To the right of the main road dwell the fairies. And their garden they have beautifully cultivated. It is the Fairy Glen on Skye – visitors are welcome here.
No one knows exactly where fairies come from. Some say they are the spirits of the dead. Others suspect they are angels, not good enough for heaven but not evil enough for hell. But even if you don’t know where they come from, one thing is certain: the little mythical folk have a distinct sense of bizarre beauty.
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The fairies went to special lengths for the Fairy Glen near Uig on the Isle of Skye. Small pools of seaweed nestle around fluted cones. Trees reach out with long fingers into nothingness. Small streams and waterfalls wind through secluded valleys. Above it all, Castle Ewen keeps watch.
Castle Ewen is not a castle but a towering rock in the middle of the valley. But it does indeed resemble a watchtower or a small fortress. The brave ones can even climb it over a small path, it offers enough space at the top to stay safely – maybe even to let the sun shine on the belly. If the weather fairy means well with one.
The Fairy Glen is one of the most beautiful places on the Isle of Skye. And it’s not yet a crowded tourist attraction. At the right time and with a bit of luck, you can explore it on your own with a walk.
Knowledge: Why the glen is so bizarre
The same forces were at work at Fairy Glen as at Quiraing or the Old Man of Storr: glaciers. Here, however, they have done much finer work. At least that’s what scientists say. Or was it the fairies after all?
Tip: Exploring the valley on foot
Although there is a road through the valley, it is better to park the car a bit before (see directions). So you can explore the wonderful landscape in peace. There are small paths to the left and right of the road. The valley is also not very big, so that with sturdy shoes everything can be viewed effortlessly. There are no difficult passages, everything has rather the level of a walk with a little more effort.
My recommendation: walk along the road until you reach the small lake below Castle Ewen. There leave the road, at the lake a trail goes up to the Tower. Climb the path and keep right at the top. There you will find another valley with a small waterfall and a stream flowing downwards.
When you’ve had your fill there, walk around behind Castle Ewen, pass the road again and climb the ridge of hills on the south side of the road. From here you can overlook the whole valley. This is also an excellent photo position. Then follow the hills back to the car.
By the way, the road is always close by, it’s hard to get lost here.
Personal note: Do the fairies justice
We had glorious sunshine and a light breeze here. Without further ado, we laid down on the grass next to each other on one of the hills and let the magic work.
It was abruptly interrupted, however, when one of the tourist buses for tours of Skye stopped. He dismissed a cluster of people, one of whom ran up the slope, only to shout from above that there was nothing interesting to see here. “Just a valley.”
This is the kind of thing the fairies don’t like at all: loudness and then disregard for their wonders! So please, when you visit the valley, appreciate the atmosphere there. For the fairies are not good spirits – many a one has been taken by them and never seen again.
For the satnav: Typing “IV51 9YF” will take you all the way to the road that eventually ends in Fairy Glen.
Without sat nav: On Skye, you need to take the A87 to Uig. Depending on where you are coming from, you should look out for the sign “Sheadar/Balnaknock” near Uig Tower (a highly visible tower close by). It is also marked with a dead end symbol. Follow the sign. It goes first up the hill, then continue along the road. One and a half kilometers past the turnoff you should then park the car on a meadow on the left and explore the rest on foot.