The Isle of Skye (Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach or Eilean a’ Cheò) is the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The coastline of Skye is created by a number of peninsulas and bays radiating out from the centre which is dominated by the dramatic world famous Cuillin mountain range.
Resting at the head of Loch Dunvegan on the northwest of the Isle of Skye, between the Duirinish and Waternish peninsulas, Dunvegan is a thriving island village and a focal point for both locals and visitors to the area.
It’s difficult to believe that Dunvegan was once a bustling port and a stopping off point for steamers from the Outer Hebrides. The last steamers left in the 1950s. Loch Dunvegan now provides safe anchorage for yachts and a few fishing vessels which still make use of the pier half a mile north of the village.
There are a range of shops; a post office if you’d like to send a postcard or two; a medical centre which we hope you won’t need and a petrol station so that you can top up your vehicle before setting off to explore the area.
As you wander along the main street in Dunvegan, there is a timeless atmosphere and the feeling of visiting old friends in a familiar place. This coupled with the spectacular views across Loch Dunvegan to the Macleod’s Tables and you’d be right to think that you’ve stumbled across somewhere rather special.
Things to do in and around Dunvegan:
- Straight from our doorstep, take a leisurely amble to the Millennium Stone with views toward the Cuillin Ridge and then explore the medieval history at St Mary’s Church.
- Walk along main street to the heart of the village to find the Giant MacAskill Museum which is dedicated to the world’s tallest ‘true’ giant.
- Take in the views across Loch Dunvegan to the Macleod’s Tables or put on your walking boots and set out for the summit, imagining you’ve been invited to a banquet on top of Healabhal Mhòr by the Clan Chief.
- Visit the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod at Dunvegan Castle with its 5 acres of formal gardens and woodland trails.
- Take a boat trip and get up close to the seal colonies on Loch Dunvegan.
- Kick off your shoes and stroll along the famous white ‘sands’ of Claigan Coral Beach with views towards the Outer Hebrides.
- Go in search of the shimmering black sands of the lesser-known Orbost (Varkasaig) Beach with views across Loch Bharcasaig towards Harlosh Island and The Cuillin beyond.
- If you’re a fan of Danny MacAskill, the professional trials rider who was raised in Dunvegan, you’ll find many of the locations for his exhilarating videos in the area or further afield on Skye.
A short journey from Dunvegan:
- From the same starting point as a visit to Orbost Beach, take on a challenge and walk out to Idrigill Point to see the impressive sea stacks known as Macleod’s Maidens.
- Book a table at the world-renowned restaurant The Three Chimneys on the shore of Loch Dunvegan and sample the delights of this global destination for foodies.
- Visit the most westerly headland on the Isle of Skye and see the famous Neist Point Lighthouse, one of the best places to see whales, dolphins and basking sharks.
- Three miles northeast of Dunvegan is the Fairy Bridge. An ancient bridge that’s surrounded in clan legend and fairy tales. Find out about its links to the Faerie Flag on a visit to Dunvegan Castle.
Local artists and artisan crafts
Take the Glendale Road:
- About 20 minutes from Dunvegan, on a track towards Husabost, you’ll find the studio of Diana Mackie. Diana is a contemporary landscape artist who takes her inspiration from the effects of ‘Skye light’ on the changing moods of sea and sky.
- Further along the main road is The Old School House at Colbost and home to Skye Silver who has been designing gifts and jewellery on the Isle of Skye for over 40 years.
- Just above Glendale, you’ll find Skye Weavers. Why not join them in the weaving shed and discover how they make tweeds, scarves, throws and more – powered by bicycle pedal!
Take the Portree road:
- About 8 miles outside Dunvegan is Edinbane Pottery. Why not pay a visit and see their wood-fired and salt-glazed pottery.
- Heading towards Waternish, you can step back in time to find out how real sheepskins are made at Skye Skyns, using time-honoured methods of leather making.