Getting to Neist Point
Neist Point, on the Isle of Skye, is a craggy, rocky finger of land which pokes out in to the North Atlantic from west coast of the island. I love it, as you are surrounded by the sounds, taste and smell of the sea.
The view constantly changes and of course the weather decides everything. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the wildlife comes out to play. I have watched whales and basking sharks slowly exploring Moonen bay. But it’s the regulars that make it special, the sea birds soaring high above the cliff tops and the seals popping up to check you out.
Neist is a windy place by any standard, even the old light house at its tip, has to hold on tight as it clings to the ancient volcanic rock. The bricks and mortar should look out of place, after all, there is only rock and sea. Yet it doesn’t, it’s part of the story, it should be there. Even on a clam day as a wave crashes on to a rock you understand why it’s there. When I look towards the Outer Hebrides my connection to the land seems tenuous. My mind wanders with the waves and I am drawn to the sea that connects everything on earth...but enough of me rambling on.
The drive out to Neist Point Light is equally mesmerising. It is approximately 11 miles on mostly single-track road to Neist Point from the main car park in the Dunvegan village. It is worth noting that there are public toilets here and there are none at Neist point. You have been warned.
The road winds slowly along the shore of Loch Dunvegan with views on most days to the top of Macleod’s Tables. These little flat mountain tops are where a Scottish king and a clan chief once had their tea under the stars. It was a fine affair and the legend goes that Chief of the Macleod’s set a fine table with sumptuous treats and fine wine to upstage a Scottish king. Good to reflect: that powerful leaders today have stopped showing off to one another!
If the tide is low, there is a good chance that you will see seals lying on the rocks as you pass the “Three Chimney’s” restaurant. The road then climbs up from the loch-side, suddenly the views are spectacular! Loch Poolteil, Glendale and the Outer Hebrides all dance in to view.
Glendale is tucked away from the world and it is delightful. There is a wonderful village shop and Café Lephin is just the perfect place to stop for lunch or a coffee before reaching Neist Point. Neil and Corrie offer something to suit everyone’s taste and diet.
From Cafe Lephin it is only a short 15 minute drive to Neist Point. But not one that you want to rush. It is all single track with passing places and the road is steep in places. But the views are worth it. There is now ample parking close to the footpath that leads down to Neist Point. At the head of the trail there is a little take-away shop. Stop here for a coffee on a cold day or an ice cream on a hot day and best of all a wee blether with Jane or Sam any day.
Take care good care at Neist, the paths can be slippy and you are walking past sheer drops with no safety net!