May 17, we woke up to breakfast made to order at Shalimar B&B and contemplated what to do for the day. When staying in Mallaig, it’s popular to take a ferry to the neighbouring islands, including the Isle of Skye, Eigg, Muck or Rum. The last three being smaller with tiny populations of 30 people or so, and their main attraction being scenic landscapes and wildlife. We opted for a visit to the Isle of Skye, intrigued by Armadale castle ruins and its 40 acres of gardens.
The Ferry from Mallaig to Armadale (www.calmak.co.uk) takes 30 minutes and has some stunning views of the surrounding isles. To note, it gets really windy when standing on the outside deck so dress warm, or you can opt to sit inside but what’s the fun in that?!
After arriving in Armadale we walked along the footpath to Armadale Castle ruins, which took about 10 minutes. There’s a small admission fee, after which you enter the castle grounds and are surrounded by beautiful gardens and smells; all the flowers created this overall aroma that reminded us of vanilla biscotti!
We continued our stroll to the castle ruins, set on the waterfront, with just the outside structure remaining and then made our way to more gardens, where we spotted 2 young peacocks.
You can also visit a small museum which covers Scottish history very nicely.
Then it was time for the 2 hour circle walk up the hill to enjoy some panoramic views of the isles, where there were grazing sheep and their lambs scattered throughout the fields. After a cloudy morning with scattered showers, we were very lucky to be treated to some sunshine for our hilltop visit!
We took the ferry back to Mallaig and after warming up with a cuppa by the fire in The Tea Room, set out for a five and a half hour train ride back to Glasgow.
For more information on planning your trip: Visit Scotland.
Jen’s highlight of the day: the hilltop walk, with the baa-ing sheep and views to die for.
Angela’s highlight of the day: the train ride – these Scottish highland views will surely be one of our favourite memories, not to be missed!
By: Angela Guezen
Photos by: Jen Crane