Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye

Loch Slapin on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, is an exquisite place to escape from it all. We suggest exploring the coastline around dusk to be able to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of this area of the Island.

Bla Bheinn and Clach Glas mountains on the opposite side of Loch Slapin

Loch Slapin, an ideal retreat

The sun slipping behind the mountains, across from Loch Slapin

This lovely view is just a short drive from the ruins of Cill Chriosd, on the road from Broadford village to Elgol.

Cill Chriosd (Christ’s Church or “Kilchrist”), Isle of Skye

Cill Chriosd or Kilchrist meaning Christ’s Church is a ruined pre-Reformation parish church of Strathaird, Isle of Skye, Scotland. The first written record of the church located at this site is from 1505 when Kenneth Adamson succeeded John MacGillivray as chaplain. The parish was used by the community until 1840 when a new building was established in the near-by town of Broadford.

The path leading up to Cill Chriosd

These ruins are so very quiet and calm, the only noise that one will hear is the bahs of lambs calling to their moms.

The ruins are located next to a single-track road, surrounded by the omnipresent sheep.

To enter the ruins, one passes through a small iron gate that is often left open, as can be seen by the neatly trimmed grass, a hallmark of the free-range sheep of the area.

Iron gate leading to the ruins of Cill Chriosd

Here you can see the meticulously maintained grass, thanks to the sheep

Sheep are not the only visitors to the ruins, this bird watched us while we explored the grounds

Bird taking flight from the ruins

We loved the way this tree has become part of the ruins

Looking towards the burial enclosure

East end of Cill Chriosd,showing the burial enclosure

The burial enclosure of the parish looking toward Beinn na Caillich (Red Hills)

Looking through the entrance to the burial enclosure up to Beinn na Caillich

The Red Hills and the sheep add a comforting and strangely desolate feeling to these ruins.

Cill Chriosd, solemn and serene

This little lamb was perfectly at home in the shadows of the ruins of Cill Chriosd

Cill Chriosd is an understated attraction, the only reason that we stumbled upon it was because we were staying just a few minutes up the road from it at Swordale House, a delightful bed and breakfast that I would recommend to anyone staying on the Isle of Skye.

This picture was taken from just outside the ruins, the building in the distance is Swordale House

While Cill Chriosd does not offer the most spectacular of ruins, it is an impressive monument to hundreds of years of religious island life. You will not have to fight the crowds to explore this wonderful site, so be sure to stop by.

Cill Chriosd is about two miles from Broadford village on the B8083 road to Elgol.

Neist Point, Isle of Skye

Neist Point is one of the many wonderful places to visit on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Many travel to Neist Point to view the lighthouse, but I suggest that the best part of this trip was absorbing the beauty of the region.

Neist Point Lighthouse perched a top the cliff

When standing on the cliffs looking out over the ocean I was struck with the feeling of being at the edge of the world.

Panorama of Neist Point, click on this image (and all the overs) to enlarge

Perhaps, my favorite part of the Isle of Skye was the ever-present sheep that seemed able to navigate every type of terrain that the island had to offer. The tiny white specs in the grass are sheep.

Sheep, they go everywhere

The clouds on the grassy cliffs add another layer to this awesome landscape, also sheep

We were always surprised with how a short walk would reveal a new and beautiful perspective.

A new perspective grants new photographic opportunities

The enormity of the landscape is always a welcome surprise

The more subtle features of the area can be just as dramatic as the showy ones. On the drive to Neist Point you will pass Loch Mor, a lake that seems to float in the cradle of the surrounding hills.

Loch Mor, on the way to Neist Point

We always try to visit the more dramatic locations when the sun is rather low in the sky, the lighting is just more magical and grants the photographs some of that wonder that we experienced while taking the photographs.

A perfect end to a long day, at Neist Point

 

 

 

Travel Tip #6: Don’t get Locked in the Castle

Travel Tip #6: Advice from a Purple Hippo

It is important to be aware of closing times when visiting historic locations.

Exterior ruins of Huntly Castle situated in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

One can easily become enthralled to the point of distraction when visiting fascinating castles.

Arrow loop in Huntly Castle

While this is usualy a good thing, it can lead to disaster if one is not aware of the castle’s closing hour.

They are serious when they say closing time is at 5:30

When a castle closes they lock the two means of entrance and escape that the entire place has to offer.

This bright window may appear to be a way out, but the fall is much too long

You may see what appears to be an exit.

A glimmer of hope

But it never is, you will quickly learn that castles were built as defense structures, making exiting them quite difficult.

These iron bars were easy for me to slip through, but I could not leave my camera crew behind

Once you understand that there is no means of escape, you must phone the local police and inform them that you seem to have gotten yourself locked in the castle and could they please come let you out. When phoning the police it is also helpful to know the name of your prison, which is why Travel Tip #5 is so important.

Waiting, sheepishly

Once you have phoned the police, wait about an hour until they send someone to extract you.

Travel Tip #5: Remembering Where you Are and Were

Travel Tip #5: Advice from a Purple Hippo

After a while, all those castles and gardens are going to start looking the same.

By the time you get home you may have a great deal of trouble identifying where you were when you took a specific picture.

Huntly Castle situated in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

To minimize this unfortunate occurrence, try taking pictures of signs and markers when you arrive somewhere new. This way you will have an information starting point when you are going back over your photos.

Close-ups of the signs will help with readability

This travel tip can also help if you get lost or stranded somewhere, see Travel Tip #6.

Burrower’s Photography Tips

A few tips to help you perfect your travel photography.

First, set up your tripod.

Second, attach camera to tripod.

Third, assume the position.

Fourth, wait for the decisive moment!

Fulmar peering

Fulmar soaring

Fulmar above the rocks at Troup Head

Herring gull soaring in the blue sky

Herring gull carrying lunch home

Razorbills and Guillemots at rest and in flight

Gannet in flight, note the awesome light blue bill

Soaring gannets

Gannet with a snack

Gannets taking off from cliffs at Troup Head

Gannet seeking

Gannets, the spotted one at the top is not yet an adult

Gannets, they are watching you

Unidentified Soaring Bird (USB)

This little stoat was running about the cliffs

Cliffs of Troup Head

Gannets in a circular pattern at Troup Head

I was also able to see two puffins, but they were both very grumpy and did not wish to be photographed.

These photos were taken at RSPB Troup Head nature reserve in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. For more information about the reserve and the birds that they protect go to RSPB Troup Head.