Wet weather activities
We knew that that weather wasn’t going to be great today, but I did have a couple of plans up my sleeve which should keep us occupied (without having to watch too many episodes of Midsomer Murders in the B&B).
Dad had indicated he would be happy with a short walk (somewhere we’d been before), and I had an idea that was almost entirely flat and on sure ground, and with some shelter from wind and rain. Additionally, it wasn’t far from the Talisker Distillery, which we wanted to visit.
I had called through in advance to the Distillery, and knew that the main tour would not be suitable for dad – there were a lot of staircases and no good options, and one of the symptoms of his dementia was occasional real struggles with downwards staircases, so we’d agreed we’d manage without the full-on tour. It’s sad, really, as on our previous two visits to Skye we’d managed to visit on days when tours were not running, so we’d missed our chance.
Talisker times two
A really important fact for visitors to Skye is that the Talisker distillery is not in Talisker “village” – The settlement of Talisker, which is essentially a large Georgian Farm house, and the sprawling estate of that house, is at the end of a scenic road, and has some parking allowing a walk towards the settlement, and to Talisker Bay. The weather was against us getting all the way to the Bay (on our previous visit we’d made it a bit further but been beaten back by winds so strong that the Bay’s impressive cliff waterfall was being blown back up the cliff face!), but we enjoyed a half hour or so stroll up the easy path from the car, taking in the views. On return the car, there was the not uncommon sight of a couple of foreign tourists in a hire car looking for the Distillery, which is in Carbost! We pointed them back the way they had come.
We also headed to Carbost, where we decided we’d like a quick hot drink (from the lovely little Coffee stop opposite the Distillery – Caora Dhubh Coffee). I don’t actually drink the stuff, but dad tells me it was excellent.
It was then time to mosey over the road to the Distillery, to have a look around their shop and museum – dad and I are both partial to a dram of Talisker, and hence the shop was of interest, as were the various interpretation signs around the ground floor of the building. As it was still pre-lunch, we decided not to go for a tasting!
Is it lunch time?
This was turning into a bit of a long morning, and the pub still wasn’t open for lunch – as the weather was turning somewhat more miserable, we decided we’d to something that had been a theme of our previous Scottish trips – point the car down a random road and see where we ended up – in the Hebrides, nowhere fails to have stunning views, so this rarely disappoints. We therefore headed down the road to Portnalong Jetty (C on the map), which was … a jetty – basically a small harbour towards the mouth of Loch Harport. This took enough time that we could head back to Carbost, to go to the Old Inn for a bit of lunch (red knife and fork on the map). The pizzas there do not disappoint, and the roaring fires were very pleasant, as were the views over Loch Harport in all directions.
Visiting an old favourite
As the weather during the afternoon was likely to be awful, we didn’t have much planned. We decided we’d drive up to the Waternish peninsular, and go and see the Stein Inn (an old favourite from our previous visits, but which was closed for refurbishment during this visit). The Stein Inn (D on the map), one of the oldest, if not the oldest, on Skye is a truly lovely and cosy place, and we’d had some super evening meals there back in 2010 and 2011. We were sad to miss it, but it was nice to go and see the location in daylight. The Inn lies down on the water’s edge, and is reach down a relatively steep road from the “main” road along with Waternish peninsular. As we arrived, the wind had really whipped up, and was driving the rain hard, but we ventured out of the car (dad’s request) and popped into the art and gift shop next door to the Inn.
We had a quiet afternoon mainly in the lounge at The Anchorage, before returning to the Edinbane Inn (purple knife and fork on the map) for a tasty dinner. The next day, the weather was forecast to gradually improve (although still the chance for a few showers), and we planned some more sightseeing to remind us of our previous trips. There was also time to watch some more residents of of Midsomer being murdered, and then the crimes solved, along with a glass each of some whisky that I’d brought along to help while away the evenings!