Balmacquien and the Trotternish Peninsula Balmacquien forms a traditional crofting township near to the end of the Trotternish Peninsula and lies between the main public road and the sea. It is bounded on the north by the Kilmaluag River which runs off the hills at the northern end of the peninsula into the Minch at Aird Bay which is a popular anchorage and has a small public jetty. This part of the peninsula has a number of interesting sites of historical and natural interest including Duntulm Castle, Rubha Hunish which is the very northern tip of Trotternish, and to the west are the weird pinnacles of the Quiraing and its outriders, one of which is Sron Vourlinn.
Staffin, which is around a 10-minute drive to the south, has two well stocked convenience stores, a Post Office, the modern Columba 1400 Leadership Centre including restaurant and a small but lovely sandy beach. You can also take boat trips from Staffin to visit the basalt columns of the famous Kilt Rock and waterfall and the seal colony at Flodigarry Island, view a wide variety of sea birds and if you’re lucky dolphins and whales.
Uig is approximately a 30 minute drive to the west from where you can take the
Caledonian MacBrayne ferry service to the Outer Hebrides (Lewis, Harris, North and South Uist).
There are two Country House Hotels within 2 miles of Balmacquien that offer excellent bar meals and a dinner menu, the Duntulm Castle Hotel and the Flodigarry Country House Hotel.
Trotternish boasts one of the most spectacular landscapes to be found in the British Isles; every turn of your walk presents a magnificent prospect of mountains, moorland, lochs and sea. Hundreds and millions of years of formation have resulted in a land of contrast and dramatic upheaval. It is hard to believe that the peninsula has so many attractions for the visitor. The Storr is a 200 foot rock pinnacle which can be seen for many miles, standing in front of the impressive mass of Storr mountain. It was first climbed by Don Whillan and James Barber in 1955 and the walk to its base provides stunning views across the Little Minch to the munros of Torridon. The Quiraing is equally, if not more famous, being one of the most exciting natural rock formations anywhere in Scotland. The coast with its many miles of beautiful cliffs, stacks, sea caves, natural arches, waterfalls and fabulous marine and bird life, provides the visitor with wonderful and varied walking and exploring opportunities.
As well as all the wonderful views to be seen and walks to be walked, here are just a few other places of interest worth visiting in this particular area of Skye:-
The Skye Museum of Highland Life - Kilmuir
Staffin Museum - Staffin
The Pottery - Uig
Skyelight candles - Staffin
Whitewave Outdoor Centre - Kilmuir
Trotternish Artist Studio and Gallery - Kilmaluag, Nr Duntulm
Elishadder Art Cafe - Elishadder
See the following website for a listing of all the arts and crafts galleries on Skye www.slaca.co.uk
Portree is the main town centre of the island, lying approximately 45 minutes away from Balmacquien. It’s one of the most attractive fishing ports in northwest Scotland, its deep, cliff-edged harbour filled with colourful fishing boats and circled by multicoloured restaurants and guesthouses. As well as a vast array of cafes, hotels, restaurants, craft shops and banks, Portree has two large supermarkets for all your shopping requirements. The Aros Centre is a popular arts centre in Portree with a cinema, theatre and restaurant.
The Portree Tourist Information Centre is certainly worth a visit too.
And finally, as well as all the arts and crafts, here’s a small selection of other places of interest that you may wish to visit during your stay on this beautiful island:
Skye Riding Centre - Clachamish, by Portree
Portree Riding Stables - Peiness
Isle of Skye Golf Club - Sconser
Talisker Distillery - Carbost