What is the Fairy Glen? (A brief history lesson!)
The Fairy Glen is a mystical area of Skye that produces rolling hills, beautiful lakes, and honestly, you’d half expect a leprechaun to walk out beside you…
The Fairy Glen is located next to the small town of Uig on the Isle of Skye, which is situated on the North East of the island.
When you head to the Fairy Glen from Uig, you won’t be expecting the landscape to change so differently, which is in part why this place is truly magical.
The landscape itself was formed via a landslip/landslide, and thanks to continual glacial movements the landscape was then shaped and smoothed out resulting in the beautiful Fairy Glen we have today.
Despite its name and the excitement around fairies, unfortunately, there are no actual tales or legend stories that link the Fairy Glen to actual fairies, and it’s thought that it got the name due to its unique landscape.
One of the most famous sites of the Fairy Glen is Castle Ewen, which isn’t actually a castle at all (or the remains of one), but due to its fortress-like appearance, it does look like it could have been a castle that towers over the beauty of the Fairy Glen.
Plus, that’s a better story for its existence…
This is a pretty romantic spot for couples to visit in my opinion, so it's no surprise really that some people get their wedding pictures taken here.
Getting to the Fairy Glen
As with most trips to the Isle of Skye, the best way to get to anywhere, including the Fairy Glen is via your own form of transportation.
This could be either via campervan (Bradley and I took our own converted campervan with us for an Isle of Skye road trip) OR, you can rent a car from Skye, or Inverness (if you need an airport to land into).
You can check car rentals for the Isle of Skye right here.
If you do have your own vehicle, then it’s just a matter of driving to Uig.
The drive from Portree to the Fairy Glen takes 25 minutes driving or you can take the coastal route which takes in the north coast of Skye (very beautiful) and this would take around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
If you have time, I certainly would recommend the coastal route!
If you can’t drive, or simply don’t have access to your own vehicle, then there are other ways to see the Fairy Glen, but it’s going to be via tour.
There are a few tours to the Isle of Skye that include stops at the Fairy Glen (among other top Isle of Skye attractions too), but of course, the downside of getting a tour is that you’ll be with a bunch of other people, and your time will be restricted, but that being said, if it’s your only option, then so be it!
Parking at the Fairy Glen
If you have your own vehicle, it’s important to note that parking at the Fairy Glen is very limited. Bradley and I got a space with our van, but that was because the season was finished and Covid was around, so it was not busy at all.
There are truly only 5 or 6 spaces for cars, and recently there is a bay that will fit two campervans, so that’s it.
The road has recently been widened, (don’t think the locals are overjoyed by that, and not surprised)
You have a couple of options however, firstly, you can park in Uig and walk to the Fairy Glen.
It’s a 30-minute walk along a paved road, so it’s not too unbearable (in winter I would make sure you have the right shows on)
Your second option is to take a shuttle bus from Uig to the Fairy Glen, and I personally think this is a great option.
There was no option for this when we visited. I’m not sure if a shuttle bus runs anymore, but I think this is something they will implement in the future and should help control tourism around this area.
When is the best time to visit the Fairy Glen?
Season wise, the Fairy Glen is open all year round, which is great as it’s just in nature and there is currently no entrance fee. (This may change to place controls on the number of people visiting...more on that later)
Naturally, peak months are going to be June, July, August since the weather will be better, so if you want the chance to visit the Fairy Glen with fewer people around you, then you’ll either need to visit outside of these months or visit very early in the morning (be there for sunrise).
Bradley and I visited in November, and it was perfect.
We actually visited twice, and the first time at dusk, there was one other couple there, and when we visited the next morning for sunrise, we were the only people around.
Therefore, I will suggest Autumn as a great time to visit the Fairy Glen, and I also imagine that winter would look amazing, especially if there is snow!
Regardless of the time of year you visit the Fairy Glen, if it’s possible, I suggest you visit for sunrise.
You’ll beat the crowds and it’s so damn peaceful.
We climbed up to the “castle” (not a difficult climb) and just listened to the birds and nature around us. The only company we had was a couple of sheep! It was truly magical and added to the whole experience.
You may also like: Best Scenic Road Trips Around The World
How long do I need to visit the Fairy Glen?
The Fairy Glen itself isn’t super big, so I would suggest at least dedicating around 45 minutes to one hour for your visit.
You can wander around the Glen itself, visit the ponds, and sit atop the castle.
If you’ve got time and it’s a nice day, it’s a great place to sit and eat your sandwich (but please TAKE YOUR RUBBISH WITH YOU).
A trip to the Fairy Glen can be combined with other sights on the Isle of Skye, you won’t need to dedicate a whole day to visiting just this area.
Tips for protecting the Fairy Glen
When beauty like the Fairy Glen gets discovered and becomes more popular, more and more people want to visit, and whilst I believe that everyone should have the chance to visit the beauty of the Fairy Glen, it’s important that steps are taken to maintain and preserve the area and of course, show respect to the locals to live here.
- 1. Don’t move the rocks: apparently this happens quite often in the summer months. People lay rocks around to create a stone circle, but this isn’t permitted and disturbs the system in place, so don’t do it (I’m not sure why you would do it to begin with…)
- 2. Leave no trace: as with all beautiful sights around Scotland, you should always have the policy of taking any rubbish with you. When you leave a spot, there should be no indication that you were there to begin with….
- 3. Be thoughtful with your parking: if you drive to the Fairy Glen and there are no parking spaces left, don’t just create your own. You could end up blocking the road and making it more difficult for the people who actually live here to get in and out of their homes.
- 4. Don't feed the animals: it's best not to feed these animals any junk that you've got, it will upset their tummies and you don't know how they will react to what you've given them.
- 5. If flying a drone, try to do so in the early morning when no one is around. There was no signs restricting drone use for the time being, but this may change, so be respectful of laws.
Respect the environment and the beauty of the Fairy Glen.
If we don’t then there is always the possibility they will just stop people from visiting, which would be a shame.
Other great things to do on the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is bursting with amazing things to see and do, and you can find lots of information on my 3 day Isle of Skye itinerary, but here are some Skye attractions you definitely should not miss:
- The Old Man of Storr (probably one of the most famous hikes on the Isle of Skye, and suitable for most fitness levels)
- The Quarring (another beautiful area to view on the Isle of Skye)
- Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls
- Dunvegan Castle
And there is lots more!
You may also like: Guide to the best road trips in Scotland
Where to stay near the Fairy Glen
If you’re wild camping, then you can check out the Park4Night app for wild camping spots all around Skye and including the Uig area.
When driving we also see lots of really cool Airbnb style accommodations including shepherd huts and more, so if you need somewhere to stay, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Not wild camping? Check out this awesome accommodation in Uig.
So that’s it, I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on visiting the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye and if you have any other questions then please let me know.