Best time to travel to Scotland

Fairy Glen in Scotland

Surrounded by legends about faeries, this land is indeed magical

Best time: June–August

Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen

The Isle of Skye has many legends about fairies, most of them concern Dunvegan Castle. However, it's Fairy Glen which attracts most visitors to the island. Fairy Glen is located on the West side of Trotternish at Balnacnoc above Uig. The picturesque unpaved road goes around small grassy hills with lochans or small ponds with waterfalls between them. This valley looks like it's been home to fairies, although no real legends can be traced.

Actually, this beautiful landscape with unique geological formations is the result of a landslip. But magic is still in the air. You can easily spend several hours wandering among the grassy hills. It's especially enchanting on a sunny summer day. The best view opens from the top of Castle Ewan. In fact, it's not a castle but a natural rock formation with basalt topping that can be reached via a steep and narrow trail. In the low cliff behind Castle Ewan, you can find a small cave where people press coins into cracks for good luck.

Tourists have been moving the stones that create spiral designs, but beware, locals are not impressed by this and prefer to see the Fairy Glen in its natural state and spend the winter months undoing those spirals. During the summer months, Fairy Glen can be reached by Go Skye shuttle bus from Portree.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to visit Fairy Glen?

Fairy Glen is best visited during the summer months between June and August when visitors can thoroughly explore the area and appreciate the magnificent landscape in mild and sunny weather. Winter, on the other hand, can be harsh and uncomfortable for the experience. Show more

How can I get to Fairy Glen from Portree?

To access Fairy Glen from Portree, visitors can ride the Go Skye shuttle bus during summer, with the trip lasting for 30 minutes. Other means include navigating the narrow roads by car or bike while enjoying the picturesque countryside. The adventure provides an excellent opportunity to explore the area effectively, possibly making unplanned stops and appreciating the natural beauty more closely. Show more

Are there any legends associated with Fairy Glen?

While Fairy Glen is steeped in legends of fairies, most of the stories relate to Dunvegan Castle and not this valley. Nevertheless, the valley's distinct geographic features offer its visitors a real sense of magic that makes it seem like they've entered a mystic realm. The panorama of the place surely evokes a sense of a fairy tale that the legends perpetuate. Show more

Is there a particular route to follow for exploring Fairy Glen?

There is no particular route visitors can follow while traversing Fairy Glen. The place excellently embodies the idea of going nowhere in particular; visitors can guide their footsteps and maps, wander the valley, and relish the marvelous lochans, waterfalls, and grassy hills. Most visitors frequently gravitate towards Castle Ewan, the natural rocky formation with basalt topping that offers the best view of the valley - accessible through a steep and narrow path. Show more

Can tourists create their own spiral designs with the stone formations?

Although tourists can initiate the modification of the spirals that adorn the valley, locals discourage it, preferring humans to uphold the valley's natural state. It takes the community several months to remove and reinstate the patterns after the tourist season. It's better to explore the valley's uniqueness without destroying its natural beauty, considering clearing any litter found instead. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin