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Isle of Skye December 28th-30th

We'll be traveling from Glasgow to Isle of Skye on December 28th. We're planning a pretty laid back trip but need recommendations on what to see and do on Skye. We're flying into Glasgow on the 28th and will be arriving early in the morning, renting a car, and driving up to Skye. Any recommendations on where to stay while on Skye would be much appreciated! We can't decide whether to stay in Portree or maybe somewhere more remote. We'll be leaving Isle of Skye on the 30th for Edinburgh for Hogmanay so it'll be a pretty short trip overall.

1) Need recs on where to stay on Isle of Skye (Dec. 28th-30th)
1a) Portree or somewhere more remote
2) What is must see? Short trip, limited daylight.
3) We'd prefer to have a local experience (not overly touristy)

Posted by
6509 posts

Never been there in the winter but with the short daylight hours for sightseeing and hiking I think you'll find more to do in the evenings in Portree than you would in a more remote location. I have no idea what the weather would be like then and how that would affect walks/hikes which is mostly what we did when on Skye. There is a nice open air folk museum but I'm not sure if it's open at that time of year.

Posted by
5669 posts

I agree. I think that at that time of year it would be good to stay in Portree. And no worries. It's not a big town. :) Also, Portree is centrally located so that will be good for you as well.


Posted by
2949 posts

Check whether Dunvegan Castle is open on one of the days you'll be there. It's one of the few indoor attractions on Skye and very beautiful and interesting.

Posted by
1345 posts

Unless this is for 2017, the accomodation should already have been booked. There is a strong chance the roads will close due to the weather.

Most tourist sites outwith the central belt are now closed for the winter. The great outdoors is of course still open but subject to weather. Even in the central belt, smaller sites are now closed. Dunvegan is open for groups only who contact well in advance. Sorry to say this you are really chancing your arm going up to Skye, indeed any of the islands at that time of year if you do not have the accomodation booked.

You say you are heading to the capital for Hogmanay? My advice is simply stick to the central belt - Edinburgh, Glasgow.

And all accomodation needs to be booked as soon as possible.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone for all the help!
We've booked our accommodation for Edinburgh for Hogmanay but I'll definitely be contacting bnb's for Skye soon and asking whether or not we'll even be able to get up there. I've heard it's not very snowy in Scotland so I'm confused as to why the roads farther north would be closed. Any information on that would be great! If we can't get to Skye any recommendations on other things to see and do in the Highlands would be great! Maybe we could replace Skye with Inverness depending on the weather.

Posted by
1345 posts

We are roughly the same latitude as northern Quebec, Denmark and southern Norway. It snows here. There is a skiing industry in the Highlands. The roads can close, even in the central belt. I have spent several happy minutes, a couple of miffed hours and several more grumpy ones sat on a snow blocked motorway in Glasgow.

There was, however, an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 about pine trees in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. It lasted half an hour, or about 500 metres.

Any road in Scotland is potentially at risk from being blocked by snow. On both the main routes north, the A82 and A9 there are snow gates. My recommendation, seeing as Hogmanay is the key part of your journey and Hogmanay in Edinburgh, I would concentrate on areas around the capital or the Central Belt.