During our recent trip to the Skye & Lochalsh region, my parents and I decided we would visit the village of Glenelg and the Pictish Brochs. In order to get there, we had to drive over a very high, very windy and very narrow road. You can get onto this road from close by the village of Shiel Bridge on the A87, it is signposted for Glenelg.
We took the turn off and very soon the road started climbing through thick pine forest. At this point there wasn’t a great deal to see, but once we got about halfway to the top, we stopped at a viewpoint on the right hand side where we had a great view of Loch Duich and the village of Shiel Bridge. It was however rather chilly up high so we soon got back into the car and carried on!
A little further on there was another viewpoint, but we didn’t stop at this on the way to Glenelg. Before too long we were over the crest of the hill and descending into Glenelg. The first stretch of the road which was snaking down the side of the glen was encased in pine forest, but it soon opened out.
The road at this point was very narrow, single track only with passing places. As we looked down into Glenelg we could see a caravan site on the bottom of the glen. My parents are keen caravanners, and my dad is very experienced when it comes to towing, but both of them balked somewhat at the thought of taking a caravan down that road!
The view from the road descending into the glen was beautiful. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but the patchwork of fields spread out below was a lovely, peaceful view. It was however a little nerve-wracking peering out of the car window with a steep drop down the side of the glen to the bottom!
As we got further down the road towards the village of Glenelg, we noticed large static caravans. In all seriousness, how those things got there I do not know.
We reached the village of Glenelg, and had a potter around there, went to visit the brochs and went to the harbour where the ferry to Skye goes from. After that, we turned and head back along the road we had come on.
Oddly, the return journey seemed to take less time than the way there. I admired the same views of Glenelg, but the stand out point of the return journey, and of the whole drive, was stopping at the viewpoint that we had ignored on the way over the hill.
This viewpoint had a small car park on one side of the road, and a bench and viewing sign on the other. My dad and I left my mum in the car (it was too cold for her!) and we crossed the road to the viewpoint itself. There we were greeted by an absolutely astounding view, which I could have stared at all day – the mountains known as the Five Sisters of Kintail spread out in a row above Loch Duich and the village of Glen Shiel. The sign helpfully showed silhouettes of each peak and named them for us, although my dad being a keen walker we didn’t actually need that. The view was simply stunning, and even though the weather was dull the mountains looked absolutely beautiful. As it was cold however we couldn’t stand there all day!
The road to Glenelg really was a great surprise – it’s not just a means to an end, it’s worth driving for itself. And it is certainly worth driving for that view of the Five Sisters – that view was one of the highlights of my holiday, never mind just a highlight of the day.