“Peace be to thee and thy children, O Skye, Dearest of islands.”
From ‘Song to Skye’ by Alexander Nicolson
So my last day on Skye had finally come. I was a little sad to leave, but decided to make the most of it and head over to Coral Beach.
Coral Beach was long believed to be the one and only true coral beach in Britain. It turns out the ‘coral’ that forms its snow white sands may actually be a form of seaweed. Be that as it may, it is a gorgeous place, just a short drive from Dunvegan, along pleasant coastal views. I saw several Kestrel and a whole colony of Harbour Seals hauled out on a nearby island, as well as Whooper Swan in a pool close by. The beach itself is a short walk from a nearby car park.
I had been to the beach before on my previous trip, on that occasion the tide was in and I basked in the sunshine, watching Harbour Seals swim by and gaze at me curiously. This time the tide was out and I was able to walk over to the beach’s tidal island.
The beach itself, as its name suggests, is covered in coral and seashells, including good luck Cowries and highly attractive Top Shells. On my way over the tidal causeway I noticed that the shells out there were much bigger than those on the beach, leading me to suspect that the many visitors to the beach bag the big ones as soon as they reach the shore. I also found a stranded Starfish and some Sea Anemone and returned them to the sea.
It was quite a wonder to stand where just a few hours before the sea had been, where seals and fish would swim and birds would dive after I was gone. Having had a good wander, working up an appetite and gathering some souvenirs, I headed back toward town.
I had heard from numerous people throughout my trip talk about a little shop in Dunvegan that made wonderful food and cakes. I discovered, to my delight, that Jan’s Cakes has a well deserved reputation. Powered by delicious haddock and clam chowder, an enormous and wonderful slice of the most chocolately chocolate cake I have ever eaten and a nice black coffee, I was more than ready for the journey home.
Goodbye for now Skye. I will see you again.