Tuesday, 25 October 2011

John and Julie visit

I understand I have known John since his birth (I would have been two at the time, so don't recall the event). My earliest memories of him would be at age 5 or so. But, we have remained in touch all our lives, and this week, John and his wife Julie have made the trip to Skye from their home in Essex to visit us. 

I know I should have a picture of the two of them, but for now, here's a couple of pics from An Corran, near Staffin, where we visited yesterday...

We went to try to find the 170 million year old fossilised dinosaur footprints... and we were successful... here is one of them...

Then we went on to  Bearreraig Bay. 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Making the most of the weather

Don't tell any potential visitors, but we have had some dismal weather on Skye for the last month or more. Some friends are blaming this on the fact that we are currently having the roof replaced at the Barn...

However, not every day has been wet and misty, so when the sky turned blue and the sun shone the other day, on went the boots, and I sampled a forest track that I haven't been down before.

Walking forest tracks, one sees an awful lot of trees, but they can still be very beautiful. And a photo can't portray the perfect peace that surrounds you as you walk.

This particular track leads to a short (but very boggy) climb to the unplanted summit of a hill which affords some unexpectedly far-reaching views. This is north east, to the Trotternish Ridge....

...and this is approximately due south, to the Cuillin.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Bright late afternoon sun and a heavy rain shower =

Sunday, 2 October 2011

What's the weather like - update

No sooner do I post an item about the weather, than Skye reminds me that it can do some pretty spectacular sunsets too. This was last night, viewed from the front garden here at Roskhill...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

What’s the weather like on Skye?

Unsurprisingly, many potential visitors will want to find out the answer to this question when planning their trip. Trouble is, there is no precise answer.

The Isle of Skye is also known by its Gaelic name of Eilean a’ Cheo, which translates into English as ‘The Misty Isle’. And there-in lies a clue to the climate.

It’s damp.

The air is very fresh and clean. The prevailing wind direction is from the west, where the air has moved over nothing but the sea for hundreds and hundreds of miles, where it gathers moisture. When the air is forced to rise, as it meets land, it cools and drops some of that moisture. So there is often mist over the hills, and it rains a lot. But - it is common for one part of the island to be wet and windy, while a few miles away, the sun shines brightly.

The average annual rainfall is around 55 inches (much more at high altitude). Compare that with London at 22 inches, Birmingham, 26, Manchester, 32. Records show it to be slightly drier in the spring, with May the driest month, and October the wettest. But then, May 2010 was one of the wettest Mays on record… so it is definitely wise for a potential visitor to expect to get some rain during a visit, and bring waterproofs! It is quite unusual for rain to ‘set in’ and continue to fall for days on end. Even when it does, the burns and waterfalls become torrents, so there is something exciting to see whatever the weather!

Unless you are coming from a really hot part of the world, you are unlikely to find Skye to be uncomfortably cold – at any time of the year. The coldest time is January/February, when around the coasts (where most people live) we are likely to see overnight frosts and maybe a little snow. It is much colder at altitude, and there will be snow lying on the hills most of the winter – stunning to see! So, winter visitors, bring your thermals…! The warmest months are July and August, when average highs will be around 16C (61F). This means most summer visitors will want to add a couple of jumpers to their packing list. Bringing layers is best, then you can add or remove a layer or two as the weather changes – and believe me, we can certainly get changeable days!

Another feature of our weather is wind. Skye is an exposed place, so if you are exploring hills or cliff tops, it will be windy. Gales and storms, with winds gusting to 60mph or more, occur most winters, though only last a day or two. Winds that strong are unusual in summer, but if you planning to be a spring or autumn visitor, better pack a hat and scarf as well.