For a small number of enthusiastic individuals, the day began with a chilly dip in the sea off the pier at Inverie. Sea conditions were reportedly calm, but midge levels were less than ideal, prompting a swift return to Lord of the Glens by all involved!
In the glorious morning light, we departed Inverie for Armadale on the island of Skye. Now ruined, Armadale Castle was once the grand home of the MacDonald family and was partly designed by James Gillespie Graham—the same architect who designed the Glenfinnan Monument which we visited earlier in our trip. The appearance of some typical Scottish weather as we toured the castle gardens encouraged us to visit the Museum of the Isles, which is situated within the grounds. Here, all the threads of our trip—Picts, Gaels, Vikings, Jacobites—were carefully woven together.
On the way to our next stop, Kyle of Lochalsh, we cruised along the coastline of Skye, passing the Gaelic University of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Founded in 1973, the university has been crucial in the revival of the Gaelic language in Scotland and currently has nearly 400 students enrolled.
We arrived at our evening berth shortly after lunch and quickly set out to make the most of the final afternoon of our trip. Some opted for a nature walk through the forests around Kyle of Lochalsh, while others set out to visit the iconic Eilean Donan castle. The original castle was largely destroyed following the 1719 Jacobite rising, so the current structure mostly dates from the early 20th century, when it was reconstructed by John MacRae-Gilstrap. Today it is perhaps most famous for appearing in the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough!
Finally, what better way to end this remarkable journey through some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes than an evening of traditional Scottish music. While listening to the Skye Boat Song played on uilleann pipes and accordion, and enjoying the late afternoon sun, we reflected on a week of castles, mountains, and Scottish culture. As the Scots would say themselves, Haste ye back!