Glenelg, Wester Ross

Just ten miles from the main route to the Isle of Skye, the small charming coastal village of Glenelg lies on the shores of the Sound of Sleat, surrounded by scenery deemed magnificent even by West Highland standards. The glen has preserved its unspoilt beauty and sense of isolation, yet remains within easy reach of the more well-known centres of attraction in the area.

Overlooking the Isle of Skye, Glenelg is situated on the route once used by drovers from Skye to get their cattle to the mainland, crossing over the narrow Kyle Rhea straits. A couple of miles from the village on the Arnisdale road you will find Sandaig bay, named “Camusfearna” by Gavin Maxwell in his novel Ring of Bright Water, and where there is a cairn for his beloved otter Edal. Glenelg also has the best preserved Pictish Brochs on mainland Scotland. The ruins of Bernera Barracks, an 18th Century garrison for English government troops, still stand next to the village.

Glenelg is right on the shore and looks across the Kylehea River to Skye’s Sleat peninsula. To reach it you need to turn off the A87 at Shiel Bridge and wind your way over the pass to the Sound of Sleat.

This needn’t be the end of the road, as in the summer a little turntable ferry plies between Glenelg and Kylerhea on
Skye where there is a notable otter hide and a dramatic road up to Broadford. The ferry is a most pleasant alternative to using the Skye Bridge, which is located just 25 miles away in the bigger village of Kyle of Lochalsh.

The village also has a very well-stocked local shop. And there also Glenelg Inn, a traditional inn with cosy character, lively music nights and excellent local cuisine, so there is no need to cook every night!

There is so much for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy in this beautiful part of the country with sea eagles, otters and seals seen regularly.