Bonny B&B Rental on Isle of Skye, Scotland
Dalriada B&B - Photo by owner, Sally Ross
There are many reasons why travelers often gravitate towards vacation rentals by owner, and the Dalriada Guest House on Isle of Skye, Scotland reminded me of these reasons once again. It always feels like you’re coming home.
The owners, Robin and Sally, purchased Dalriada 2 years ago and clearly take great pride and care in looking after this new venture together. All of the rooms have been completely refurbished, and they are currently spicing up the external fabric of the guest house. There is a large garden on the property where you can take in the views of the surrounding Cuillin mountain range.
Breakfast Common Area - Photo by Julie Stevens
Robin and Sally provide the most delicious assortment for the continental breakfast, which is included with your stay. My husband and I looked forward to sitting in the common dining area every morning, sharing stories with fellow guests, and seeing Robin and Sally’s smiling faces. The fresh eggs come from their own chickens, and these lovely ladies enjoy a nice helping of blueberries, which Sally gave me to feed them out back. Their names are as delightful as the eggs they provide, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. They even have a frisky resident cat, Stanley.
Stanley - Photo by Julie Stevens
Robin and Sally are both lovers of art and music, each playing their own instruments, and Robin is quite the handyman and craftsman, and you can see his ceramic tile and woodworking skills around the guest house.
They are both extremely knowledgeable about the area, keeping us well-informed about the attractions of Skye, and even the little hidden gems that tourists sometimes miss. After returning from our daily adventures, Robin and Sally would often be out in the garden as if waiting for their guests to arrive to ask about their day.
Sally greeted us at the door with a warm smile and showed us to our room on the first floor. There we found everything needed for a cheerful, relaxing stay. There were fresh white towels folded on the bed with lovely toiletries, a cozy double bed with fluffy pillows, a coffee/tea pot with an assortment of flavors, caramel sweets and slices of homemade banana bread with strawberry jam. We would soon discover that Sally is also an amazing baker, as the next night we found fresh raspberry muffins outside our door. After a day of adventure and exploring, it was the perfect treat to come home to.
Cozy Fireplace - Photo by Julie Stevens
The common area, which is also where breakfast is served from 8:00am – 9:00am each morning, also houses a lovely wood-burning stove, surrounded by brick and an extraordinary wood mantel. There are charming little details around the house, like the soft leather couches, artwork on the walls, and the special touches that remind you you’re in Scotland. They even play Scottish music over breakfast to get your day started off right.
There are five rooms in total, four on the main level and one that has its own outside entrance to the upstairs. Every evening provided a quiet, tranquil night’s sleep, just what the doctor ordered. I’ve been traveling for many years, through different countries, cities and villages and have stayed in every accommodation imaginable, and it always comes down to how comfy the bed is. Am I right?
Upstairs Guest Room - Photo by owner, Sally Ross
Location and Nearby Attractions
Situated just 1.5 miles outside of Portree, the capital of Skye, it’s set in the perfect location for dining out, shopping and sightseeing in this delightful harbor town. The island is a hiker’s paradise and you’ll never run out of places to explore. The famous Fairy Pools make for a beautiful day trip, and a hike that can be enjoyed by most skill levels. It’s about a 20-minute trek to the first pool, with several more pools and waterfalls as you make your way up the trail. The entire hike takes about 40-minutes overall. There are some river crossings and loose gravel, so just use caution. These pools attract visitors from all over the world, so an early arrival is recommended. It’s great for a swim in the wild, if you’re brave enough to take this very chilly plunge. Otherwise, it makes for some outstanding photographs.
Fairy Pools - Photo by Julie Stevens
The Old Man of Storr is also a must see. Even through the early morning fog, we took in some spectacular sights. It’s an incredible contrast of steep, rocky hills surrounded by gentle, grassy slopes. Ancient landslides created one of the most scenic landscapes in the world, and certainly one of the most photographed. The hike is definitely a leg burner, as it’s mostly uphill, and worth every step. The panoramic views of the countryside, sea and Storr Lochs makes this a breathtaking journey, in more ways than one. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete, and there are plenty of fish and chip shops to satisfy your much earned hunger.
View from Old Man of Storr - Photo by Julie Stevens
Hiking Old Man of Storr - Photo by Clyde Stevens
Another spectacular attraction is the lighthouse at Neist Point. It’s nestled in the rugged cliffs along the northwest tip of Skye, and offers excellent views over Moonen Bay, Waterstein Head and out over the strait to the Western Isles. The point is regarded as the best place on Skye to see dolphins, porpoises, whales and plenty of seabirds.
Neist Point Lighthouse - Photo by Julie Stevens
Neist Point - Photo by Julie Stevens
If Highland Cows are on your bucket list, as they were on mine, then Skye will not disappoint. There are a few locations where hairy Heilan’ Coos, as the Scots call them, are sure to be seen roaming. We discovered a wonderful field just a few miles up the road from Dalriada and captured the most enduring pictures of these gentle giants. I told my husband that I would not be leaving Scotland without seeing these furry creatures with the amazing bangs. Thankfully, he made it happen.
Highland Cow - Photo by Julie Stevens
You will never find a shortage of things to do and see on the island and having a welcoming home-away-from-home like Dalriada Guest House will only enhance your visit to Scotland. Vacation rentals offer the experience of personal touches, connection with the hosts and other guests and the feeling of familiarity and ease. This is what keeps us coming back for more, and with hosts like Robin and Sally, we don’t see that changing any time soon.
Link to Dalriada on airbnb.co.uk
Link to my published article on Travel by Vacation Rental