Guide to Glenelg by Skye

History of Glenelg as a route to  Skye

The perfect short break awaits you in the tiny village of Glenelg which sits sheltered from the Atlantic by the neighbouring island of Skye on the West Coast of Scotland.  

Home to the oldest car ferry boat in Scotland,  the manually operated Glenachulish is a manually operated turntable ferry that sails through the Kylerhea straits between the mainland and Skye.  Operating throughout the day from Easter to October (it will come and collect you once they see you arrive from the otherside), this wonderful vessel is the most romantic way to get to Skye, even if you just turn around and come back on it again.  

However the history at Glenelg goes back much further than as a crossing point for travellers to Skye.  The two brochs Dun Telve and DunTroddan are two of the best preserved brochs in Scotland and lie a mile or so south of Glenelg.  Built in the last centuries BC, the brochs were built do day to day habitation and when necessary as a defence.  Rising to a heightof 13metres with internal stairways around the circular external walls, the brochs give a real insight to the way Scots 

A mile or so south of Glenelg a minor single track road leaves the coast and heads inland along Gleann Beag, the valley carved, spectacularly in places, through the landscape by the Abhainn a’Ghlinne Bhig. A little over a mile and a half along this road is a layby used by those visiting Dun Telve.

Dun Telve is a broch, one of around five hundred to be found across mainly the north and west of Scotland. Brochs were built in the last centuries BC and the first centuries AD and were circular in plan, rising to a height of 13 metres or more: this is the height of the best preserved example, Mousa Broch in theShetland Islands. Opinions differ as to their purpose. Some experts view them as primarily defensive structures, while others believe they were symbols of prestige and power, intended to demonstrate the wealth of the local chieftain and his ability to harness the manpower and resources necessary to build such a highly visible structure. The truth is that these structures were probably multi-purpose, designed for day to day habitation as well, when necessary, as defence.

 

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