Friday, 02 October 2015

Isle of Skye

Take off to the Isle of Skye and follow in the footsteps of Macbeth

Thanks to its dramatic coastline and stunning landscapes scattered with weird and wonderful rock formations (and equally strange names), the Isle of Skye is a haven for walkers and wildlife watchers. And now interest in Scotland’s second largest island is set to surge as some of its most spectacular locations feature in director Justin Kurzel’s new film of Macbeth.

Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the movie will be released in cinemas on 2 October, with the expected result that even more tourists will want to visit areas associated with both the real Scottish king (who reigned from 1040 to 1057) and the character made famous by William Shakespeare’s play. On the Isle of Skye, film locations included the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr and the Fairy Pools – the mysterious names alone can get you thinking about witches and mists and supernatural goings-on. The extraordinary Quiraing, which apparently means ‘round fold’ in Old Norse, is a landslip on the Trotternish peninsula and includes the Storr, a rocky hill on which you’ll find the Old Man, a geriatric-shaped lump of rock. And at the foot of the Cuillins, the island’s bestknown mountains near Glenbrittle, are the magical Fairy Pools; a beautiful stream full of twinkling turquoise pools and waterfalls.

Other sightseeing should include a castle or two. Dunvegan Castle is a major historical attraction on Skye, with sections dating from the 14th century. It was the stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years. On display is the Fairy Flag, a clan banner that is said to have miraculous powers.

Wildlife lovers should head for Neist Point, reputedly the best place to spot porpoises, dolphins and minke whales from the shore. Basking sharks are also seen from late April until the end of the summer. Watch out for whitetailed sea eagles, too.

For supper, tuck into the tasty local seafood and game. The restaurant at Kinloch Lodge, Sleat, has a Michelin star; the Three Chimneys, near Dunvegan, has three AA red rosettes. The restaurant’s signature dish, hot marmalade pudding, is fit for a king.

There are also sample menus.

Elsewhere in Scotland, historic locations with a strong connection to Macbeth include Glamis Castle, Scone Palace and Cawdor Castle.

For information to help you plan your trip to Scotland, email or write to VisitScotland, Ocean Point One, 94 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh EH6 6JH:

Contact Wendy at 
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