Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is a large islnd off the coast of Scotland, and is the furthest North of the Inner Hebrides.

It has magnificent mountain scenery, particularly the Cuillins, which rise to 3000 feet, and a superb coastline, which with all its promontories and inlets is said to run to a thousand miles.

As well as Gaelic, there is a strong Viking influence as with all the islands off Scotland. With its wet climate, it is often known as the Misty Isle.

Skye lost great numbers of its population during the 19th century, when cynical landlords forced many crofters to emigrate. This was stemmed by W. E. Gladsdtone`s Crofters` Act of 1886, ensuring a fair rent and security of tenure.

The main families of Skye have for centuries been the McDonalds of Sleat and the McLeods of Dunvegan, who in years gone by waged bloody warfare.

The major town on Ske is Portree.

Access from the mainland from the 19th century has been by ferry from Mallaig or from Kyle of Lochalsh. There is now a road bridge linking the island wih Kyle of Lochalsh.

Flora McDonald brought Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, "over the sea to Skye", after his disastrous defeat at Culloden in 1745. An earlier version of the famous song was written by Robert Louis Stevenson.