before we came to Skye, but I had assumed that the lighthouse was open for visitors. I was a little disappointed to find out that it isn't, but the views (and the sheep!) were definitely worth the visit.
The lighthouse was built in 1900 and is now automated which is why they don't allow tours, I suppose. There is a cottage or two around the base of the lighthouse but they seem to be deserted/abandoned.
Of course, once we climbed back up the steep path and got back into the car, the rain stopped and the sun peeked out. We were very thankful for we do not enjoy setting up a tent in the rain.
I took a (misty) picture of Dunvegan Castle as we drove by it. We were too late to stop by the castle, but a lady who claimed to own it (or her family owned it?) wouldn't let us camp on her land a few miles away when we ever so politely inquired. Then she told us not to put anything in her garbage bins. Theoretically, you are legally allowed to camp anywhere in Scotland for one night (and when most of Scotland is private land, well, I would assume that many people don't ask permission) so it was slightly disheartening as the sun dropped lower and we still didn't have a place to rest our tired bones. We thought finding places would be easier since Scotland (and in particular, Skye) is such an outdoorsy place and wild camping seems to be encouraged and endorsed online.
It is sort of hard to be disheartened though, when views like this are around every single bend in the road.
We were giving up hope of ever finding a spot when we chanced upon an open gate (!) into an empty lot and found many old fire rings. We took this as a sign, picked our favorite ring, and plunked our tent right next to it. Nobody came by and told us to leave or arrested us or anything so I guess that's what one would call a success.
I took this last picture specifically for Megan because I thought she would be impressed. ;) We camped by a lot of trees. (Not pictured: the millions of mosquito bites I got before the bug spray.)
Glenfinnan House and Viaduct
Loch Lomond/The Highlands