Portree is the main town on Skye and one of the prettier harbour towns I have seen. There’s a good array of shops catering for locals and tourists alike, as well as heaps of inns, pubs and hotels offering yummy lunches and dinners, which for myself and Mr BG, involved a lot of seafood. The kids have become quite good at eating out, but I wish that their kid’s menus involved something more than chips.
I had visited castles in Ireland that were ruined, or were now museums, but Dunvegan was my first castle where people actually lived and still lived! It is owned by the Macleod clan and had been in their hands for 800 years. The castle had on display many Jacobite relics from the Scottish patriot Flora MacDonald, whose daughter had married into the Macleods- somewhat ironic given the Macleods had not sent any men in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie. There was also on display relic and photographs of the people of St. Kilda, an island some 40 miles west of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. St. Kilda had been under the jurisdiction of the Macleods when the islanders requested to be evacuated in the 1930s.
The guides were very friendly and informative, and quite happy to chat. It wasn’t too busy so we were able to wander leisurely in the house and out in the extensive grounds. The gardens of the estate were beautiful, especially a walled garden which trapped the sun and kept out the brisk breeze
Balmeanach is where Mr BG’s maternal ancestors, the Finlaysons, used to live as crofters. It was a few minutes’ drive from where we stayed and we drove through it every day. We visited the beach there, and enjoyed a sunny afternoon watching the kids play on the sand and climb over the hills. We also spent a fair amount of time trying to avoid sheep poo, and failing…