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Activities

Whether you want to be active or relaxed, stay put or go further afield, there is so much to do:

- relaxing: The house sits right on the shore of the Sound of Sleat so is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the ever-changing views, either out on the deck watching the birds and enjoying the stillness of the bay or inside savouring the warmth of the wood-burning stove, reading or painting and maybe listening to music.

- cooking and eating: If you don't feel like cooking the Eilean Iarmain hotel and Am Praban bar at Isle Ornsay are only a short walk away, otherwise the kitchen is well stocked with all the pans and utensils required for a keen cook to make the most of the local produce.

- walking and swimming: The bay and nearby beaches are perfect for gentle walks and in warmer weather the swimming is wonderful.

- bird-watching: the bay has plenty of oyster catchers, herons and other sea birds which you can watch from the house.  Further afield you can see buzzards, Golden Eagles, and if you're lucky Sea Eagles.

- sea kayaking: the bay is totally sheltered which is ideal for kayaking, whether as a beginner or more experienced sea kayaker.  Tuition is available locally from Skyak Adventures (see links).

Should you wish to be more active the house is an ideal base for many activities, including:

- nature spotting: if you are very lucky you might see an otter in the bay, otherwise try the Rubha Phoil Forest trail near Armadale or visit the Bright Water Visitor Centre in Kyleakin, where you can learn more about the life of Gavin Maxwell, the naturalist and author of Ring of Bright Water.  Porpoises can occasionally be spotted in the Sound if you use binoculars or you can take a boat trip from nearby Armadale or further away at Kyle, Plockton or Elgol for seal and whale watching: between mid-June and the end of September is your best chance to see seals, porpoise, humpbacks, minkes, basking sharks, bottlenose dolphins and even killer whales.

- walking and climbing: you can start with a wander round the bay or the short walk to Isle Ornsay, or within 15 minutes drive are numerous walks on the Sleat Peninsula.  Further afield are stunning walks on the Quirang, in the famous Cuillins or beside the sea, notable for its interesting geology

- Deer stalking, shooting and fishing which can be organised through the Estate Office next to the Isle Ornsay hotel

- Outdoor swimming: the bay is perfect for a late summer swim or try the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle, in the heart of the Cuillin range

- sightseeing. The history and culture of Skye can be experienced in numerous places, including the Clan Donald Centre in nearby Armadale which has a small museum and comprehensive library, the Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Scotland's Gaelic college which is 10 minutes drive to the South or one of Skye's many museums, including the Museum of Island Life which has seven thatched cottages, recreating life on the island as it was in former times. Interesting castles to visit include Dunvegan, seat of the MacLeods for nearly 800 years, which is the oldest inhabited castle in the UK and is open to visitors all year round, Eilean Donan, just south of Kyle and numerous ruined castles, including the picturesque Dunsgaith Castle 20 minutes away in Tokavaig.

- enjoying the food and drink.  Our local bar and restaurant at the Eilean Donan hotel in Isle Ornsay is a mere 10 minutes walk away or for the true gourmet try Clare MacDonald's restaurant at Kinloch Loch, just 10 minutes drive away.  The famous Three Chimneys restaurant is a long drive but worth the trip for its stunning food.  Or jump on a boat to the Old Forge at Inverie on Knoydart, the remotest pub on the British mainland, which serves fantastic fresh food at reasonable prices. Talisker is the island's only single malt distillery. For beer drinkers, there's the award winning range from the Isle of Skye Brewing Company, including Red and Black Cuillin and Blaven.

- Shopping. Skye has a wealth of interesting things to buy, especially arts and crafts, including wood engravings from the Raven Press gallery in Colbost, stunning photographs from the Three Herons Studio on Broadford, knitwear from the famous Ragamuffin in Armadale and fantastic soaps from Skye Soaps in Portree.

The local pub and restaurant
The local pub and restaurant
The famous Three Chimneys Restaurant
The famous Three Chimneys Restaurant
It's a long drive, past Dunvegan, but the food is worth it!
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