Sunday, 3 September 2006

Isle of Raasay

We've just come back from a holiday on Raasay. Wonderful island, with the best views anywhere of the Cuillin mountains on Skye. Raasay is reached by a 15 minute ferry trip operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, from Sconser on Skye. We stayed at the Isle of Raasay Hotel, which offers full board, lovely food but very fish orientated menus, so it may be difficult for the strict vegetarian. The bar serves a wide range of beer, including the wonderful Red Cuillin ale, brewed by the Isle of Skye Brewery. The hotel also has two resident cats, lovely for cat loving guests, but destructive on the local wildlife! The island is great for car free holidays, plenty of walks along the coast, through the Forestry Commission plantation (which almost feels like real woodland, with all the mosses, lichens and fungi). There is a wonderful walk across the moor by the old iron workings then along the coast to Hallaig, a village that was emptied by the Highland Clearances. There's a cairn with Sorley McLean's poem Hallaig in Gaelic and English. Look out also for the Pictish stones, the wildflower meadow full of butterflies and several species of dragonflies around all the ponds. The island is home to otters, dolphins and seals, though we didn't see any of these. We did see several buzzards and a hen harrier. The island is also the base for the Raasay Outdoor Centre, which has a lovely cafe that serves a range of local beers and some lovely snacks.

2 comments:

BondBloke said...

Ah a lady of taste, anyone who drinks Red Cullin is OK by me... Lots of great beer up here and I was told that I would never get a decent pint in Scotland...

Crafty Green Poet said...

HI Bondbloke - I have fairly recently discovered how good real ale is and love trying out all the different ales from across Scotland. Hmm, perhaps that could be a post in itself.