Nestled in the middle of farmland and down a bumpy single track road lies Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye. Fairy Glen pops out at you immediately with its otherworldly, lush green knolls with indentations that make them look like upside down beehives and small ponds sprinkled maze-like throughout the area.
Fairy Glen: Folklore or Fact?
Today, fairies are the creatures of Disney stories, fluttering about and helping others in their quests. Once upon a time, however, they weren’t so friendly—in fact, they were feared. Scotland has a long history with fairies dating back centuries. Living in a middle universe, fairies were known for their malice and their ability to cast evil spells on those who upset them. Digging in fairy hills was forbidden and people lived their lives in fear of offending them.
While there’s no actual folklore linking Fairy Glen to fairies, it has been said that fairies created this landscape and dwell in the hiding spaces of its unique landscape. In reality, it was formed by an ancient landslide and shaped by glaciers over thousands of years. It was given the name Fairy Glen to explain its unusual landscape.
Jutting up from the small hills stands what looks like a ruin but is really a basalt rock formation. Funnily enough, it has a name—Castle Ewan—and you can climb to the top of it if you’re not afraid of heights!
Walking around, you do feel a little bit of the supernatural—perhaps fairies do live there, ready to unleash their bad energy on ill-tempered visitors and reward those who come with good energy. Its surreal landscape almost necessitates the presence of the supernatural.
Getting to Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen was our first stop on the Isle of Skye after Portree and it was the perfect first stop of the day!
Heading north on the A87 from Portree, you’ll turn right at a single track road in Uig pointing to Sheader and Balnaknock. Continue on the single track road (carefully, as cars will come at you the other way and there are few passing spaces) for about a mile until you spot Fairy Glen on the left side of the road.
There will be a few parking spaces in a small parking area that fits no more than eight cars. If there are no spaces, drive to Uig and park and walk from there. However, if you arrive at Fairy Glen early in the day you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot to park at Fairy Glen itself.
Know before you go
Please leave Fairy Glen as you found it. Don’t create stone circles or mazes as some tour groups have been wont to do and don’t take anything with you or leave anything behind.
There are no specific paths to take around the Fairy Glen. Meander around the hills and ponds in whatever way you want. If you’re not afraid of heights, climb up a couple of the hills or take a stab at climbing up Castle Ewan, which, according to my mom and brother, was super easy but to me and my dad was too scary to climb!
Expect to spend about an hour at Fairy Glen but if the landscape draws you in, you can spend even more time wandering around.