The second largest Scottish island and the third most-visited place in Scotland, Skye has long attracted photographers from all over the world due to its striking, craggy rock formations, tiny fishing villages straight off a postcard, undulating moss-green hills and medieval castles.
The journey to Skye
Driving through Scotland to the island of Skye takes you past countless locations of natural beauty. Loch Lomond is about an hour’s drive north-west of Glasgow and the largest expanse of inland water in Britain.
You might recognise Glencoe from the Bond film Skyfall, several of the Harry Potter movies or many other films that have taken advantage of this gloriously scenic corner of Scotland. The landscape was created centuries ago by a combination of glaciers and volcanic eruptions. Driving from Glencoe to Skye is an incredibly picturesque part of this journey.
Dornie is located by the Skye Bridge, the access point from the mainland to the island. It used to be a fishing village, but it’s now used largely as a base for people heading to Skye or the famous Eilean Donan Castle.
Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most popular photography sites in Scotland – for good reason. This castle sits on an island in the middle of the lake overlooking the island of Skye. The site was originally a monastic cell, founded in 634AD by Bishop Donan, and it became a castle in the 13th century, built by Alexander II in an attempt to protect the coast from Viking invasions.
The name ‘Skye’ comes from the Norse sky-a, which means ‘cloud island’. It’s these clouds that make Skye so wonderful to photograph, the moody sky making every dramatic scene even more captivating.
The village of Elgol is on the south coast of Skye, on the shores of Loch Scavaig.
Skye’s ‘Fairy Pools’ are frequented by those hardy enough to brave the chill of the water, as well as sheep, rabbits, birds and red deer.
Sunset to sunrise in just six hours
During the summer, the nights are short, so it’s possible to watch sunset on one side of Skye and see the sun rise again on the other side just six hours later.
10.12pm: watching the sun go down…
4.26am: rising early to catch dawn breaking on the other side of the island, a mere six hours later.
Hiking hills for the valley views
Heading to the north of the island, the Quiraing is a walking route that showcases Skye’s sublime scenery. A huge landslip formed this terrain of cliffs and peaks.
Not far from the Quiraing route is the most iconic site on Skye: the Old Man of Storr. These jagged pinnacles have become a must-see spot for visitors to the Scottish Highlands.
Neist Point Lighthouse is perched on the west coast. Walking the path towards it affords views of the rugged cliff faces and out across the frigid water.