Places to visit on our doorstep in Strath
Below are just some of the fantastic places we love close to Strath Glebe you may find of interest. And when you have had your fill, you can return ‘home’ to relax in peace and comfort inside or out and soak in the majestic views that surround Strath Glebe.
Just a mile or so out of Broadford on the way to Strath Glebe a grassy knoll sits prominently on the right hand side of a serious bend in the road. Known as an Sithean (the fairy knoll) and reputed to be a place where those receptive enough on a clear moonlight night can see the wee folk dance around the standing stones and listen to the haunting strains of their fairy music. How long the fairies have been there nobody knows, but at one time it was a chambered cairn and the evidence for this can still be seen from the remaining stones which protrude from the ground.
Cill Chriosd (Christ's Church)
Cill Chriosd attracts visitors from early morn to late evening and is a big draw for keen photographers in particular and it is no wonder given it’s picturesque appearance and setting below the Red Cuillin.
Situated in Swordale near Strath Glebe B&B and close to the road with a small parking area that includes information boards about Strathaird’s geology, flora and fauna, this sixteenth century church served the parish of Strathaird including the aforementioned cleared villages of Boreraig and Susinish, until a new church was built in Broadford in 1840. The last service held in the church took place in 1843.
It was built on the site of a much older medieval church, but is still with a church in Dunvegan, one of only two pre-Reformation churches on Skye to have its walls still standing and the raised ground between the church and Loch Cill Chriosd is known as the Hill of the Mass.
There are written records for the church which stretch back to 1505 and show John MacGillbredison being succeeded as chaplain by Kenneth (“Kensoch”) Adamson. The first protestant minister of the church was Neil Mackinnon who took office on the 19th of June 1627 and he is said to have been somewhat mean and greedy. It is said he only fed his workers one meal on a Sunday rather than the usual two a day because they were resting and only relented when two workers set about ploughing after Rev. Mackinnon had left the church one Sunday. He had also vowed to report “all the Papists he knew with the Isles” to the church authorities.
As well as Commonwealth War graves the graveyard is the final resting place of many Mackinnon’s including the family enclosure of the Mackinnon’s of Corriechatachan. Records from 1913 state that a couple of grave markers – one for Mackinnon chief Lachlan Mor – bore “obscure hieroglyphics” possibly dating from pagan times, but these stones have long since disappeared. There are more than a few other interesting stones still in the cemetery.
A Strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow as opposed to a glen which is typically narrow and deep. The word itself is the anglicized version of the Gaelic word srath.
Glebe is an area of land within an ecclesiastical parish used to support a parish priest or minister, which in this instance was Cill Chriosd (or Christ’s Church) which sits on the other side of the road from us.
Locally Strath Glebe is simply referred to as a’ Ghliob (the Glebe) and though it is outside of the traditional boundary for the village of Suardal (Suardal is of Norse origin and means a dale of sward or grass pasture - Swordale is the English translation) we are listed as being in the village by Highland Council. In times past though a’ Ghliob fell within the boundary of Cill Chriosd (Kilchrist), which like nearby Boreraig and Suisnish is a village sadly no longer inhabited – but that’s another story we’ll add later.
Now Strath Glebe is home to our fabulous bed and breakfast and fledgling smallholding and the land is once again starting to be worked to sustain its occupants and our guests. I sometimes wonder if the minister started his day with eggs from chickens that free ranged on the Glebe like we today.
Strath Glebe Bed and Breakfast is the perfect base for you whether you come to our fabulous Isle of Skye to relax, exert yourself, tour at your leisure or explore the mountains, caves and waterways. There is a such a fantastic wealth of places to visit, things to do and sights to see nearby. The amenities of Broadford including a supermarket, pubs, restaurants, shops, post office, library and a laundrette are close at hand too.