Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Isle of Skye

Today we drove to the Isle of Skye noted for it's spectacular mountain scenery world famous among mountain climbers. The area has a living rich Gaelic culture and all sign posts etc are written in both English and Gaelic showing just how important this ancient language is to the people of this area. There are even radio stations where Gaelic is the language.

The mountains start to grow as we leave the Inverness area.

You can see the last of the snow on the mountains.

The native locals came to greet us at Kintail (Wild Cheviot Goats)

Eilean Donan Castle

The bridge to the Isle of Skye

We went to visit the Can Donald Skye Visitor Centre with castle ruin and museum. Whilst there we walked to Armadale Hill 4.5km return on a very steep slope. The faery like forest we walked through was just so beautiful with ferns and bluebells growing just everywhere among the moss covered trees.

Clan Donald Skye is a 20,000-acre highland estate on the Sleat peninsula in south Skye. Once part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald, the Estate was purchased by the Clan Donald Lands Trust in 1971. The Trust was established to promote an understanding of the history and traditions of Clan Donald and the Lordship of the Isles. Stunning walks offer with views eastwards across the Sound of Sleat to Knoydart, or on the west of the peninsula across to the Cuillin mountain range. The Estate’s principal focal points are the restored historic gardens, and the beautiful walking trails threading through the 40 acres of woodland around Armadale Castle. Part of the Castle has been restored and the striking ruined remains sensitively re-designed, to create an attractive landscape within the gardens. Magnificent trees, some almost 200 years old, tower above stunning carpets of bluebells, orchids and wildflowers in spring and summer. The Clan Donald, was the most powerful clan. This sea kingdom had its own unique culture and language, Gaelic. The MacDonalds - or Clan Donald - were the Lords of the Isles and sit at the heart of the history of Gaeldom.

This bee was investigating flowers half his size - he was about half the size of my thumb really large.

The gardens of Clan Donald Skye

Castle Ruin

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