Nobody books a holiday to the Isle of Skye expecting a week of cold wet days. We know it’s a possibility but somehow, still manage to remain optimistic in advance of the trip, despite what the weather forecast is predicting.
Now it’s happened. You arrive on Skye and the West Coast weather prevails. If things don’t change, how on earth are you going to entertain them for the whole duration of your stay?
No need to worry. We’ve put together a few of our top tips to help you enjoy your time at Eilean Sionnach Lighthouse Cottage, no matter what the weather has in store.
1. Pack the Right Troosers
In Scotland, we have a saying:
‘There’s nae such thing as bad weather, jist the wrang troosers!’
To fully enjoy your trip to Skye, the most important piece of advice we can give you is to pack good waterproofs. We don’t mean ‘showerproofs’. On Skye, you’re more likely to need industrial strength, fisherman’s style Oil Skins. We provide adults with a set for the boat ride to the island and if you need them, Skipper Gus will let you keep your ‘issue’ Oil Skins during your stay. They’re not the most stylish garments you’ll ever wear, but they do the job of keeping you dry. We also advise wellies as even the most robust walking boots aren’t up to the worst that Skye can throw at you.
What’s more, if you’re bringing the dog, don’t forget a waterproof coat for your four-legged friend too.
2. Face the Elements
Once you have the right clothes on, you may as well get out there and enjoy what nature has to offer. There’s something really exhilarating about a blustery dog walk along the beach. We guarantee your dog will be happy to be out, no matter what the weather. Kids rarely seem to notice the rain as much as adults either. The hardest part is making your mind up to go and then getting everyone kitted up and out of the door. Once you’ve set foot in the elements, you’ll feel your inner adventurer taking over.
If the sea is calm, wet days are also ideal for a bit of wild swimming. You’re wet anyway, so why not get fully immersed? We don’t provide wetsuits or buoyancy aids but we recommend you wear them, so plan ahead and bring your own kit if you’re brave enough for a dip.
3. Cook up a Storm
Once you’ve had an outdoor adventure in the rain it’s time to get cosied in for the rest of the day, absolutely guilt free. Cheeks will be rosy and spirits high, knowing that you’ve challenged yourself and embraced the elements.
Get the wood burning stove on and crank up the music (there are no neighbours to disturb). Then the indoor fun can begin! Cooking and baking are ideal rainy day activities so if you’re coming to the island, make sure you add plenty of useful ingredients to your shopping list. Kids love spending time in the kitchen getting messy and they enjoy it even more when their parents join in. Why not keep the dogs happy and bake some home-made treats for them too? Later, adults can enjoy a glass of wine in the kitchen, whilst cooking up a sumptuous feast for the grown-ups to share at our atmospheric dining table. Even if you don’t consider yourself a good cook, why not start now? We provide some books for inspiration, lots of equipment and time is on your side. You might surprise yourself…
4. Get Creative
There’s superfast broadband on the island but to make the most of your stay, encourage kids to put the phones down for a little while. In the dining room you’ll find colouring materials, a story-writing competition, an island quiz and an ‘ideas jar’ to keep the younger ones busy. Our Gaelic name means ‘The Island of the Fox’ and we award an annual prize for the best story about the fox. Do you have a prize-winning author in your midst? For budding artists, we have a ‘Shonny the Fox’ drawing competition. We’ve no idea about the mystery fox the island takes its name from and we’d love your help to bring him to life.
Adults can enjoy a spot of drawing too. Maybe you’ll be inspired by one of the endless views from our windows, or by the work of our latest artist in residence hanging on the wall? Learning to draw is a fantastic and mindful way to pass time on the island and the island itself has been captured by many famous and budding artists over the years.
5. Indoor Fun and Games
There are playing cards and board games stored in the dining room and in the big chest in the lounge. Guests frequently tell us how lovely it was during their stay to spend time in doors as a family or as a group of friends, laughing, competing and sharing in old fashioned ‘play’.
Perhaps your crowd is of a more energetic nature? Why not put on some loud music, close the shutters and have a disco in the dining room? ‘Sardines’ is another popular and fun indoor game for a lively crowd and can even be played again outside when the weather improves.
6. Teach an old dog new tricks
If you’re travelling with doggie pals, what about a game of ‘dog hide and seek?’ Dogs love the thrill of sniffing out their owners and will urge you to play this game for hours. You can even reward them with those home-baked dog treats you rustled up earlier!
Alternatively, you could teach your dog a new trick (those treats will come in handy again)! Why not have a competition with your family or friends? Who can teach the best trick? More than one dog on your adventure? Can you get them to do a ‘synchronised’ trick? Hours of fun to be had, for both two legs and four, young and old…
7. Cosy In
Maybe it’s been a long time since you had the chance to ‘binge read’ a good book? We have plenty available in the cottage but don’t forget to pack that title you’ve been longing to get round to for a while. Why not luxuriate in the bath while you read? Kids and adults alike will enjoy a long, lingering daytime bath, which seems like a fun treat when not part of the bedtime routine. Afterwards, kids might enjoy snuggling together in one of our king-sized beds and watching a movie together (don’t forget to bring your laptop or tablet) while parents cook, read, or indulge in a rare, uninterrupted conversation. You could even bring a mini projector and set up a big screen experience in the lounge, for the whole family to enjoy. We don’t mind a bit if you re-arrange the furniture. Just don’t forget to pack the popcorn!
If you manage to pack in all of the above activities during your wet-weather stay, you’re bound to leave feeling relaxed, re-connected and longing for your next island getaway…whatever the weather.