Portree, Isle of Skye


6 – 13 June 2009

Those of us who live in Yorkshire and who visit the Yorkshire Dales with the marvellous three peaks, can only wonder at the sheer scale of the mountains of the Scottish highlands and islands. We have had a wonderful week of walking on the Isle Skye with a fair degree of drinking thrown in. The first walk (The Storr) involved 700 metres of ascent in just over 4 kilometres of walking, a real challenge but worth it for the views from the top. The remainder of the week consisted of lower-level walks both inland and along the coast.

So what about the drinking? We rented a cottage in Portree, the largest town on the island and its capital. There didn’t seem to be any pubs as such, instead some hotels had public bars. Our favourites, in order of preference, were the Pier Hotel, the Royal Lounge (part of the Royal Hotel that also hosted MacNab’s bar) and the Bosville Hotel. All three had live music a couple of nights of the week.

The bar in the Pier was very small and seemed to be mainly a drinking place for the local men, although as strangers we were made to feel very welcome. Worryingly, they didn’t have any draught real ale so my first pint was of Tennents Ember, a version of the old 80/- drink but only very average. I did then discover that the Pier sold a number of 500 ml bottles of real ale from the Isle of Skye, Orkney and Fyne breweries. And what beers they were! I drank the Black Cuillin and Hebridean Gold from Isle of Sky and Northern Light from Hebridean. The former was dark and full bodied while the other two were light and golden. All were excellent to drink.

The Royal Lounge served draught Red Cuillin (very nice) and NacNab’s (dark and not to my taste). The music was good though.

The Bosville Hotel served Black Cuillin on draught, which compared well to the bottled, and held the record for the most expensive pint and glass of dry white wine at £8.50!

Brewery Beer %
Isle of Skye MacNab`s 4.2
Isle of Skye Hebridean Gold 4.3
Isle of Skye Red Cuillin 4.2
Isle of Skye Black Cuillin 4.5

Footnote: I’ve really got into bottled real ale which is just a well as I won 12 pint bottles of Landlord in a raffle before we went on holiday!!

Attended by:- LA and JA