The Fairy Glen and the River Sligachan on the Isle of Skye, Scotland are truly magical locations.  While the topography of the Fairy Glen is what makes it appear unique, it’s the energy of the land that reveals the magic, for those open to feeling it.  A short distance down the road from the glen is a parking lot with a pay station, put up in recent years due to the number of tourists visiting. We parked around 10am and as we approached the pay station, a couple nearing their car happily handed us their stub and said, “Enjoy your stay!” That’s how our visit to the Fairy Glen began.

We then ambled up the road a very short bit and followed another couple up a hidden path that took us through the little woods in photo #1. Here we stopped to simply enjoy the smells, the air, the subtle greens, the curves of the trees with their cracked white bark and the stones strewn about. This absolutely felt like it could be home to a very many fairies, for those who feel such things. Coming out of the little woods we landed on the well traversed path up to the glen, past the towering rock that looks a bit like a castle. As we rounded the bend by the base of the tower the view of the whole glen opened up––hillocks crisscrossed with sheep trails, exposed rock outcroppings, and a stone spiral. Otherworldly!

There were only a few other folks wandering about. Some climbed up the tower, others walked the spiral. Given the increasing number of visitors, and the depths to which some of the trails have been worn down, I hope there will be conservation efforts to save it from over use. The Scots love and respect the land. Think Scotsman, John Muir, who helped federalize the National Parks in the USA.

The Fairy Glen is one of the most photographed locations in Scotland. You’ll find plenty of pictures on the internet with very dramatic natural light or filtered effects. The light this late April day we visited was filtering through a very thin veil of clouds so it had a mildly bright, but not flat quality to it. The air was still and the temperature in the 60ºs F. A pretty perfect day. After wandering about the glen enjoying its offerings from this angle and that, we decided that the faeries likely spent more time in the little woods than out in the open, so we walked out the way we came in, and paused to give thanks for allowing us to visit. Quite simply a lovely beginning to a lovely day!

Click on a photo for gallery view. All photos ©2022 Lisa j Winston/LjW Divine Sight

Staying in Portree a couple of nights while on Skye, we had planned to visit the Fairy Pools, another location that receives quite a few tourists. The locals however, directed us to the River Sligachan at the base of the Black Cuillins, which has its own fairy legend, and fewer visitors than the fairy pools. At the intersection of A87 and A863 there’s plenty of parking at the site of the Sligachan Hotel, restaurant and Cuillin brewery. This is also a home base for mountain rescue teams working and training in the Cuillin Hills.

It’s said that the river itself has been enchanted by faeries. According to the legend of the fierce female warrior, Scáthach (read the full story by writer Graeme Johncock here) if you kneel down near the old Sligachan bridge, dunk your face in the waters for seven seconds, and upon standing allow your face to dry naturally, the faeries will bless you with eternal beauty! What a bonus, OF COURSE we did that!! The river itself has numerous waterfalls, and pools along the gentle hike up to a wooden bridge where we turned around. You can continue hiking on up into the hills with proper gear. It was another bluebird day, with a few clouds over the mountains, as you can see by the photos below.

Click on a photo for gallery view. All photos ©2022 Lisa j Winston/LjW Divine Sight