PORTREE (Isle of Skye)
With its pretty painted cottages, natural harbour and famous Cuillin mountain, Portree is the Scotland of your imagination. The main town of the Isle of Skye, Portree is an interesting smorgasbord of past, present and future. Boutique hotels and primary schools nestle comfortably amid weathered fishing boats and traditional farms. Add to that cinematic locations loved by both film and TV, romantic sunsets that linger for hours and a relatively easy crossing from the mainland and it’s no wonder that the island is as popular today as it was in the 18th century. “Over the sea to Skye” is not only a cornerstone of the thriving tourism industry, but a way of life.
Skye has always held a place in Scottish hearts, ever since Flora MacDonald rescued Prince Charles Edward Stuart (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie) in 1745. After she scurried him away from Hanoverian troops, the pair head for Skye, before his onward escape to France.
The island was ruled by the clan system for centuries, in a mix of peaceful and turbulent times. Four famous clans helped shape the history of the island and many visit the island looking for their ancestral roots. Even if you’re not tracing your family tree, there is no excuse not to visit Dunvegan Castle, the only castle to have been continuously owned and occupied by the same family over eight centuries and filled with heirlooms from the Chiefs of MacLeod clan. The island’s fascinating, not to mention bloodthirsty, history will have even the most reluctant of scholar enthralled.