Julie Scotland 21 Comments

The Fairy Glen is a lesser-known attraction on the Isle of Skye. It’s also one of the cutest places on the island to explore.

The Fairy Glen was the first place we visited on the Isle of Skye. Located on the Trotternish Peninsula, it is easy to combine the Fairy Glen with a visit to The Quiraing, Kilt Rock, and the Old Man of Storr. Many people skip this place, but we loved it here.

We arrived at 9:30 in the morning, and for just a little bit, we had the lovely little Fairy Glen all to ourselves. Pure magic!

Fairy Glen Isle of Skye

While Tim and Tyler fired up the drone for its first international flight, Kara and I went off exploring.

The Fairy Glen is small. It’s just a short walk along the path up the hill. Along the way, you will walk through the coolest grove of crooked, gnarly trees covered in moss. It looked just like a place you would expect to find fairies.

Fairy Glen Trees

Hiking Fairy Glen Scotland


From the top of the hill, we had a great view over the area.

View from Fairy Glen

Kara Rivenbark

Kara and I climbed up the rocky prominence, named Castle Ewen. From this high spot we had an awesome view (and a chance to wave hello to our drone).

Fairy Glen in Scotland

Hiking Fairy Glen Isle of Skye

Julie Rivenbark Isle of Skye

Why aren’t there more people here? This place is wonderful!!

As soon as I had that thought, a small tour bus pulled up. And then a car. And a bit later, a second car. Our solitude ended, but at least we had the chance to have this place to ourselves, just for a little bit.

The Fairy Glen by Drone:

Tyler gets the credit for this video. He is our drone pilot and video editor. 

Getting to the Fairy Glen

The Fairy Glen is located on the Trotternish Peninsula of the Isle of Skye. The closest town is Uig, a tiny coastal town on the western coast of the peninsula.

Fairy Glen Map

From Portree, take A87 north towards Uig. Just before the Uig Hotel, turn right onto the small single track road. There will be a road sign here to Sheader and Balnaknock.

Follow this road for 1.5 miles (2.4 km). The Fairy Glen, with its odd, mystical peaks will come into view. There are a several small turnoffs here to park your car.

Driving to the Fairy Glen

Helpful Tips on Visiting the Fairy Glen

Allow about one hour for your visit.

Get here early if you want the best chance to have the Fairy Glen all to yourself. We started here first and then went clockwise around the Trotternish Peninsula, heading next to the Quiraing.

Visiting the Fairy Glen is free.

This is a great place to visit for people of all ages and abilities. It’s a great place to let kids explore…hiking trails, sheep, the chance to see a fairy…what kid wouldn’t love this?

About Our Visit: We visited the Isle of Skye and Scotland in July 2016.

More Information about Scotland

PLACES TO GO IN SCOTLAND: Edinburgh and Glasgow are two wonderful cities to add to your Scotland itinerary. Spend a few days on the Isle of Skye, visit Glencoe, hike the Kintail Saddle, and visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.

SCOTLAND WITH KIDS: If you have plans to visit Scotland with kids, don’t miss our article Best Things to Do in Edinburgh with Kids. Kids will also love exploring the Isle of Skye, hiking to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, and exploring the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye.

SCOTLAND ITINERARY: With 10 days in Scotland, visit the highlights, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, and Glencoe.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our 10 Days in Europe itinerary guide, which has 10 great itineraries for your next trip to Europe.


Planning a trip to Scotland? Read all of our articles in our Scotland Travel Guide.


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Comments 21

  1. Avatar for Ever Imree
    Ever Imree

    Excellent post! The fairy glen of the Isle of Skye looks spell-binding. I’ve seen a few other places that are as beautiful as the Fairy Glen. However, I & my wife decided on applying for a German visa so that we can explore popular places like Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich & Medieval Rothenburg Germany. We are already halfway done with our itinerary preparation. But we are hoping that we get our travel documents as soon as possible so that we can plan the rest of our trip to Germany.

  2. Avatar for MJ

    This has got to be my favorite place in the Highlands. What a beautiful place! If you do end up going please don’t remove stones from the glen.

  3. Avatar for William Sinclair
    William Sinclair

    Planning the trip. We leave NYC in the middle of September, fly to Glasgow and a rental car to Mallaig for the ferry to Armadale unless someone can tell us a better way. Still mapping out an itinerary for when we get there and will welcome any and all suggestions.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
    2. Avatar for Tanya

      If you are looking for a GREAT car hire for your visit, we used Fort William car hire. It was very hard to find a car hire, so book early, FYI
      Seumas Gall
      Tel (01397) 530 235
      The nicest most accommodating car hire I have ever used. GREAT SERVICE , new vehicles, extremely reasonable prices!
      Tell him Tanya (Canada) said hi!

  4. Avatar for Stephanie

    Your blog post made my heart smile when I read this. We hiked Fairy Glen back in 2007 when my kiddos were 5 and 7 years old. It is truly a magical place and my daughter swore she saw some faeries near the pool of water. Love the video by your son…..never realized there were spirals in the landscape when visited back then.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      This is a magical place to take kids…maybe your daughter really did see faeries. 🙂 This would be the best spot on Skye! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Mirnia

    Hi, we’re thinking of getting married somewhere in the Isle of Sky, and I’m researching places where the ceremony could take place. We have family members joining us with limited mobility, any recommendations? You mention that the walk here is fairly easy, how long of a walk is it from where you park?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      The Fairy Glen is a magical place, however, parking is extremely limited. Unless things have changed, there was only enough parking for a handful of cars. You park right next to the Fairy Glen and then walk uphill to the glen. I don’t think that the Fairy Glen will be a great option, unless it’s just going to be a few people at the ceremony. Neist Point might be a good option. There’s lots of parking and it’s a short, easy walk to the viewpoint over the peninsula. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Elaine Maddex
    Elaine Maddex

    What a wonderful family adventure you are on!! We were in Scotland, England and Ireland a few years ago and I made it to Findhorn, Scotland but missed the Fairy Glen, unfortunately!! Thank you so much for sharing…..how lovely. If I ever make it over there again it will surely be on my list!! Slainte!!! Elaine

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  7. Avatar for Alicia

    What a great post. I’m planning my trip to Scotland. 7 days in campervan. I want to use a drone as well. What drone was used for the video?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We use the DJI Phantom 4 drone. It’s a good idea to check the drone rules for Scotland before you go. They didn’t allow us to fly the drone around the castles. – Julie

  8. Avatar for Jeremy

    Your photographs are amazing! Did you bring/use a tripod with you on your hikes? I never see you carrying one in your photos. Seems like the overcast low light conditions would make one necessary. We are planning our trip to Scotland for May and your website information has been invaluable. Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Sometimes we carry a tripod but it depends on the hike. I did not use a tripod in the Fairy Glen or in most of the hikes we did in Scotland. The only place in Scotland was the Kintail Saddle but that was to take a family photo. We use a MeFoto tripod, a lightweight, small tripod that works great and isn’t too heavy. Check out our photography gear post to learn more. Enjoy Scotland!! Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Alison

        Thanks for sharing your photography gear information. I love all of your photos.

        I have a question. Do you often find a need to switch lenses midway for a destination like the Fairy Glens? I typically lean on my 10-18mm for travel, but trying to assess how pragmatic would it be to also carry (and use) a second lens.

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          Yes, there are a lot of instances where I am switching back and forth between lenses, and it can be a big hassle. For some destinations, if I know that I will need both lenses, I bring two camera bodies. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Aurore
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  10. Avatar for Carol

    hi there..l visited the Fairy Glen back in late May this year..unfortunately it was drizzling that day, plus we were heading back to Kyleakin to park for the night after coming back from Isle of Harris on afternoon ferry..so alas did not have the time to dedicate to it as l would have liked..l did climb one hill but did not get to see the stone squiggles that you showed in your footage..l am so disappointed in myself now, so l will just have to do it again l think..

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Carol. It’s a shame you missed seeing those rock circles, but the Isle of Skye is a great place to visit again. It’s been a year since we were there and we are all dreaming of going back someday. Cheers, Julie

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