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The kings pad
Portree in General
Member Name: anwar7
Portree in General
Date: 01/01/05, updated on 18/02/05 (281 review reads)
Portree is the largest settlement on the Island of Skye. For those of you who donít know Skye is an island situated of the north west coast of Scotland.Portree is about an hours drive from the bridge that connects Skye to the mainland. The road leading to Portree is very scenic, but be prepared to crawl especially in the summer when Skye can get very crowded with tourists. Situated on the east side of the island about half way up the island, Portree makes a good base to explore the rest of the Island.
Portree is a really attractive town of about 2,500 inhabitants. It has a wonderful harbour, which is edged by different coloured houses, which look out to the deep-sea loch. Behind the harbour are hills.
From the harbour it is a steep climb to the main town centre. In the centre is the very attractive Somerled Square, which is surrounded by several small shops and banks.
There is a good tourist information office that stays open all year and has excellent walking maps, lists of accommodation, and lots of other useful information about the area. I have always found the staff helpful and friendly.
The town has a good selection of small independent shops. There is a butchers, a general stores that seems to stock everything, and a newsagents to name a few. I would recommend the bakery on Somerled Square, which will make up rolls for you to take on a picnic, however avoid the sausage rolls!
There are two banks in the town in addition to cash machines. Portree has a very friendly library, which is particularly good for children.
If you like unusual shops then you will enjoy the Skye Batik shop that has a huge selection of batik clothes in addition to wall hangings. It is a very friendly shop and the staff will offer you tea or coffee whilst you browse. Next door to Skye Batiks is an excellent outdoor shop where you should be able to find most things to enable you to enjoy the great outdoors in safety.
On the outskirts of the town is a co-op, essential if you are self catering. It has a good range of foods and alcohol and keen prices. Also on the edge of town is a small swimming pool. Every time I have been with my children the water has been freezing! It is also worth mentioning that you are only allowed 1 child under 8 per adult.
To the south of Portree is the Aros experience. This is a large centre where you can pay to experience an introduction to the history of the are through dioramas accompanied by an audiocassette. I would give this part of the centre huge thumbs down. It is expensive and not well done. However I would recommend the CCTV of a sea eagles nest, in the breeding season only. The centre also has a good restaurant where you can get a cup of tea or a full meal.
There is a god range of accommodation in Portree and the tourist information centre will be able to help you if you arrive without a reservation. We have always self-catered as I think this is the best option with young children. Although I have never stayed in any of the local hotels I have visited a few and will give you my opinion, albeit limited-
Portree independent hostel. This is situated on Somerled Square. We once gave a lift to a hiker staying there who spoke highly of the place. I know it has a laundry and charges around £10 per night for a bed.
Royal hotel. Situated on Bank street, this one seems friendly and has a historic building so should be atmospheric!
If you fancy something a bit more up market then the Bosville hotel may be for you. This is probably the smartest place in town and also the most expensive with doubles around £80 per night.
Portree has numerous bed and breakfast places but I have no knowledge of any so again visit the tourist information office or look on line.
Portree has some of the best fresh fish I have ever tasted. I would recommend you go to the small shop on the harbour. It is only open a few times a week and as I canít remember when I suggest you check the notice on the door. The fish here is the freshest you will get but donít expect it to be cheap, it isnít! However if you are not self catering you will need to get your local fish from the fish and chip shop in the centre of town, not nearly as god Iím afraid!
The town has several good places to eat including the Portree house hotel where you can get a god Sunday lunch at reasonable prices. If you like seafood then I would recommend the chandlery seafood restaurant at Bosville terrace. Food here is expensive but excellent.
There is also an Indian take away in Portree down by the harbour but I thought the food was not that good and preferred the cook-chilled version from the co-op at half the price!
Oh and the title? Well Portee is Gaelic for kings harbour named after James v who landed in Portree in 1540 to assert his authority over the lords of the Isles. If you ever get the chance to visit Portree then take it, youA will not be disappointed!