The Local Area
Things To Do, Places To See
The area surrounding Eilean a’ Cheo Guest House is an area of great natural beauty, offering all the outdoor Highlands of Scotland.
Here are a few activities to see and do in the local area:
Eilean Donan Castle
The main reason to visit this area is and always wll be the majestic Eilean Donan Castle
The Fairy Pools on Skye – The Fairy Pools are a series of clear, cold pools and waterfalls formed as Allt Coir’ a’ Mhadaidh tumbles down from the foothills of the Black Cuillins into Glen Brittle.
Park at the Forestry Car Park and follow the signed footpath opposite the parking area. To reach the pools, take the right fork on the path after a hundred yards or so, and follow the trail for about 10 minutes to where the ground rises in a small plateau. The location of the Pools beneath the looming bulk of Cuillins is wonderful, and the drama of the waterfalls and the sinuous beauty of the rock formations carved by the water give the Fairy Pools a magical feel.
Walking and Cycling
Walking in Lochalsh is a pleasure. Vast open spaces, stunning scenery, castles and of course the wildlife.
Based at Ardelve, you are well placed to visit any part of Lochalsh, Skye, Glenelg and of course the second oldest mountains in the world, the Torridon Range.
Anyone at Eilean a’ Cheo Guest House will be able to help you plan your walks whether it’s a stroll on the hills or trekking over the ridge of the Five Sisters of Kimutai or through the world famous Cuillins on Skye.
Don’t forget to see the Red Cuillins at sunset to see why they are so called. Remember too that in some areas of the Cuillins the rock is magnetic and so your compass cannot be trusted (always carry a map with you)!
Bicycles can be hired locally and we would be pleased to assist you in any way possible. The cycling in the area is simply superb, with empty roads and stunning scenery and wildlife.
Fish is plentiful in and around the area. Trout, Pike and other course fish can be had in the local Lochs and rivers and of course Sea Angling is available off the rocks or by charted boat.
We will be pleased to help you organise a fishing trip and help hire tackle if required.
Climbing in this area provides some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. The climbing ranges from gentle hill walking to severe climbing on the Cuillin Ridge and culminating in The Inaccessible Pinnacle. This is the only Muntoe in the country that is thought to be a bit beyond all but the most experienced of rock climbers. It is a very exposed climb.
The Falls of Glomach
History and Archaeology
Lockalsh and Skye have been home to people since 6500 BC! At this time the Mesolithic people ate, among other things, shellfish and we know this because of the shell midden recently uncovered at An Corran close to Staffin in the north Isle of Skye.
Later around 3000 BC, the Neolithic people build more permanent homes although we do not, even to date, know much about their shape or form. Traces of the people can still be seen in the form of chambered cairns and mystical stone circles suggesting they stayed permanently in one area and were less likely to be nomadic.
Next came the Bronze Age people at around 2200 BC and they lived in similar dwellings, although no much is known exactly what form those took as remains are few and far between.
We do, however, know that around this time, single burials began to take place and that often a highly decorated potter drinking ‘beaker’ accompanied the body, and expression in their belief of an afterlife.
Before these people were buried in a common grave area. These stone slab coffins can be seen at Glenelg, Struan an Duns at Rudh’ an Dunain, Dun Grugaig.
During the Mediaeval Period, castles were aplenty and had been erected and most survived in some form or other today. Castle Maol or Moil is a fine example of this period and can be seen at the head of Loch Alsh on the Kyleakin side, proudly perched on a rocky outcrop across the bay.
In 1715 and again in 1745 came the famous Jacobite Risings, the second which spawned the saga of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Edward Stewart) and Flora MacDonald. This was to be followed by the darkest period in the history of Scotland called the Clearances where whole communities were uprooted by landlords and wanting the land to graze sheep there on.
This horrific scenario lasted almost 100 years from 1770 – 1850. Finally in 1995 the mainland was connected to Skye by the Skye Bridge (which is now free to cross) although travellers can still cover ‘over the sea to Skye’ using the Kylerhea, Gairlock or Mallaig ferry connections.
It’s difficult to know where to start as the region has so many attractions for the naturist. Sea birds and Herons can be seen standing in the bay outside the hotel and Oyster Catchers wander around the beach like clockwork models on orange legs.
Otters play in the loch and can also be seen from the hotel. Further afield at Kylerhea on Skye, is the world famous Otter Sanctuary where you will see plenty of otters.
The author Gavin Maxwell lived and worked here and inspired him to write the book Ring of Bright Water that subsequently became a film of the same name. On the rocks seals bask at boat trips regularly go off for a closer view. For keen photographic hunters, Sea Eagles can be seen on the more remote lochs and there is a Golden Eagle on the crag behind the hotel. Other animals including Pine Martins, Buzzards, Porpoises and Dolphins, Killer Whales, Deer, Foxes, Hen Harriers and Weasels to name a few. In general, the further you go from the beaten track, the more interesting things you will eventually encounter.
The glass bottom boat trip with an underwater viewing gallery is based in Kyle on which passengers can look out of the windows at the teaming marine life in Kyle straits.
She also visits the wreck of the “Port Napier” several times a day and does shorter biology trips for the kelp beds.
Kayaking, Sailing and Windsurfing are all enjoyed in the area.
Pony Trekking too is popular with the smaller local stables and again we at Eilean a’ Cheo can advise the best places to go.
From hand knitted jumpers, tartan in all shapes and forms, paintings, batik, sculptures, literature and poetry, fossils and stones, pottery, jewellery, candles and music are all produced to the highest of quality in the area, with demonstrations of the particular crafts in many cases.
Bring your credit cards – You’ll be glad you did. Craft shops are located both in the larger communities and are usually the focus for local craft persons but you are just as likely to find someone interesting in the country.
A mile or so from Eilean a’ Cheo is the famous Eilean Donan Castle. It’s the clan seat of the MacRaes and well worth a visit.
The distillery at Carbost on the Isle of Skye makes the famous Talisker Wiskey and can be visited to see how the ‘Uisge Bheath’ literally ‘Water of Life’ is made. Carbost itself is a beautiful area of Skye. The best souvenir of all is free – breathe in that clear fresh air kissed by the sea and the natural beauty that is all around you…
Points of Interest
- Eilean Donan Castle
- NT Gardens at Balmacara
Half Day Trips
Whole Day Trips
- Apple Cross