The Fairy Glen

Scotland is a land of well-educated people. Since times immemorial, Scottish people have been on the whole better educated than their English counterparts (sorry, Limeys). Some of the greatest Enlightenment thinkers – Adam Smith, David Hume, Francis Hutcheson – came from Scotland. Some of the greatest writers of all time – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson – came from Scotland. Some of the most prestigious universities in the world – the University of Edinburgh, St. Andrews University – are in Scotland. If there’s one thing Scotland definitely has going for it – and always has had going for it, and probably will always have going for it – it’s the intellectual culture that permeates Scottish life. Naturally, with all this intellectualism being flung about, there’s one thing that unites all Scottish people together.

Fairies.

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The Sottish people and the fairies have a very special relationship. Some of the oldest stories in Scotland are about the fairies and encounters that humans have had with them. Before proper healthcare, people believed that babies fell ill because fairies had stolen the human baby and left a fairy baby in its place, and it couldn’t live outside the fairy realm. Fairies played active roles in resolving political and dynastic disputes. Even as recently as 2005, a housing development project was halted when the locals mobilized against builders who wanted to move the stone that the fairies lived under. When the matter was brought to the regional council, the council sided with the locals, and the builders had to redesign their project so as not to disturb the fairies. No one wants to kill the fairies.

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It makes sense, then, since the fairies are such an important part of Scottish life, that they’d have their own place to live. Their own kingdom, if you will. Perhaps even a Glen.

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On the Isle of Skye, outside of the town of Uig (oo-ig), there’s a short and shallow valley with several impressive cone-shaped hills and rock formations, grandly dubbed the Fairy Glen. There’s everything a fairy kingdom would need there, including a pond with a shady tree and a castle fit for a fairy king.

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As with most of the Isle of Skye, the Fairy Glen is a bit out of the way. You’ll have to drive up there – preferably, you’ll recruit a local to do it, because driving on the Isle of Skye is a nightmare unless you’ve had semis barreling down a one-track road at you since you were sixteen with a  learner’s permit. But, once you’re up there, there’s a spot to park the car so you can get out and walk around, and even climb to up to the castle to take in a view fit for a Fairy King.

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Don’t believe the building project story? Click here.

Planning your own visit to the Fairy Glen? Click here.

 

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