Thursday, 1 September 2016

Raasay + Skye.


Prepare yourself for a massive photo spam, lads! I can't actually believe it's been nearly three months since we visited these two beautiful Hebridean islands, but it has - and somehow I've managed to go all that time without writing a post about it. Further proof, as if it's needed, that I'm a terrible blogger...


In June my husband, my best friend, my brother and I went to stay in a cute little cottage at the northern point of the Isle of Raasay. Raasay is tiny (just 62km²) and sits between the Isle of Skye and the mainland. This area of the world is absolutely stunning, and just like it's bigger sister Raasay delivers some spectacular scenery. My husband actually spent five weeks living on the island while doing his Geology dissertation project at uni, but we'd opted for an even more remote part to call home during our stay. On the way there we visited one of my favourite castles, Eilean Donan, for a spot of lunging apparently (also please don't ask why my husband is dressed like a middle aged landowner...)


We stayed at Arnish Cottage, a charming off-grid property owned by some of the loveliest people you'll meet. We had the whole house to ourselves and it was just perfect. There's so much open space around it which was usually filled with deer in the early evenings. Learning how to cook and stay clean while in an off-grid property was an interesting challenge but we soon felt right at home.


I can't actually over-emphasise how beautiful Raasay and Skye are. Even though I'm Scottish and am lucky enough to get to visit these kinds of places fairly regularly it still takes my breath away. I mean I love Edinburgh through and through but it's got nothing on the Highlands and Islands!



Raasay is only a 20 minute ferry journey from Skye, so we took the opportunity to hop on over there on a couple of the days. We were really lucky with the weather during our visit; it was sunny and warm (I got burnt, shock horror) but this also meant that areas like Portree, the main town on Skye, were rammed full of tourists. I was really thankful that we had decided not to stay on Skye itself - we'd all really wanted to feel like we were somewhere secluded and isolated, and our little house in Raasay was perfect for that. Saying that, none of us were turning down an ice cream from the parlour in Portree at any point...!


One of the most famous attractions in Skye is the Fairy Pools - a group of waterfalls and clear blue pools at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains. We were all super keen to see them and actually spent way longer there than I expected. It was SO HOT that day, the trail to the pools was packed full of tourists but who could blame them? It was stunning. It's really, really hard to capture the colour of the water there in a photograph - it's something you really need to see in person if you get the opportunity. My brother and I are the type who can't not get in a pool of water when it's hot, so that's exactly what we did. I just paddled about a bit but Jamie fully committed and went swimming. There's something so nice about icy cold water on a hot day! I loved the Fairy Pools, they were truly lovely and I'd really like to go back at other times of the year; I bet they look unbelievable in the autumn!





We also headed up to Staffin beach to see if we could hunt down the elusive fossilised dinosaur footprints there. Okay I'll be honest - we actually visited here twice. The first time we went the tide was in, and we found absolutely nothing remotely looking like a footprint. The second time I found the 'thing' in the second picture below, which could potentially maybe probably not be the fossil. I really hope it was because there were loads of other people who Blair then showed it to, so they all went off believing it too. If it's not the fossil then soz, but really it's Blair's fault for getting it wrong - he's meant to be a geologist after all. We spent so much time on this beach that Fereuse and Jamie had an impromptu lil dance party, they are quite the movers 'n' shakers.




There are so many pretty things to look at in Skye that we didn't get the opportunity to do them all (okay yes it's really because we spent so much time looking for the damn footprint)... I'd love to go back and check out Dunvegan Castle (mainly cause it's apparently haunted and we all know how much I love a good ghost story) and make the trip up to the Old Man of Storr. We did see it from the road and it is super impressive but honestly lol I'd have died trying to get up that hill. Probably need to do some cardio before my next visit.



The rest of our time away was spent exploring Raasay. Arnish (where we were staying) is at the north of Raasay, at the end of a really interesting road (no, seriously). Basically the people living there wanted a road to their homes - not unreasonably really - but the council just wouldn't give them one. So Calum just decided to build his own. It took him ten years with basically just a shovel, a pick and a wheelbarrow, but he got it done. It was imaginatively named 'Calum's Road', and it is quite some road. It's hilly and bumpy and full of hidden dips and drops steeply while also clinging to a cliff-edge and it's usually covered in sheep. I'm not sure whether to blame the road or my husband's driving but I definitely thought I was going to die on more than one occasion.



Anyway the point of this is to illustrate how isolated Arnish is - there weren't even enough people there for a road ffs. We had the most amazing time up there though, away from it all. There's a walk that you can wander down that takes you to Eilean Fladday, an even smaller island you can walk across to at low tide. I won't lie, this was another part of the trip where I thought I was going to die cause god damn it it was hot and 4 miles sounds like not a long walk but see when you're going up staircases or hills or trying not to lose your footing on a cliff so you don't fall into the sea it's quite stressful!!! Worth it though, this whole area was stunning. 


It was actually the first night when we decided to take some drinks outside (Strongbow; we'd wanted to make mojitos to be classy but we had a lime based disaster) and watch the sunset. You know those moments where you sit and contemplate how it's even possible for the world to look so utterly and heartbreakingly beautiful? Yeah, it's safe to say I fell in love with Raasay that evening (even if I did get eaten alive by midges and I didn't see a bloody dolphin the whole trip).




I love getting to explore Scotland and find out what all the fuss is about, and Raasay and Skye more than lived up to all my expectations. I feel like three months apart is enough of a break though, I can quit playing it cool and go back to my love soon.


Have you ever visited Raasay or Skye? What did you think of them?

Massive thanks and kisses etc to Jamie and Fereuse for sharing their photos with me, and lunging all over Scotland with me - check out their Instagrams: Jamie and Fereuse xoxox
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28 comments

  1. Really nice post, I enjoyed it immensely. The photos look very well taken the photographer has some skills.

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  2. Wow, looks absolutely gorgeous! Love your photos. Will have to put this place on my bucket list!
    Freya - freyasnook.blogspot.com

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    1. Please do visit if you get the chance! So beautiful! Thanks for you comment :)

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  3. I loved this post. I've wanted to go to the Fairy Pools for such a long time and now I want to go even more :) glad you had a great time, I will definitely be putting these on my places I want to visit list!

    Lia x
    thatgirlwiththatblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. The Fairy Pools are really lovely. I'd love to go back in Autumn when there's been a bit of rain so they have a bit more water in them - next time! xx

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  4. I love the photos - the sunset looks amazing (the midges were worth it haha) I love your style of writing! Steph x

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    1. The sunset was beautiful, one of the best I've ever seen. The midges definitely were worth it haha! And thank you :) xx

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  5. What an amazing visit! Your photos are gorgeous - the ones of the three of you posing together near the start are really funny! I bet you have some fantastic memories to treasure! I would love to visit Skye!

    Abbey ✨ www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. It was a really lovely trip, so glad we got to go. Skye is wonderful, I hope you get to visit soon! xx

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  6. Great post and lovely pictures- it looks like you had such a fun time! X

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  7. Your photos are amazing! It has really made me want to visit Skye! X
    www.sopherina.co.uk

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    1. Skye is really lovely, I'm so glad I got the chance to go - hope you do too! xx

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  8. Absolutely loved this post. I'm doing s series on my blog about our trip to Skye, great minds ;) We never got the chance to visit Raasay though was gutted!
    Fairy pools were definitely my favourite part although I got quite badly burnt!
    Hoping to go back at some point and get to all the parts we missed!

    Alana x

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    1. I've been loving your Skye posts, it's such an amazing area. I'm looking forward to your other posts, especially about Dunvegan - really need to go back and see it! xx

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  9. Was staying on Skye just over a week ago, and included a day trip to Raasay as we had stayed at Raasay House for a couple of days last year. Raasay is quite possibly my favourite place in the whole, wide world. Skye and Harris coming very close second and third. Very much hope to make many more visits, and your holiday cottage sounds very inviting. Oh, and we did see dolphins on our visit (and white-tailed eagles!)

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    1. I'm so jealous you saw dolphins, haha! We were constantly on the lookout but sadly it wasn't to be. I'm glad you enjoyed Raasay so much, it's so lovely there! I've never been to Harris though - maybe that'll be next on my list?

      Thank you so much for your comment xx

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  10. Thank you for such a wonderful blog about Raasay. My family (loads of us) always spent 6-8 weeks there in the summer holidays. All us cousins were like brothers and sisters and we revelled in the joy of Raasay, the smell of the pine trees, the sound of the sea, yes and the sound of silence! As I read your blog it evoked in me so many memories of the happiest times in my childhood with Aunties, Uncles, Grannies, Seannairs (Grandfathers),cousins, siblings, parents and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all! Of course I am now homesick (we always called Raasay home), longing to get there some day again. As I went to school there as well it gives me such great pleasure to know that there are others who are not as biased as I am who love 'my wee Island Paradise'. The cottage you stayed in was my Auntie's, originally, and many a happy visit we made there from the main part of Raasay at the Cottages. Happy Happy Days. Thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I loved hearing about your memories of Raasay. It's such a beautiful island and I'm so glad we got the chance to spend a lovely but brief time there. I can't believe your Auntie owned the cottage! That's amazing! It was a lovely place to stay, exactly the isolation and environment we wanted.

      Thank you so much for this comment, it's made me so happy! xx

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  11. Love these pictures, it looks like such a perfect little getaway! You have a really wonderful blog, keep up your amazing work! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

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    1. It really was, it was a perfect little holiday :) Thank you so much for your kind words! x

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  12. I LOVE Raasay, I too, stayed at Arnish Cottage, sadly it was only one week that flew by. Raasay was the highlight of my trip. I had the best meal of my month in Scotland when Maya, Nicky and Mary and I shared a dinner. I love them, they are wonderful people. We became fast friends. Your pictures look just like a bunch of mine, same trail, same spots on Skye. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. We were only there for three nights sadly, but it was beautiful. Arnish Cottage was amazing, I wish we'd had the chance to spend a bit more time with Maya, Nicky and Mary but they were just absolutely wonderful to us even still! It's a really lovely area, so glad we got the chance to experience it.

      Thank you so much for commenting! x

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  13. Ah, your post has done my wee heart a lot of good! My association with Raasay (and Skye of course!) goes back a long way... I now live with my good lady wife in Ardvasar in Sleat but have always loved Raasay. Mòran taing / many thanks for lifting my heart :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm really pleased so many people enjoyed this post, I loved visiting Raasay and I will definitely go back. It's one of the most beautiful, peaceful and unspoilt places I've been, and as a Scot it makes me feel so lucky to come from such a wonderful country. xx

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  15. Your blog has convinced me and my husband that we will spend at least one night on Ramsaay, after hemming and hawing about whether we should. Thank you! This all sounds incredible.

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