Isle of Skye Stories and Tips

Broadford

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

Broadford, the first bigger place on the Isle of Skye after driving off the bridge, is a long, sprawling settlement stretching for about a mile along A87. It's not a particularly lovely village, but it is the main service centre for the south of the island and it has been recently chosen by the Sunday Times as a one of the top places in Scotland to live in.

The views towards the mainland and up-island are lovely indeed, and the presence of the large Co-op supermarket, open seven days a week and till late, means that Broadford is indeed the place to stop for any provisions.

In addition to the Co-op, Broadford has a laundrette (at the back of the supermarket, on the petrol station side) as well as a hospital, several hostels (including rather nice Broadford Backpackers, on the same turnoff as the hospital), two garages for servicing and fixing your car; hotels, restaurants and a few gift shops. If you are after wool or knitwear, unique but on an expensive side, check out the Handspinner Having Fun at the old pier (well signposted).

Up the road, past the bridge,near the post office and the bank, is the Woodrising gallery of photography, where very pretty prints of lovely Skye landscapes can be bought (and there is free coffee, even for browsers).

If you are looking for a quick bite to eat, the Waterfront chippie is passable, but if the fast food van is open on the ''market square'' behind the co-op, have something from there, the burgers come from Strahtcarron butchers and are really good, and coffee is OK too.

Broadford is also a location for one of the few Skye rainy-weather attractions, namely the Serpentarium, a small but reasonably diverting for a short visit, reptile rescue centre which has snakes, lizards, frogs, tortoises, iguanas and the like, in addition to a case exhibiting illegally traded goods of reptilian origin. Snake handling sessions are on offer, and you can settle your nerves with a beverage in the next-door Watermill cafe. Serpentarium is closed on weekdays November to March.

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