Driving directions to get to the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye
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Year Visited: 2022
Time of Year: May
The Fairy Glen
The Fairy Glen is one of the most popular spots on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. It has become a lot more well-known over the past few years. With its popularity comes improved/expanded roads, but also a lot of tourists whose behavior can be detrimental to the area.
I am going to tell you how to drive to the Fairy Glen in Scotland and what to expect when you get there, as well as behaviors to avoid to protect the area for future visitors.
One of my top 5 prettiest places in Scotland!
The Fairy Glen
What is the Fairy Glen?
The Fairy Glen is a magical part of Scotland. It is located near the coast of the Isle of Skye, and quite literally looks like somewhere you would find fairies.
It is located out in the middle of nowhere, down a one lane road, surrounded by sheep farms.
This is a good place for hiking and exploring outside, especially for families.
This area is often confused with the Fairy Pools, also located on the Isle of Skye.
Where is the Fairy Glen?
The Fairy Glen is just outside of Uig on the Isle of Skye, about a half hour drive from Portree.
Beware, there are two Uigs on Skye! Find the Fairy Glen on Google Maps.
How long do you need to explore the Fairy Glen?
I would say take at least an hour to explore the Fairy Glen.
Our time here was very rushed, as we had to rearrange plans to work around all the rain, and we did not get to stay as long as I would have liked! The area honestly felt so magical, I could have just stayed and kept exploring all day!
It’s a good idea to have some free time or flexible indoor activities planned that you can switch around in case (when) it rains.
When is the best time of day to visit the Fairy Glen?
The best time to visit the Fairy Glen is early in the morning. The earlier you can go, the prettier the sun will be (if there is any…) and, more importantly, the less tourists.
Try to be there by 9 am or earlier, if you’re able.
We were there around 5 pm, and it was full of people. Sometimes, that’s just what you have to do, but this area would be a lot more magical (and easier to take tripod selfies) with less people.
When is the best time of year to visit the Fairy Glen?
The best time to visit the Fairy Glen is probably June. I’m basing this off the sign at the Glencoe Visitor Centre that said “In Scotland we have two seasons… Winter and June!”
We were there in early May. It rained every day, but it wasn’t raining while we were in the Fairy Glen, and the weather was pleasant.
This is definitely an area that is best in the summer, but that is also when it’s at its most crowded.
Does the Fairy Glen cost money to visit?
You do not have to pay to visit the Fairy Glen, but there is a small fee for parking. You pay this at the kiosk in the parking lot.
Are there bathrooms at the Fairy Glen?
No, there are no bathrooms at the Fairy Glen. The nearest town is Uig, or you can find public toilets in Portree.
Hiking in the Fairy Glen
Are there paths in the Fairy Glen?
Yes, there is a large dirt path that is very easy to follow through the winding little hills of the Fairy Glen.
The paths don’t go the whole way up. Once you get to “Castle Ewan,” the path stops, and you can just wander around and explore.
Is the Fairy Glen a strenuous hike?
No, the Fairy Glen is not an overly strenuous hike. I am really not a hiker, but I had no problem ambling around the Fairy Glen.
You can choose, to an extent, how difficult your hike will be. The main path is not flat, and does go around many small hills. You will have to climb a little ways, but definitely not a lot!
Or, instead of following the dirt path, you could just walk along the road. The path will actually cross the road at one point, so you can cut out some of the hills by strolling down the flat road instead.
Or, if you’d rather do more climbing, you can climb to the top of “Castle Ewan,” the high rock formation seen in the cover photo for this article.
How to Get to the Fairy Glen
So you’ve decided you want to explore the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye (good choice!).
But how do you get there?!?
If you do not want to drive, you can book a tour to the Fairy Glen. You can take multi-day tours of Skye and the west coast of Scotland from larger cities like Edinburgh.
Or you can stay in Portree and just book a one day tour around the Isle of Skye which will include the Fairy Glen. You can get to Portree by bus from Glasgow or Inverness, or you can drive to Portree, and then just book the tour to avoid driving the one lane roads of Skye (you will not have to drive on any one lane roads to get to Portree).
Learn more about driving in Scotland here.
Driving directions from Portree to the Fairy Glen:
Find the Fairy Glen on Google Maps.
To get to the Fairy Glen, you will keep following the A87 from Portree. This is the main highway on the Isle of Skye, and is very easy to drive.
Just before you get to Uig, you will come to Sheader Rd. This is the road you will turn down to get to the Fairy Glen. There is a sign there pointing to Siadair and Baile nan Cnoc.
The thing I don’t like about driving in Scotland is that the road signs are directly across from their turns, as opposed to a few feet ahead of their turns. So when you see the sign, it’s time to turn!
So at that sign, that’s your turn! You will turn onto the one lane road and go up a small hill.
The turn is just before you get to the Uig Hotel and the Uig Free Church.
This road will take you all the way to the Fairy Glen, so you won’t have any more turns. Our only problem now is that this is a one lane road!
The road is paved the whole way. You will have some beautiful views to the left of the rolling hills and sheep farms. Be sure to drive slowly to watch out for oncoming traffic, and sheep rambling into the roads.
Watch a video of the drive to the Fairy Glen.
How do you pass on a one lane road??
There are numerous passing spots marked along the road to the Fairy Glen. Drive slowly, and when you see a car coming in the distance, you can pull off to the side in a passing spot and wait for the other car to go by.
This road does have a few turns, so you will have to be extra cautious going around the turns. While it is a well-traveled road, you are still far out in the middle of nowhere, so it’s not likely to be too busy.
The Fairy Glen parking lot, and the start of the hike is about a mile down this road on the left-hand side.
Unless you are there early in the morning, you will likely see a lot of cars parked in the lot. There are also parking places along the side of the road further up. If you are parked along the side of the road, there is a large area still further up the road where you can turn around to go back.
At the far end of the parking lot is the meter where you pay for parking, and then the little hill that leads up into the Fairy Glen.
Make sure to keep going… the Fairy Glen gets better and better the farther in you go!
Tips for Visiting the Fairy Glen
Those Stone Circles…
The first thing I want to say is…DO NOT place stones or other objects in the circles in the Fairy Glen.
This is something that tour guides like to do, with a cutesy little tale about fairy rings and granting wishes.
But the locals HATE it. It is not healthy for the landscape, especially when people leave other objects they brought with them. The locals will often go out after the tourists are gone to restore the area to its natural state.
As I mentioned, the earlier you can get here, the better. This place is magical if you have it to yourself. But it is growing in popularity, and can be full of tourists.
Take Your Time
This is somewhere I really wish we had had more time. I thought we could just pop in, get a picture and then leave (and since we had to work around the rain, that is, quite literally, all we had time for!).
But it really gets better the farther in you go, and it’s just such a fun area, that it really deserves to have you take your time and wander through it, like an aimless fairy meandering through the fields with nowhere in particular to be.
Prepare for Rain
It rains a lot in Scotland.
It rained every day we were there, but thankfully only the first day was a constant downpour. It’s good if you have a flexible schedule, so that you can postpone your outdoor activities during a rain storm.
Or, at the very least, bring an umbrella…
Stay in Portree
If you want to explore the Isle of Skye, Portree is the place to stay. It is the main town on the island, and is easy to get to.
They have a number of hotels, restaurants, and most importantly, public restrooms.
Book your accommodation early. The hotels fill up fast in the summer months.
If you can, fill up on gas (petrol) before you get to the island, as prices tend to be higher here.
We actually stayed in Dornie, an hour drive from Portree, on the mainland. We only spent about half a day on Skye.
Dornie is a good place to base yourself for explorations on Skye and around Scotland’s west coast. But if you really want to explore the Isle of Skye fully, stay in Portree.
If you have any more questions about visiting the Fairy Glen or driving around the Isle of Skye, feel free to email me.
Planning a trip to the Isle of Skye?
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