The visitor guide to Sleat on Skye in the Inner Hebrides has information on and around the place including, sleeping and eating, and the places close to Sleat. Information on Isle of Ornsay, Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig, Ostaig, Armadale, Ardvasar and the Sleeping, eating, hotels and accommodation in these places.
Phone code: +44 (0)1471
East of Broadford is the turn-off to the peninsula of Sleat (pronouned 'slate'), a part of the island so uncharacteristically green and fertile that it's known as 'The Garden of Skye'. Sleat is another entry point to the island. Ferries cross from Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale on the southeastern shore of the peninsula. While the rest of the island is the preserve of the Macleods, Sleat is MacDonald country. The MacDonalds of Sleat are one of the major surviving branches of Clan Donald, and have the right to use the title Lord MacDonald (but not Lord of the Isles, which is now used by the heir to the throne).
The Sleat peninsula lies to the southwest of the island of Skye in Highland Council Area. Stretching for 14 miles (22 km) in a northeasterly southwesterly direction, the peninsula is connected to the island by an isthnus between the heads of Loch Eishort and Loch na Dal. The Point of Sleat, situated at the southern tip of the Sleat Peninsula, is also the most southerly point of the island of Skye. A car ferry connects the mainland at Mallaig with Armadale on the peninsula's southern coastline. Points of interest include the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale, Knock Castle at Knock Bay 4 miles (6.5 km) to the northeast and on the northern coastline, Dunsgaith Castle.
South of Duisdale is the signed turning for Isle Ornsay, or Eilean Iarmain (pronounced eelan yarman) in Gaelic, a very beautiful place in a small rocky bay overlooking the tidal Isle of Ornsay with the mountains of Knoydart in the background. This was once Skye's main fishing port, and the neat whitewashed cottages and tiny harbour are still there. It is also largely Gaelic-speaking, thanks mainly to the efforts of its landlord, Sir Iain Noble, who owns the hotel and his own local Gaelic whisky company as well as the northern half of the peninsula, which is known as Fearan Eilean Iarmain.
Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig
A few miles further on is a turn-off to the left to the villages of Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig, on the west coast of the peninsula, from where, on a clear day, there are views across to the Cuillins. Near Tokavaig is the ruin of Dunsgaith Castle, home of the MacDonalds of Sleat until the 17th century. Tarskavaig is a typical crofting township. In the early 19th century the MacDonalds wanted the more fertile glens inland for their sheep farms and so evicted the people to coastal townships like Tarskavaig. Just beyond the turn-off to Ord are the remains of Knock Castle, yet another MacDonald stronghold.
At Ostaig is the Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, where all subjects are taught in Gaelic, including full-time courses in business studies and media, as well as short courses in Gaelic music and culture during the summer months, Tel. 844373. The bookshop has a good selection of books and tapes for those wishing to learn the language. The college was founded by Sir Iain Noble (see above). Ostaig is also the beginning or end (depending on which direction you're heading) of the detour to Tarskavaig, Tokavaig and Ord.
Sleat Hotels & Accommodation
The Sleat Peninsula on the Isle of Skye
Is peaceful and tranquil 9 bedroom country house hotel situated on the southern end of the Isle of Skye
more details about Toravaig House Hotel
The clan seat is Armadale Castle, but the home of the present Lord MacDonald is Kinloch Lodge, Tel. 833214, Fax. 833277, http://www.kinloch-lodge.com, at the head of Loch na Dal. Lord and Lady MacDonald's family home is also an award-winning restaurant, offering the rare chance to enjoy superb food in the grandest of settings. The track that leads to the 19th-century Sporting Lodge turns off the A851 about 8 miles south of Broadford. Lady Claire MacDonald is one of the best known cooks in Scotland and author of several cookbooks, and if you do decide to treat yourself make sure you leave enough room for their exquisite puddings. The 5-course fixed menu is in our expensive range, but well worth it. Accommodation is also available in 10 en suite rooms. Open Mar-Nov.
Hotel Eilean Iarmain, Tel. 833332, Fax. 833275, www.eileanarmain.co.uk 12 rooms. Award-winning Victorian hotel full of charm and old-world character, with wonderful views. It is utterly lovely and romantic and an absolute must if you're in the area and can afford it. Award-winning restaurant features local shellfish landed only yards away (open to non-residents). A cheaper option is to eat in the cosy bar next door, which serves pub grub of an impossibly high standard in a more informal atmosphere. The hotel also offers winter shooting on the local estate, and you can enjoy a tasting of the local whisky, Tel. 833266.
Ord, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig
Armadale & Ardvasar
Just before the turn-off to the ferry pier is SYHA Hostel, Tel. 844260. 42 beds. Open mid-Mar to end Oct, rents bikes. There's also B&B accommodation in Ardvasar, at the lovely Ardvasar Hotel, Tel. 844223, Fax. 844495, , a traditional whitewashed coaching in with 9 rooms, an excellent restaurant and the liveliest pub in the vicinity. Alternative eating options are Pasta Shed, on the ferry pier, which does good eat-in or takeaway pizzas; a few hundred yards away, the Gallery café/restaurant which serves cheap fish and seafood dishes.