Exploring the Isle of Skye in a Motorhome

A lot of people who travel to Scotland in our motorhomes have the Isle of Skye on their list. This is a beautiful 50-mile-long island that is the largest of the Inner Hebrides, recognised for its scenic ocean views, incredible mountains, rolling hills, and crystal-clear waterfalls. 

The problem, however, is that the Isle of Skye is relatively small compared to the rest of Scotland. For this reason, a lot of travellers book out a single day to go over there, take a look, and then drive back into the Highlands. In this blog, we’re going to demonstrate to you why this is a bad idea for your motorhome hire, going through some of the most beautiful parts of Skye that deserve your full attention.

The Town of Portree

Finding somewhere with a view is great. But the Isle of Skye isn’t a viewing platform. That is to say, there’s so much more to this island than the views it gives you across the Atlantic. The capital of Skye is one of them. 

Portree is where you can traverse from a wilderness of colours to a very real depiction of modern Scottish life – complete with friendly locals, quality restaurants, and a buzzing harbour. The streets are quaint and gorgeous and full of independent shops including:

  •  OR – the Grn and Wentworth Street

Two creative retail stores that stock a range of artworks, books, homewares, and crafts.

  • The Isle of Skye Candle Company – on the outskirts of Portree

A traveller-friendly store selling a range of Skye-inspired candles, homewares, and travel books.

  • Carmina Gadelica Bookstore – on the high street

A bookshop with a wide collection of books and walking maps.

Volcano Plugs and Dinosaur Tracks

That being said, if you were going to Skye just for the views, you can certainly find a good one at The Old Man, which is a 55-metre-high volcanic plug of around 2800 million years old. 

This is an incredibly popular tourist attraction in the region, but because it’s further north from the crossing into the Isle of Skye – and involves a rather challenging hike – it’s often missed by travellers taking a day trip of just a few hours. If you’re travelling in one of our vehicles, the nearest car park is only seven miles from Portree – around a fifteen-minute drive north on the A855 – and the trail starts just a few minutes south of it. 

If you’ve ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, the Isle of Skye is probably the best place to do it. There are a few places dotted about the island where you can see ancient dinosaur footprints, with one of the most popular being on An Corran, where you can find three-toed prints of a herd of ornithopods.

Another famous spot is at Score Bay, where 170 million-year-old tracks of sauropods – belonging to the same family as diplodocus and brontosaurus – can be found in the rock. Believed to be the largest dinosaur trackway in the country, visiting this bay is a great way to absorb yourself in history and get the little ones excited if you’re travelling with children. 

A Cold But Beautiful Detour

Just around the Trotternish peninsula is another popular stop known as Lealt Falls. Carved by the River Lealt, this is a gorgeous waterfall that plunges 90 metres down into the Sound of Raasay. 

With a recently installed platform making the falls more accessible, and a fantastic view of the ocean to boot, Lealt Falls is probably the second most visited waterfall in the Isle of Skye behind the Fairy Pools – which we talked about a lot in a previous Isle of Skye blog, so we won’t bore you by talking about them again here! 

Both the upper falls and the lower falls can be accessed, and for anyone brave enough, there’s even a plunge pool where people can take a dip at the base. Just make sure you’re aware that the centre of the pool drops off rather steeply into deep water, and you should always be sensible about wild swimming even if you’re in the shallows.

An Island to Explore

These are just a few places that can be explored on the Isle of Skye, but the point is that you should book time to explore them. In our experience, the Isle of Skye deserves at least two days of exploration, and that’s the minimum amount of time you should spend. 

Remember, it would be easy to spend an entire week wandering around this island, so make it a highlight of your Scottish adventure by exploring it properly!