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Portree

Portree is the main town on the romantic Isle of Skye. Steeped in history and heritage, it also has a range of activities the whole family can enjoy.

Much of the island’s cultural focus is here and the award-winning Aros Centre at the south end of the town has an extensive programme of concerts, theatre and cinema, as well as exhibitions, plus a range of speciality shopping you won’t find on manys-a-high street.

Appreciation of culture is strong on Skye and Portree is often the base for festivals and galas which are not just enjoyable but inspiring.
With a great history as a fishing port also, Portree still prides itself on the quality of its seafood and fish eateries and everywhere, standards are kept extremely high.

In fact, it was the harbour which gave Portree its name, being the Gaelic for King’s Port.

The town, which offers an excellent choice of shops, is the ideal base from which to explore the remainder of this very special island. The unsurpassed natural beauty and crisp clean air continue to draw visitors in their thousands year after year - but somehow Skye retains its sense of wide open space.

From Portree you can also marvel at one of Scotland’s most dramatic skylines - the Cuillins.

While some walks and climbs are suitable for only the most experienced, novice walkers can join guided walks and traverse less arduous paths to enjoy the Cuillins in all their splendour.

Nearby Dunvegan Castle is the most famous fortress for miles around.

The oldest part dates from the 14th century and today remains in the hands of the Macleods of Macleod, descendants of the original builders.

Visitors can see fascinating relics on display including the Fairy Flag, the sacred clan banner.

Grown-ups can enjoy the Talisker Distillery, the only one on Skye with an exhibition on the history of distilling in the area.

This area has a lot of history to tell from gory tales of clan massacres at the ruined Trumpan Church and local legends of the Clan Macleod and their dealings with the ‘wee folk’ at the Fairy Bridge. And of course Portree was the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie bade his farewell to brave Flora MacDonald after she had saved his life by concealing him from pursuing government forces by dressing him as her maid and having him rowed from Benbecula to near Uig on Skye. From Uig, they made their way to Portree where arrangements were underway to get the prince off the island via Raasay to safety in France. The prince escaped but Flora MacDonald was betrayed by one of the boat’s oarsmen and was arrested for her part in the plot to smuggle him out of Scotland.

Today, on a visit to Portree and Skye, you can still feel a strong sense of history all around.

      

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