wedding planning tips

How to Elope in the Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye has blown up on travel blogs and Pinterest in the last few years, so it’s no surprise that people are looking to elope in the Isle of Skye. It has become super popular for its majestic landscapes and scenery. Amazing waterfalls, its proximity to the sea, white sand beaches, incredible mountains, and landscapes that never end are just some of the majestic scenery you can explore. It also helps that Scotland is filled with distilleries and the best whiskey in the world if that’s your thing. Located in the highlands of Scotland and about a 6-hour drive from Edinburgh or 4 hours from Inverness, you can drive across the entire island in under 2 hours and find every type of landscape your outdoorsy heart loves. It’s the perfect place to elope if you love moody tones, epic landscapes, and the privacy of a remote location that still has some of the best restaurants and bars in all of the United Kingdom! Use this guide on how to elope in the Isle of Skye for the best places to stay, eat, and explore!

The Best Time of Year to Elope

It’s common knowledge that the United Kingdom has a fairly rainy climate, to put it mildly. Summer is your best chance of avoiding rain, but in my personal and professional opinion, avoiding crowds is worth it to get married in the shoulder season. The rain and moody clouds are a part of the magic of the landscape. When I’ve been to Scotland for work and for vacation, it’s rained every time, but never lasted more than an hour or two. If you’re an adventurous couple, I think the best months to elope in the Isle of Skye are May, August, or September!

Epic Locations to Elope in the Isle of Skye Scotland

#1 The Quiraing

The Quiraing is an amazing mountain range part of the Trotternish Ridge about 45 minutes from Portree. The very first time I went to the Isle of Skye, I was absolutely obsessed with the Quiraing every time I saw photos of this amazing place. The photos didn’t come close to capturing the incredibly lush green mountains and rock formations along the Quiraing. One of my favorite discoveries in the Isle of Skye has been a secret trail along the Quiraing we discovered just by luck by walking down a side trail near the parking lot. There is a small parking lot at the top of the Quiraing pass that has countless trails to meander. Not only do you have views of amazing mountains on the Quiraing, but you can also see the ocean and dotted lakes along the landscape!

#2 The Fairy Pools

The Fairy Pools are about a 30-minute drive from Portree on the West part of Isle of Skye. I’ll be honest, living in Idaho I’ve seen a lot of waterfalls so the Fairy Pools weren’t super high on my list right away, but after walking 40 minutes from the parking lot to the magical waterfalls and tiny pools that made up the Fairy Pools, I was so happy I was wrong. The Fairy Pools are absolutely mesmerizing and well worth the walk. With giant dark mountains surrounding the pools contrasted by the bright blue turquoise waters in the pools, the landscape is truly out of this world and so unique. On a cloudy day, the mood made the landscape feel more vibrant and it felt like it came to life!

#3 Old Man of Storr

Old Man of Storr is the most popular location to elope in the Isle of Skye and for tourists who love adventure. You can see the Old Man for MILES as you drive into Skye. It stands out in the landscape and these rocks are HUGE. However, because it’s the most popular place to visit in Skye, I recommend visiting at sunrise if you want to elope here or take portraits. The walk to Old Man of Storr is also extremely steep, and, in crummy weather, somewhat of an adventure because of the slippery walks. I recommend sturdy hiking boots with a good sole. The walk took us about an hour each way on a rainy day. It’s worth the walk, though, because, from the top, you can stand directly under Storr and see mountains and the ocean for miles!

#4 The Harry Potter Bridge

Another popular location in Skye! Most people don’t know that the real Harry Potter train is an operating and functioning train in the Highlands of Scotland. Harry Potter was filmed at the Glencoe Viaduct and for Harry Potter lovers who want to elope here, you can even walk along a short trail to get panoramic views of the train and viaduct. This is another popular tourist spot- but you can hike as much as you want to find a remote spot! You can also take the train from Fort William to Skye if riding on the actual Harry Potter Train is on your elopement wish list!

#5 Glencoe – The Three Sisters

Okay okay, so technically Glencoe isn’t quite the Isle of Skye. It’s on the way. But I feel like it belongs on this list because the famous Three Sisters mountain range is iconic for the Scottish Highlands and it’s on the way to Skye. So, if eloping in Skye is on your agenda, you could certainly make Glencoe one of your stops or the place you decide to elope while calling Skye home for your holiday. I love the Glencoe valley so much. In the fall, the entire valley seems to glow with vibrant hues of orange and it’s spectacular!

#6 Eileen Donan Castle

The Eileen Donan Castle is probably my favorite castle in the entire world. Located in the middle of a lake with a gorgeous bridge leading to the castle, you literally feel like you’re walking through time as you pass over the bridge. I’ve been to this castle on three separate trips and it never fails to make me emotional when I see it. This 13th-century castle has an important place in history as being one of the sites of the Jacobite revolution and to this day, you can still get married and tour this amazing castle. If you want to elope here, you can hire an officiant and rent the castle all to yourselves. They also host full weddings here as well!

#7 Neist Point

Emily and Chris skipped their elopement day dinner so we could fit one last adventure into their jam-packed elopement. Neist Point is a bit of a drive from Portree, but at sunset on a spring day, we were the only people here. We brought a bottle of wine and enjoyed the sunset with sweeping views of the ocean. These cliffs are so beautiful and, in my opinion, they might be more beautiful than the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. We had the best time enjoying a quiet evening soaking in the day!

#8 The Fairy Glen

The Fairy Glen is an often-overlooked location, but it’s a perfect spot to elope in the Isle of Skye. It’s on the way to Quiraing and, although it doesn’t have sweeping scenic views that go on endlessly, it feels like you’re walking through a fairy wonderland. You’re guaranteed not to run into as many tourists here and it’s one of my favorite spots on Skye for its privacy and out of this world unique experience.

Where to Stay in the Isle of Skye Scotland

#1 The Cowshed

The Cowshed Airbnb/hostel is one of my favorite places to stay in the entire world. I’ve stayed here every time I’ve been to Skye. Located in Uig about 20 minutes from Portree, the Cowshed is located on a mountain and overlooks the sea. They have adorable individual modern “pods” or cabins for your own privacy, but they also have the resources of a hostel with bunk rooms inside the main lodge. The manager, Jackie, is especially accommodating and helped us coordinate with our wedding party and vendors while we were there!

#2 Kinloch Lodge

If you’re seeking privacy or perhaps a getaway after eloping from all the tourists, the Kinloch Lodge is one of the most special hotels on Skye. Imagine complete serenity and peace with mountains, lakes, and sheep right outside your window. This lodge has a full restaurant and bar, plus hiking and fishing and recreation on-site. You never need to leave if you don’t want to leave to experience the best on Skye! The rooms are modern and updated as well.

#3 Cullin Hills Hotel

A more affordable but still luxury option in Skye, Cullin Hills Hotel has one of the best views of any hotel I’ve ever stayed in as well as one of the most epic bathtubs I’ve ever experienced. This is a great hotel for socializing and meeting other travelers. The rooms are modern and clean as well. Nearly every room has an epic view of the lake and mountains all around! The hotel is just outside Portree and in a central location to the Fairy Glen, Quiraing, and Old Man of Storr. You can also walk to the restaurants in town.

#4 The Flodigarry Hotel

This amazing castle/hotel is located right on the water with some of the best views on Skye! The Flodigarry Hotel is located near the epic Gilt Rock and the Quariang mountains, so if a Quiraing elopement is on your list of places to elope, staying at the Flodigarry would be the perfect location. With 21 rooms, a restaurant and bar, and amazing service, this 4-star hotel is one of the best rated in Skye.

#5 The Crofter’s House 1830s Cottage

My favorite thing about the Scotland landscape is noticing all the sweet traditional cottages and houses dotted along the landscape. When planning an Isle of Skye elopement, finding something modern enough to feel like you’re splurging on your honeymoon/wedding but also having the traditional feel of Scottish culture can be really difficult. A lot of Airbnbs lack modern amenities or a more modern interior. However, this adorable Crofter’s House 1830s Cottage is located only 5 miles from Portree and is nestled in the mountains away from the tourists/town. It has a clean, brightly lit interior with modern sleek lines perfect for getting ready photos, but the homeowners maintained the integrity of the 1830s stonework of the original architecture. It’s the best of both worlds!

#6 The Studio Architect Designed Isle of Skye

Another great place to stay is this Studio Architect Designed Isle of Skye Airbnb. It’s a super sleek cabin next to a couple of must-stops for food and drinks, like the Talisker Distillery! It’s also next to the Cullin Mountains with hikes everywhere.

#7 The Tinhouse

I am guilty of loving a good sleek modern designed cabin near some water and The Tinhouse is no exception. Here’s yet another option to add to your cabin tour of Skye!

#8 Isle of Skye Cottage

If you’re traveling with family or friends, this Isle of Skye Cottage would be an ideal Airbnb for parties up to 4 people with 2 bedrooms. This cottage is located right next to the Isle of Skye bridge connecting the mainland to Skye. It’s a convenient location for multiple days of exploring and they offer discounts for longer stays!

#9 Duisdale Hotel

The clawfoot tub in front of a giant window overlooking the forest at Duisdale Hotel sold me immediately. This sweet hotel offers wedding/elopement packages to make it even easier to elope in the Isle of Skye. Plus, it looks straight out of Outlander.

#10 Egroeg B&B

The Egroeg B&B is a darling bed and breakfast that has simple decor and is a great basic hotel if you’re passing through Stein or want to get up early to beat the tourists to Dunvegan Castle!

Where to Eat in the Isle of Skye Scotland

#1 The Three Chimneys

The Three Chimneys is THE restaurant in Skye! You need reservations, but this is one of the most famous restaurants in all of Scotland. It would make a perfect dinner after you elope in the Isle of Skye!

#2 Cafe Arriba

This is the perfect cafe for a coffee or a full breakfast. Cafe Arriba is a cozy restaurant on the second floor and has a quirky vibrant colorful space on the interior. The food is delicious and the vibe inside is super friendly!

#3 Dulse and Brose

If fancy food sounds great for a wedding night but you don’t want to make the trek all the way out to The Three Chimneys, Dulse and Brose is the place for you! This intimate restaurant also requires reservations but is conveniently in the center of Portree!

#4 Talisker Distillery

You can’t go to Skye without visiting the famous Talisker Distillery! They make their own scotch in house and have been open since 1830.

#5 The Merchant

I have ducked into this cozy bar multiple times. The Merchant is the perfect cozy pub to get a drink after hiking in Skye on a rainy day.

#6 Munros Bar

Munros Bar is an affordable pub and bar that has vegetarian options as well as vegan options! It’s the perfect Skye cozy pub for lunch to stop in during a busy day of sightseeing.

#7 Edinbane Inn

For traditional eats and traditional tunes, the Edinbane Inn is the place to go to try Haggis!

#8 The Red Brick Cafe

This cozy cafe has some of the top-rated coffee in Skye. The Red Brick Cafe has brunch and lunch options as well as solid espresso!

#9 The Red Roof

Located outside Portree, this restaurant literally has a red roof and is located on the edge of a sheep farm. The service at The Red Roof is highly reviewed and rated. If you want to feel like you’re dining in a Scottish home with fellow travelers and locals alike, this is a sweet restaurant not to miss!

#10 Pizza In the Skye

No food list is complete without some pizza. 😉 Pizza In the Skye has wood-fired pizza and is worth the stop in if you’re craving some pizza between all the haggis. A Margharetia pizza is only 5 euros so it’s a cheap eat here, too!

Ready to elope in the Isle of Skye? Learn how to choose a wedding photographer for your adventurous elopement!

Author maggiegracephotography

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