Goodbye to Skye

Today was our last day on the Isle of Skye and we had a long drive ahead of us back to Edinburgh; however, we made time for a “quick” hike nonetheless. It was time to take the road from Glenbrittle to Sligachan and find the Fairy Pools!

We got a little turned around on the drive out there, but that meant we got to see another waterfall and some more hairy coos up close!

waterfall on Isle of Skye

Hairy Coos

The hike to and through the pools can be very quick. It’s only about a half mile until the first in a string of waterfalls cascading down the River Brittle, and then the waterfalls continue up the trail for more than a half mile.

Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

The river is set at the foot of the Black Cuillin, so this also afforded another opportunity for a few close-up shots.

Black Cuillin waterfall

Black Cuillin

Black Cuillin

Black Cuillin

However, Steve and I took SO MANY PICTURES that this “quick” hike turned out to take a fair amount of time. We had planned to start heading back to the car around 11:40 to be on the road by noon. We got about a half a mile further from the first waterfall around noon and realized we could keep saying “one bend more” for god knows how long, and never make it to Edinburgh.

Anne at the Fairy Pools

Steve at the Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

Upon turning around and starting back in earnest, it was a quick 20-minute walk back to the car.

A wonderful way to end our trip to Skye and, as Steve said, I just had to get one more hike in. But who would seriously blame me?

Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

The drive to Edinburgh from Skye takes about four and a half hours, so we really had to be on our way if we were going to get there before dinner. With many a backward glance, we were on our way.

a backward glance

Realizing that we would be driving right past Killiecrankie on the A9, we decided to make a quick stop there to check it out. This was one of the sites that we had to skip on our first day driving up to the Highlands due to our unfortunate trouble with the clutch on the first rental car.

We got to the site just after the visitor center closed, but we took a quick walk down the trail to Soldier’s Leap, where a government soldier supposedly made a life-saving 18-foot leap across the river to escape pursuing Jacobite soldiers.

Soldier’s Leap at Killiecrankie


We also walked a little way down another trail and came upon a railway viaduct built on the mid-1800s and still in use today.

railway viaduct

railway viaduct

tracks at the top of the railway viaduct

Since the visitor center was closed, I expect we will add this site back to our list of places to see on our future trip, but it was nice to get a sense of what was there and stretch our legs after the long drive from Skye.

We ended up getting to Edinburgh much later than we had planned (8:00 rather than 6:00), so we drove directly to the City Centre for dinner rather than dropping by our hotel by the airport first.

Trying to avoid too much city driving, we parked a few blocks away from the castle, then walked along the Grassmarket to the top of the Royal Mile. This was a whole area of the city we hadn’t explored earlier in our trip. I guess another day or two in Edinburgh might be in order as well.

After one final meal at The World’s End, we made our way to the hotel and strategized our packing so that we could get everything under the weight limit and in our two free checked bags. We made it, although just barely.

Anne at The World's End