Visiting The Fairy Glen On The Isle Of Skye: All You Need To Know
Just the name ‘Fairy Glen’ creates intrigue doesn’t it? The lush green terraced hillocks and small, still, reflective ponds.
The stone circle and the towering fortress. They all add to the magical mystery that surrounds Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye.
There are actually a few fairy glens in the UK (one of them being in Betws-y-Coed in North Wales) but the Fairy Glen in Skye is the most well-known and arguably the most magical.
Even if there is no particular myth or legend attached to the Isle of Skye Fairy Glen, you will feel the magic when you visit.
Formed by a landslip and then shaped by glacial movement over the years, it is truly spectacular and highly unusual. Imagine visiting at sunrise with an atmospheric mist hanging around!
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Before your visit…
Visiting Skye for the first time? Here are the essentials we recommend taking with you to make the most of your trip.
For the kids we love Keen hiking boots. Ed and I both have the Merrell Moab hiking boots. We bought them just before the trip and didn’t have time to wear them in but they were just fine. They are billed as great ‘out of the box boots’. They are essential in the winter months but even in the summer months, they help navigate loose stones on paths.
Our lightweight Tog24 packable waterproof jackets came in handy during the summer. We each have one. See here for the men’s, women’s and kid’s jackets. They pack down so small that they can come on hikes with us ‘just in case’.
Midges weren’t as much of a problem for us on Skye as they were in other parts of Scotland but they were still there. We used Smidge and Avon Skin So Soft and although we got bitten a bit, we escaped relatively unscathed.
Visiting the Fairy Glen Skye FAQs
Where is the Fairy Glen Skye?
The Fairy Glen is located in the Trotternish, the northernmost peninsula of Skye. It should only take you around 25 minutes to drive the 16 miles from Portree to the Fairy Glen. You take the A87 all the way from Portree to Uig for the fastest route.
At Uig you turn off onto a narrow and winding road (Shearder Road) for about 1 km. Keep going until you reach the car park. We were travelling in our VW Campervan and the road was fine.
You can also take the coastal road from Portree that takes you up past the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls and The Quiraing. This would take you about 90 minutes if you aren’t stopping. Bear in mind though, that it really is a good idea to get there early.
Is there parking at the Fairy Glen?
There is a small paid car park with spaces for about 20 vehicles. We arrived at 9 am in August and there was nobody there. When we left at 10 am, the car park was almost full.
When the car park is full, you can park in Uig and walk the 1.5 km to the Fairy Glen.
The other option if you don’t want to walk is to take a shuttle bus that runs from Uig in the summer months.
Are there any facilities at the Fairy Glen in Skye?
There are no toilets at the Fairy Glen. The closest public toilets to the Fairy Glen that we could find were are the Uig Skye Ferry terminal.
Likewise, there are no places to eat at the Fairy Glen. The closest facilities would be in Uig.
Is there an entrance fee to the Fairy Glen Skye?
There is no entrance fee but parking is not free.
How long is the Fairy Glen walk?
There is a short walk from the car park past the small hills and a lovely pond to get to main path up to the Fairy Glen. It should take you around 10 minutes.
If in doubt, look for Castle Ewen and take the path that heads that way. Once there, you can climb up the tall, basalt tower for spectacular views. The site isn’t very large at all and can be explored in around 30 minutes.
The round trip is about 2km in total and you wouldn’t need to spend much more than an hour there in total.
When is the best time to visit?
The summer months in Skye can get incredibly busy, but if you are visiting during June, July and August – you can still visit the Fairy Glen without encountering too many people by going early.
It is open all the time and all year round so you can visit whenever you want. If you go at sunrise, the chances are you will be the only ones there. We visited at 9am and were the first ones there but people started arriving shortly after that.
You can also visit in the winter months, but plan for the paths to be slippery and muddy and wear appropriate footwear.
What is there to do near the Skye Fairy Glen?
There are some great things to do nearby. The ones that we would recommend seeing and doing are:
- Rha Falls
- The Quiraing
- Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls
- Old Man of Storr
Places to stay near the Fairy Glen
Taobh-an-Uillt is the closest accommodation you will find. It is a self-catering holiday cottage and is stunning.
If you’re looking for more of a hotel experience, Uig Lodge might be the one.
If a B&B is more your thing – Stones Luxury B&B is lovely with incredible views over the bay.
One final note on visiting the Fairy Glen…
Please do not move the stones that you see. Over the years, people have been building rock stacks and trying to add to the stone circle.
This can be disruptive to the natural ecosystem and the rock towers can be a danger to the animals that graze there.