If you’re clever enough and keep your eyes open, you might just stumble upon a fairy in one of these magical places.
The Isle of Skye is a place that seemingly could only be something out of a dream. Flanked by rolling green hills with peaking cliffsides, waterfalls that seem to appear out of nowhere and cascade into the gentlest of brooks, and pools of crystal-clear water that shimmer like liquid diamonds fill this land. In between each stone bridge, castle, and knoll, it’s said that one creature flutters among the fields: fairies.
The magic of this coastline only needs to be felt by opening one’s eyes or, perhaps, closing them and taking a deep breath in. Its mystical beauty is said to as easily felt as it is seen and heard, with each part of the Isle seeming just as intriguing and mysterious as the last. It’s not any stretch of the imagination to believe that fairies and maybe even some other mythical creatures could be galavanting when human eyes are turned away, flying around waterfalls when no one is looking, or sliding down grassy ridgelines as soon as a person walks away. This truly breathtaking landscape is nothing short of extraordinary as are the Scottish legends that go with it.
It seems only appropriate to start with the geological features that share the same name as the fairies that are said to inhabit it. Nicknamed fairy pools, these large ponds of water are found at the base of any waterfall throughout the Isle of Skye, and they’re often a destination for those who choose to set off in search of a good hike.
Their crystalline waters and seeming magical aura come from the way these pools emit hues of various green and blue from underneath the surface. It’s said that another mythical creature, selkies, were attracted to these fairy pools and would transform into their human form at night to bathe in the light of the full moon.
The Fairy Bridge
It’s also said that the chief of the old Clan MacLeod once married a fairy princess, which was the reason for so many locations bearing the name ‘fairy’ in the title. One of which, the Fairy Bridge, is located not more than three miles from Dunvegan Castle. This site, while magical, is a bit tragic, as it’s said to be the last location where the Chief of Clan MacLeod had been with his fairy wife before leaving to return to Fairyland.
It’s here that the fairy flag is said to have come from, according to the fairy room, which is actually on display in Dunvegan Castle. It’s also said that the flag had the ability to ‘relieve him of danger and distress’ when it was waved.
The Fairy Knoll
For those wanting to seek a true meeting spot of fairies, it’s said that the Fairy Knoll is the place to do so. Be wary of this land, though – it’s also said that the fairies have very powerful abilities that can even manipulate time and space. One legend tells of a fiddler who sat down to play for a fairy party one night and by the time he awoke in the morning, 100 years had passed in the span of that same night.
The legend is so ingrained in the local culture that it’s said if you get close enough, a fiddle can often be heard in the distance. The Knoll itself is fairly challenging to reach, however, as it’s covered with dense overgrowth and vegetation, making it somewhat obscured.
The Fairy Glen
Similar to the Fairy Knoll, the Fairy Glen is yet another grassy area that’s said to be familiar to the fairies of the Isle of Skye. This vast green land is the epitome of rolling hills and has unique features that make it easily recognizable.
It’s truly a peaceful spot and one that has become a popular destination for picnics and general relaxation to take in the sights and sounds of the valley. This is also the home of Castle Ewen, which has become another popular landmark in the Fairy Glen as it’s an easily recognizable rock tower that’s commonly climbed by visitors.
This expansive field is full of fun things to discover and natural features to explore. It can be found along the Trotternish Ridge and is easily recognized thanks to all of the pinnacles, peaks, and small plateaus that dot its landscape.
While there’s no specific legend that took place here, it is said that each of these places – even its hidden valleys – are all potential meeting places for the fairies that dwell on the Isle of Skye.
BY KATIE MACHADO