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Our guide to Portree
Portree is an historic town, its name thought by many to be derived from the Gaelic Port Righ or King’s Harbour, following the 16th century visit of King James V. As the name would suggest, the highlight of Portree is the historic port itself; edged by steep cliffs, bustling with fishing boats and lined by pastel coloured B&Bs and fishing cottages, Portree harbour is widely recognized as one of the most picturesque in Scotland.
On one side of the harbour you’ll find The Lump, a rocky peninsula crowned by an old stone folly whilst in the distance across the still waters are the snow-capped heights of the famous Cuillin Mountain range, Skye’s tallest peaks. The harbour offers an ideal spot for romantic evening strolls, enjoying the freshest of seafood in one of traditional restaurants or taking a boat-trip out on to the waters yourself in search of the rich sea and birdlife which surround the island and her coastlines.
Despite being no more than a small town, Portree stands as the capital of Skye and the commercial centre for the island and is where you’ll find Skye’s small collection of shops and services. Most of these, along with a number of bustling pubs are gathered around the charming 18th century Somerled Square which lies at the heart of the town. The square is Portree’s focal point and is alive with a hubub of activity throughout the Summer months.
Due to its geographical location roughly in the centre of the Island from North to South, Portree provides an ideal base for those looking to explore the Isle of Skye and its wealth of attractions. To the north of the town you’ll find the Trotternish Peninsula home to a number of interesting rock formations including the “Old Man of Storr” and “Kilt Rock” whilst walkers will want to explore the paths winding along the sides of the Cuillin Mountains. Cultural sites not to be missed include the Museum of Island Life which details the island’s crofting traditions, the famous Talisker Distillery and Dunvegan Castle and Garden, historic home of the Macleod Clan.
Offering a quaint slice of Scottish island-life and an ideal hub for exploring, Portree is a natural destination for anyone visiting the unmissable Isle of Skye on their tour of the Scotland and her most renowned island.
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