The Fairy Glen & Exploring Nearby

Visit Fairy Glen on Skye for stunning landscapes, then savour local flavours at The Ferry Inn, Uig, and The Galley Cafe. Discover the Quiraing, Duntulm Castle, and the rich history at Kilmuir Museum of Island Life.

What is the Fairy Glen?

The Fairy Glen is located in the North of the Isle of Skye, near the town of Uig. The area is famous for its captivating landscape of hills, rocks, and grassy ridges. Known for its unique terrain and scenic beauty, this destination attracts a large number of visitors each year. This guide provides practical information for those planning a trip to Fairy Glen.

Skye local would please ask visitors to refrain from moving rocks or creating new structures, such as stone spirals, which disrupts the natural setting. Protecting the flora and fauna is paramount to islanders. Using designated parking areas and avoiding roadside parking helps prevent damage to the verges and maintains smooth traffic flow. Thank you!

Highlights of The Fairy GLen

  • Fairy Glen’s surreal landscape offers a mesmerising backdrop, ideal for photography enthusiasts, especially during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.

  • Located near the village of Uig, Fairy Glen serves as a perfect starting point to explore Skye’s iconic landmarks like the Quiraing and Duntulm Castle.

  • Despite its popularity, Fairy Glen retains secluded trails for those seeking tranquility away from the crowds, offering a peaceful exploration experience.

  • After a day of sightseeing, enjoy local flavours at the Ferry Inn or sample distinct ales at the Isle of Skye Brewery, both within easy reach.

Quiraing Fairy Glen
The Fairy Glen - best enjoyed early in the morning or in quiter months

Fairy Glen Car Park

Use the postcode – IV51 9YF to navigate to the Fairy Glen. 

Access to Fairy Glen is via a single-track road requiring patience and attentiveness. The road, narrow and winding, leads to a small car park, which operates on a pay-and-display basis (both debit and credit cards accepted). Due to limited parking spaces, arriving early is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons. Parking costs £6 at time of writing and contributes to the maintenance and accessibility of the area.

Fairy Glen Walking Paths and Terrain

The glen features an easy-to-navigate path suitable for a range of visitors, including families with children. However, for those wishing to explore the higher elevations, such as the ‘fairy castle’ or surrounding hills, sturdy footwear with good grip is recommended due to steep and potentially slippery sections. The area is also popular for its picturesque waterfall, which can be reached after a short walk from the road.

How long to spend at the Fairy Glen.

Visitors typically spend 30 to 45 minutes exploring the Fairy Glen, although this can extend longer depending on interest and weather conditions. The site offers various trails, allowing for extended exploration.

Best Times to Visit the Fairy Glen

To avoid crowds, consider visiting Fairy Glen early in the morning or in the evening. The area is also less crowded during off-peak months such as March or October. Visiting during winter months can offer a more solitary experience, often accompanied by misty conditions that add to the glen’s unique ambiance.

Facilities at the Fairy Glen

Other than the small car park there are no on-site facilities, so bringing water and snacks is recommended, especially if planning a longer visit. Due to the outdoor nature of the visit, it is advisable to wear appropriate clothing, including waterproof footwear, especially on rainy days. The terrain can become boggy, making it challenging to navigate.

Photography at the Fairy Glen

Fairy Glen, offers fantastic opportunities for photography. The best times to capture the atmosphere of the glen are early morning and late evening, where the softer light accentuates its ‘mystical’ feel. Misty conditions, particularly prevalent in winter months, add a magical quality to photographs. While the stone circles are popular, photographers are encouraged to explore the peculiar hillocks,, and rock formations that dot the landscape.

Local Wildlife and Flora at Fairy Glen

The wildlife at Fairy Glen includes a variety of species, most notably the freely roaming sheep, which are a common sight. Their grazing significantly contributes to the landscape’s appearance (an fertilisation!). The area is also a haven for various bird species, particularly noticeable during quieter times of the day. In terms of flora, Fairy Glen is carpeted with lush green grass and patches of moss, creating a soft, almost surreal landscape. 

Heather, native to Scotland, adds splashes of purple and pink to the scenery, particularly during its blooming season. The ecosystem of Fairy Glen is delicate, and its preservation is essential. Visitors are encouraged to stick to established paths to protect the plant life and are reminded of the importance of proper waste disposal to maintain the area’s natural beauty and support the habitat of the local wildlife.

NEARBY THE Fairy Glen SUMMARY

FOOD OPTIONS NEARBY

ATTRACTIONS NEARBY

Skye Brewing Company

After exploring Fairy Glen, a visit to the Isle of Skye Brewery offers a way to continue your journey through Skye’s unique culture. Conveniently located nearby the Fairy Glen, the brewery boasts an excellent selection of ales, ciders, and merchandise, all at reasonable prices – making this a great stop for gifts to take home.

Our favourite ale and perhaps their most interesting is the Tarasgeir. It’s rich and superbly smoky, dry, and refreshing and embodies the earthy character of Skye in a bottle. Made with locally sourced ingredients, it offers an authentic taste of the island. 

While the brewery is primarily a store, not offering tastings or food, it’s a perfect spot to pick up some local beer to enjoy later. The Skye Black is another popular choice, with its chocolatey notes. For those keen on exploring a range of flavours, a mixed box of beers makes an excellent choice, with swift delivery and safe packaging ensuring a continued taste of Skye after your visit.

Quiraing Duntulm
Duntulm Castle makes for a perfect view and sunset spot

Duntulm Castle

For those looking to explore a little further to the northernmost point on the island, a drive to Duntulm Castle ruins is worth the trip. The viewpoint offers visitors an exceptional vantage point for experiencing the island’s striking coastal scenery and sunsets. While the castle is a ruin, inaccessible for safety reasons and fenced off, its location atop a cliff edge provides panoramic views across the sea towards the Outer Hebrides.

The journey to the castle features a scenic drive along a single track road, leading to a limited parking area near the site. From here, a short walk amidst grazing sheep unveils the expansive seascape and the castle’s dramatic setting. Visitors often settle in to photograph or simply appreciate the calming beauty of the setting sun over the rugged coastline.

Kilmuir & Skye Museum of Island Life

The Skye Museum of Island Life, located near the northernmost tip of Skye, offers a rich insight into the island life of past generations. This well-preserved museum features a collection of thatched crofters’ cottages, each displaying various aspects of daily life and skilled labour that was essential for a successful Skye croft. The museum’s detailed explanatory panels and a multitude of interesting exhibits bring the island’s history to life. 

Each cottage within the museum is devoted to a specific theme, such as a general history of the area, a weaver’s cottage, and a smithy. The museum is also significant for its portrayal of Jacobite history, including stories of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald. The setting of the museum, perched on a promontory with stunning views of the cliffs and ocean, adds to the overall experience.

For those interested in the history and culture of the Isle of Skye, the Skye Museum of Island Life is an essential visit.

The Quiraing

The Quiraing can also be included in your visit to the Fairy Glen at around 20 mins drive. You can read our detailed guide to the Quiraing here.

Restaurants Near The Fairy Glen

Quiraing Ferry Inn
The Quiraing is Nearby Uig, Ferry Inn & The Galley Cafe

The Ferry Inn (Uig) Restaurant Near The Quiriaing

We have a full review of the Ferry Inn here. In short, the Ferry Inn is an ideal spot to dine and unwind after a day of exploring the nearby Quiraing. You’ll find exceptional hospitality from the friendly, family-run staff, unique tapas-style dining featuring fresh, local produce and gorgeous views and a warm ambience. The Ferry Inn is dog-friendly with a fantastic selection of local drinks at affordable prices

The Ferry Inn is only a short drive from the Quiraing, making it the perfect location to relax and refuel after a day of hiking and sightseeing. The sunsets in the garden are spectacular.

The Galley Cafe & Takeaway (Uig) Near Quiraing

The Galley Cafe & Takeaway in Uig is an excellent choice for a quick snack or lunch while exploring the Isle of Skye. The food is fresh, delicious, and well-priced, making it a popular stop for hungry travellers. The service is friendly and welcoming, and there’s a small outdoor area with beautiful views, or a cozy indoor seating area available.

The cafe has a great selection of fresh, local seafood dishes (availability may vary), including giant brown crab claws, scallops with a perfect cook and a possible balsamic dressing, and a smoked salmon salad that is highly recommended. Vegetarian options are also available, including oat milk and non-dairy options. If they have it on the menu – try the Cullen Skink soup, it’s fantastic and a very traditional Scottish dish you won’t find outside of Scotland.

The Galley Cafe & Takeaway opens at 12 pm and closes at 8 pm, making it a convenient stop for a delicious break.

The Uig Hotel Bar & Restaurant

The Uig Hotel restaurant offers an excellent dining option, especially for families and those looking for gastro pub style options. The staff are super friendly and there is a fantastic selection of drinks and options to keep everyone happy.

The menu, rich with local flavors, features standout items like the seafood chowder, brimming with fresh, locally-sourced fish, and the tenderly cooked venison. The interior, with its cozy, cottage-like charm, pairs well with the breathtaking scenery  ensuring that your meal is accompanied by some of the most picturesque views on the island, especially at sunset.

It’s best to call and book ahead of time to check availability.

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