One searing hot summer’s day in the south of Spain (where we lived for more moons than I care to count) I said to my fiancé … Darling, I need rain …
Off we set, north, back to the homeland … To Scotland in search of rain – Not a difficult quarry given our destination!
This would be the first time we had ventured a holiday on the west coast, amongst Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. I had visited before but never actually stayed a while. I was enthralled …
We landed in Glasgow, picked up our car, and headed straight to our booked place of rest –The Duisdale House Hotel on the Magical Isle of Skye. The drive up past fort William is listed by the AA as one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world. Green, lush, historic and grandiose in all its mountains. So very breath-taking. And the air – Sweet as a freshly flowing clover.
The bridge to Skye is a god send. No more waiting for big smelly ferries, just a seamless jaunt across the water from mainland to isle. Note – Skye is the only island with such a bridge !
Our Hotel was there patiently awaiting us.
Easily found on one of Skye’s “Main Roads”, but nestled into the side of a hill of woodland and moss … What a Lovely Stone Clad Country Manor House. Gardens, Views across the sea to the mainland. Perfect. I felt at home before I even got out of the car. The delightful staff welcomed us with their beautiful west coast lulling accents. And we were shown to our room.
And what a room …
A beautifully decorated spacious affair with a view to the sea. The bathroom – home to a free-standing bath which had a view of its own – I could see Scotland’s coasts as I soaked away all my heart’s contents.
The hotel really is beautiful. You can feel the history, and the people who tend her are happy to be there. These are people who Love their jobs, and revel in getting things just right for you.
After the inevitable Bathing, we dressed and went down for an aperitif … then to dinner.
Yum and a half! I am a food snob and this dinner was first class. I mean delicious. The scallops – Perfect. And, I remember Venison in a sweet sauce accompanied by a wine that even the deer would have approved of! Now, I don’t usually have a sweet, but it was all so good I didn’t want to miss out – Cardamom Crème Brulee … I was in heaven.
Breakfast was just as tasteful … a cooked menu with the usual Scottish fair. My poached eggs were cooked to Ramsey perfection, and of course there was Stornaway Black Pudding …
After breakfast, we took to the hills. Armed in wellies and umbrellas, we explored the trail up around the hotel itself, and into the woodland. I have to tell you I have never seen moss quite like the moss on Skye. This moss has arms and legs, you can almost see it creeping up the trees … amazing!
This magical isle of Skye
It is so very picturesque. Even William Turner (the painter, not the pirate) visited and captured Skye in his landscapes. He called her the Isle of mist. And to be fair. Skye does seem to have a monopoly on weather. No, matter where you look it is changing all around you. You will see sun, rain, mist and snow at any given moment. All that as the mist unveils the majesty of the Cuillin Mountains, the great peat moorland, and the sea with the surrounding islands stealing up out of the water. Even the very Sky above the island is not unlike a watercolour of patchwork blues in constant flux – No two moments the same …
In the short time we had been here I had fallen in Love with this Isle. I did not want to leave. The air so sweet and fresh, our Duisdale bed so soft and warm. The food, the walks …
But as the only way to come back is to go – We left the magical Isle of Skye, and the Duisdale hotel …. to return another day.
If you are thinking of traveling west to these wonderlands in Scotland, Skye is the Island to stay on, and the Duisdale is the Hotel of Choice. I would return this very afternoon !