Fairy Glen – Isle of Skye, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Fairy Glen

This dramatic landscape hidden on the Isle of Skye looks as though you've stepped into the magical realm. 


The Fairy Glen is one of the Isle of Skye’s most enchanting attractions. The bumpy, off-the-beaten-path spot stands out from the surrounding farmland. The natural rock formations, cone-shaped hills dotted with ponds, and scattered waterfalls, are all within one small area, making it seem like the shrunken version of a large-scale geological wonder.

Though there’s no definitive folklore linking the land to the magical realm, some say faeries created the dramatic landscape and still dwell within its many crevices. It’s no wonder; the whimsical otherworldly landscape looks just like the kind of place you’d expect to find mythical creatures. The Isle of Skye is, after all, rich with faerie lore. However, the unique geological formations result from a landslip, similar to the one that created the nearby Quiraing. 

It’s easy to spend a morning or afternoon wandering among the cluster of hills. The grassy glen’s natural colors are especially vivid on a sunny day. Visitors can take their time climbing the mounds or snapping photos of the stone designs tourists tend to create (though they’re not nearly as impressive as the more permanent rock spiral). The best vantage point is from the top of Castle Ewan, the natural rock formation that resembles an ancient ruin. A steep, narrow trail leads directly to the top, but it does involve a bit of scrambling.

The locals consider the stone designs created by tourists to be vandalism and spend the winter undoing them each year. Since the glens are on private property, it’s appropriate to respect the wishes of the locals on this matter and refrain from building with the rocks.

Know Before You Go

Note that there are no signs for the Fairy Glen. If you're heading North on the A87 (coming from Portree), turn right on the road right just before the Uig Hotel. It's about a five minute drive along a narrow, winding path to the glen, which is visible from the road. Park and pay at the designated car park. 

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